Strange country located at the heart of Europe. 25% bigger than California, but twice as populous. Beautiful landscapes, from eden-like Provence to rough Brittany, and of course the lovely city of Paris. The socio-economic context is good old social democracy based on a not-so-inefficient welfare-state - and the French seem to like it. Current (1999) president is Jacques Chirac. Current prime minister and likely next president is Lionel Jospin.