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2 definitions found
 for France
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a republic in western Europe; the largest country wholly in
           Europe [syn: France, French Republic]
      2: French writer of sophisticated novels and short stories
         (1844-1924) [syn: France, Anatole France, Jacques
         Anatole Francois Thibault]

From CIA World Factbook 2002 :

     Introduction France
                              Background: Although ultimately a victor in
                                          World Wars I and II, France suffered
                                          extensive losses in its empire,
                                          wealth, manpower, and rank as a
                                          dominant nation-state. Nevertheless,
                                          France today is one of the most
                                          modern countries in the world and is
                                          a leader among European nations.
                                          Since 1958, it has constructed a
                                          presidential democracy resistant to
                                          the instabilities experienced in
                                          earlier parliamentary democracies.
                                          In recent years, its reconciliation
                                          and cooperation with Germany have
                                          proved central to the economic
                                          integration of Europe, including the
                                          advent of the euro in January 1999.
                                          Presently, France is at the
                                          forefront of European states seeking
                                          to exploit the momentum of monetary
                                          union to advance the creation of a
                                          more unified and capable European
                                          defense and security apparatus.
     Geography France
                                Location: Western Europe, bordering the Bay of
                                          Biscay and English Channel, between
                                          Belgium and Spain, southeast of the
                                          UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea,
                                          between Italy and Spain
                  Geographic coordinates: 46 00 N, 2 00 E
                          Map references: Europe
                                    Area: total: 547,030 sq km
                                          land: 545,630 sq km
                                          note: includes only metropolitan
                                          France; excludes the overseas
                                          administrative divisions
                                          water: 1,400 sq km
                      Area - comparative: slightly less than twice the size of
                         Land boundaries: total: 2,889 km
                                          border countries: Andorra 56.6 km,
                                          Belgium 620 km, Germany 451 km,
                                          Italy 488 km, Luxembourg 73 km,
                                          Monaco 4.4 km, Spain 623 km,
                                          Switzerland 573 km
                               Coastline: 3,427 km
                         Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM
                                          territorial sea: 12 NM
                                          continental shelf: 200-m depth or to
                                          the depth of exploitation
                                          exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
                                          (does not apply to the
                                 Climate: generally cool winters and mild
                                          summers, but mild winters and hot
                                          summers along the Mediterranean;
                                          occasional strong, cold, dry, north-
                                          to-northwesterly wind known as
                                 Terrain: mostly flat plains or gently rolling
                                          hills in north and west; remainder
                                          is mountainous, especially Pyrenees
                                          in south, Alps in east
                      Elevation extremes: lowest point: Rhone River delta -2 m
                                          highest point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m
                       Natural resources: coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc,
                                          potash, timber, fish
                                Land use: arable land: 33.3%
                                          permanent crops: 2.11%
                                          other: 64.58% (1998 est.)
                          Irrigated land: 20,000 sq km (1998 est.)
                         Natural hazards: flooding; avalanches; midwinter
                                          windstorms; drought; forest fires in
                                          south near the Mediterranean
            Environment - current issues: some forest damage from acid rain
                                          (major forest damage occurred as a
                                          result of severe December 1999
                                          windstorm); air pollution from
                                          industrial and vehicle emissions;
                                          water pollution from urban wastes,
                                          agricultural runoff
              Environment - international party to: Air Pollution, Air
                              agreements: Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
                                          Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-
                                          Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile
                                          Organic Compounds, Antarctic-
                                          Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-
                                          Marine Living Resources, Antarctic
                                          Seals, Antarctic Treaty,
                                          Biodiversity, Climate Change,
                                          Desertification, Endangered Species,
                                          Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea,
                                          Marine Dumping, Marine Life
                                          Conservation, Ozone Layer
                                          Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical
                                          Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94,
                                          Wetlands, Whaling
                                          signed, but not ratified: Air
                                          Pollution-Persistent Organic
                                          Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto
                        Geography - note: largest West European nation
     People France
                              Population: 59,765,983 (July 2002 est.)
                           Age structure: 0-14 years: 18.5% (male 5,675,269;
                                          female 5,401,661)
                                          15-64 years: 65.2% (male 19,503,556;
                                          female 19,479,646)
                                          65 years and over: 16.3% (male
                                          3,948,433; female 5,757,418) (2002
                  Population growth rate: 0.35% (2002 est.)
                              Birth rate: 11.94 births/1,000 population (2002
                              Death rate: 9.04 deaths/1,000 population (2002
                      Net migration rate: 0.64 migrant(s)/1,000 population
                                          (2002 est.)
                               Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
                                          under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
                                          15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
                                          65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/
                                          total population: 0.95 male(s)/
                                          female (2002 est.)
                   Infant mortality rate: 4.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
                Life expectancy at birth: total population: 79.05 years
                                          female: 83.14 years (2002 est.)
                                          male: 75.17 years
                    Total fertility rate: 1.74 children born/woman (2002 est.)
        HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.44% (1999 est.)
       HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 130,000 (1999 est.)
                       HIV/AIDS - deaths: 2,000 (1999 est.)
                             Nationality: noun: Frenchman(men), Frenchwoman
                                          adjective: French
                           Ethnic groups: Celtic and Latin with Teutonic,
                                          Slavic, North African, Indochinese,
                                          Basque minorities
                               Religions: Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant
                                          2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%,
                                          unaffiliated 4%
                               Languages: French 100%, rapidly declining
                                          regional dialects and languages
                                          (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian,
                                          Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)
                                Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read
                                          and write
                                          total population: 99%
                                          male: 99%
                                          female: 99% (1980 est.)
     Government France
                            Country name: conventional long form: French
                                          conventional short form: France
                                          local long form: Republique
                                          local short form: France
                         Government type: republic
                                 Capital: Paris
                Administrative divisions: 22 regions (regions, singular -
                                          region); Alsace, Aquitaine,
                                          Auvergne, Basse-Normandie,
                                          Bourgogne, Bretagne, Centre,
                                          Champagne-Ardenne, Corse, Franche-
                                          Comte, Haute-Normandie, Ile-de-
                                          France, Languedoc-Roussillon,
                                          Limousin, Lorraine, Midi-Pyrenees,
                                          Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Pays de la
                                          Loire, Picardie, Poitou-Charentes,
                                          Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Rhone-
                                          note: metropolitan France is divided
                                          into 22 regions (including the
                                          "territorial collectivity" of Corse
                                          or Corsica) and is subdivided into
                                          96 departments; see separate entries
                                          for the overseas departments (French
                                          Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique,
                                          Reunion) and the overseas
                                          territorial collectivities (Mayotte,
                                          Saint Pierre and Miquelon)
                         Dependent areas: Bassas da India, Clipperton Island,
                                          Europa Island, French Polynesia,
                                          French Southern and Antarctic Lands,
                                          Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova
                                          Island, New Caledonia, Tromelin
                                          Island, Wallis and Futuna
                                          note: the US does not recognize
                                          claims to Antarctica
                            Independence: 486 (unified by Clovis)
                        National holiday: Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
                            Constitution: 28 September 1958, amended
                                          concerning election of president in
                                          1962, amended to comply with
                                          provisions of EC Maastricht Treaty
                                          in 1992, Amsterdam Treaty in 1996,
                                          Treaty of Nice in 2000; amended to
                                          tighten immigration laws 1993
                            Legal system: civil law system with indigenous
                                          concepts; review of administrative
                                          but not legislative acts
                                Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
                        Executive branch: chief of state: President Jacques
                                          CHIRAC (since 17 May 1995)
                                          head of government: Prime Minister
                                          Jean-Pierre RAFFARIN (since 7 May
                                          elections: president elected by
                                          popular vote for a five-year term
                                          (changed from seven-year term in
                                          2001); election last held 21 April
                                          and 5 May 2002 (next to be held,
                                          first round NA April 2007, second
                                          round NA May 2007); prime minister
                                          nominated by the National Assembly
                                          majority and appointed by the
                                          election results: Jacques CHIRAC
                                          reelected president; percent of
                                          vote, second ballot - Jacques CHIRAC
                                          (RPR) 81.96%, Jean-Marie LE PEN (FN)
                                          cabinet: Council of Ministers
                                          appointed by the president on the
                                          suggestion of the prime minister
                      Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Parlement
                                          consists of the Senate or Senat (321
                                          seats - 296 for metropolitan France,
                                          13 for overseas departments and
                                          territories, and 12 for French
                                          nationals abroad; members are
                                          indirectly elected by an electoral
                                          college to serve nine-year terms;
                                          elected by thirds every three years)
                                          and the National Assembly or
                                          Assemblee Nationale (577 seats;
                                          members are elected by popular vote
                                          under a single-member majoritarian
                                          system to serve five-year terms)
                                          election results: Senate - percent
                                          of vote by party - NA%; seats by
                                          party - RPR 83, PS 68, UDC 37, DL
                                          35, RDES 16, PCF 16, other 66;
                                          National Assembly - percent of vote
                                          by party - NA%; seats by party - PS
                                          245, RPR 140, UDF 109, PCF 37, PRS
                                          13, MEI 8, MDC 7, LDI-MPF 1, FN 1,
                                          various left 9, various right 7
                                          elections: Senate - last held 23
                                          September 2001 (next to be held NA
                                          September 2004); National Assembly -
                                          last held 25 May-1 June 1997 (next
                                          to be held, first round 9 June 2002;
                                          second round 16 June 2002)
                         Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Appeals or Cour de
                                          Cassation (judges are appointed by
                                          the president from nominations of
                                          the High Council of the Judiciary);
                                          Constitutional Council or Conseil
                                          Constitutionnel (three members
                                          appointed by the president, three
                                          appointed by the president of the
                                          National Assembly, and three
                                          appointed by the president of the
                                          Senate); Council of State or Conseil
           Political parties and leaders: Citizens Movement or MdC [Jean
                                          Pierre CHEVENEMENT]; Communist,
                                          Republican, and Citizen or CRC
                                          (mainly PCF) [leader NA]; Democratic
                                          and European Social Rally or RDES
                                          (mainly RAD and PRG) [leader NA];
                                          French Communist Party or PCF
                                          [Robert HUE]; Generation Ecology
                                          [Brice LALONDE]; Independent
                                          Ecological Movement or MEI [Antoine
                                          WAECHTER]; Left Radical Party or PRG
                                          (previously Radical Socialist Party
                                          or PRS and the Left Radical Movement
                                          or MRG) [Jean-Michel BAYLET];
                                          Liberal-Christian Right [Charles
                                          MILLON]; Liberal Democracy or DL
                                          (originally Republican Party or PR)
                                          [Alain MADELIN]; Movement for France
                                          or MPF [Philippe DE VILLIERS];
                                          Movement of Reformers [Jean-Pierre
                                          SOISSON]; National Front or FN
                                          [Jean-Marie LE PEN]; National
                                          Republican Movement [Bruno MEGRET];
                                          Popular Party for French Democracy
                                          or PPDF [Herve DE CHARETTE]; Radical
                                          Party or RP [Francois LOOS]; Rally
                                          for France or RPF [Charles PASQUA];
                                          Rally for the Republic or RPR
                                          [Michelle ALLIOT-MARIE]; Republicans
                                          and Independents or RI (mainly DL)
                                          [leader NA]; Socialist Party or PS
                                          [Francois HOLLANDE]; The Greens
                                          [Dominique VOYNET]; Union for French
                                          Democracy or UDF (coalition of DL,
                                          CDS, UDF, RP, and other parties)
                                          [Francois BAYROU]; Union for the
                                          Presidential Majority or UMP [leader
                                          NA]; Union of the Center or UDC
                                          [leader NA]
            Political pressure groups and Communist-controlled labor union
                                 leaders: (Confederation Generale du Travail)
                                          or CGT, nearly 2.4 million members
                                          (claimed); independent labor union
                                          or Force Ouvriere, 1 million members
                                          (est.); independent white-collar
                                          union or Confederation Generale des
                                          Cadres, 340,000 members (claimed);
                                          National Council of French Employers
                                          (Conseil National du Patronat
                                          Francais) or CNPF or Patronat;
                                          Socialist-leaning labor union
                                          (Confederation Francaise
                                          Democratique du Travail) or CFDT,
                                          about 800,000 members (est.)
               International organization ACCT, AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group,
                           participation: BDEAC, BIS, CCC, CDB (non-regional),
                                          CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECA
                                          (associate), ECE, ECLAC, EIB, EMU,
                                          ESA, ESCAP, EU, FAO, FZ, G- 5, G- 7,
                                          G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO,
                                          ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD,
                                          IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO,
                                          InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU,
                                          MINURSO, MIPONUH, MONUC, NAM
                                          (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS
                                          (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA,
                                          SPC, UN, UN Security Council,
                                          UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR,
                                          UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNIKOM, UNITAR,
                                          UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOVIC,
                                          UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WADB
                                          (nonregional), WCL, WEU, WFTU, WHO,
                                          WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
     Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador
                                          Francois V. BUJON DE L'ESTANG
                                          chancery: 4101 Reservoir Road NW,
                                          Washington, DC 20007
                                          FAX: [1] (202) 944-6166
                                          consulate(s) general: Atlanta,
                                          Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los
                                          Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New
                                          York, and San Francisco
                                          telephone: [1] (202) 944-6000
       Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Howard
                                      US: H. LEACH
                                          embassy: 2 Avenue Gabriel, 75008
                                          mailing address: PSC 116, B210 APO
                                          AE 09777
                                          telephone: [33] (1) 43-12-22-22
                                          FAX: [33] (1) 42 66 97 83
                                          consulate(s) general: Marseille,
                        Flag description: three equal vertical bands of blue
                                          (hoist side), white, and red; known
                                          as the French Tricouleur (Tricolor);
                                          the design and/or colors are similar
                                          to a number of other flags,
                                          including those of Belgium, Chad,
                                          Ireland, Cote d'Ivoire, Luxembourg,
                                          and Netherlands; the official flag
                                          for all French dependent areas
     Economy France
                      Economy - overview: France is in the midst of
                                          transition, from a well-to-do modern
                                          economy that featured extensive
                                          government ownership and
                                          intervention to one that relies more
                                          on market mechanisms. The Socialist-
                                          led government has partially or
                                          fully privatized many large
                                          companies, banks, and insurers, but
                                          still retains large stakes in
                                          several leading firms, including Air
                                          France, France Telecom, Renault, and
                                          Thales, and remains dominant in some
                                          sectors, particularly power, public
                                          transport, and defense industries.
                                          The telecommunications sector is
                                          gradually being opened to
                                          competition. France's leaders remain
                                          committed to a capitalism in which
                                          they maintain social equity by means
                                          of laws, tax policies, and social
                                          spending that reduce income
                                          disparity and the impact of free
                                          markets on public health and
                                          welfare. The current government has
                                          lowered income taxes and introduced
                                          measures to boost employment, but
                                          has done little to reform an overly
                                          expensive pension system, rigid
                                          labor market, and restrictive
                                          bureaucracy that discourage hiring
                                          and make the tax burden one of the
                                          highest in Europe. In addition to
                                          the tax burden, the reduction of the
                                          workweek to 35 hours, which is to be
                                          extended to small firms in 2002, has
                                          drawn criticism for lowering the
                                          competitiveness of French
                                          businesses. The current economic
                                          slowdown has thrown the government's
                                          goal of balancing the budget by 2004
                                          off track.
                                     GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.51
                                          trillion (2001 est.)
                  GDP - real growth rate: 2.1% (2001 est.)
                        GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $25,400
                                          (2001 est.)
             GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 3.3%
                                          industry: 25.7%
                                          services: 71% (2000)
           Population below poverty line: NA%
       Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 2.8%
                        percentage share: highest 10%: 25.1% (1995)
     Distribution of family income - Gini 32.7 (1995)
        Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.7% (2001 est.)
                             Labor force: 26.6 million (2001 est.)
             Labor force - by occupation: services 71%, industry 25%,
                                          agriculture 4% (1997)
                       Unemployment rate: 8.9% (2001 est.)
                                  Budget: revenues: $210 billion
                                          expenditures: $240 billion,
                                          including capital expenditures of
                                          $NA (2000 est.)
                              Industries: machinery, chemicals, automobiles,
                                          metallurgy, aircraft, electronics;
                                          textiles, food processing; tourism
       Industrial production growth rate: 1.3% (2001)
                Electricity - production: 513.924 billion kWh (2000)
      Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 9.55%
                                          hydro: 12.98%
                                          other: 0.73% (2000)
                                          nuclear: 76.74%
               Electricity - consumption: 408.514 billion kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - exports: 73.172 billion kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - imports: 3.737 billion kWh (2000)
                  Agriculture - products: wheat, cereals, sugar beets,
                                          potatoes, wine grapes; beef, dairy
                                          products; fish
                                 Exports: $293.3 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
                   Exports - commodities: machinery and transportation
                                          equipment, aircraft, plastics,
                                          chemicals, pharmaceutical products,
                                          iron and steel, beverages
                      Exports - partners: EU 61% (Germany 14%, UK 10%, Spain
                                          9%, Italy 9%, Benelux 8%), US 9%
                                 Imports: $292.6 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
                   Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, vehicles,
                                          crude oil, aircraft, plastics,
                      Imports - partners: EU 63% (Germany 17%, Benelux 10%,
                                          Italy 9%, UK 8%), US 7% (2000)
                         Debt - external: $106 billion (1998)
                    Economic aid - donor: ODA, $6.3 billion (1997)
                                Currency: euro (EUR); French franc (FRF)
                                          note: on 1 January 1999, the
                                          European Monetary Union introduced
                                          the euro as a common currency to be
                                          used by financial institutions of
                                          member countries; on 1 January 2002,
                                          the euro became the sole currency
                                          for everyday transactions within the
                                          member countries
                           Currency code: EUR; FRF
                          Exchange rates: euros per US dollar - 1.1324
                                          (January 2002), 1.1175 (2001),
                                          1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999); French
                                          francs per US dollar - 5.65 (January
                                          1999), 5.8995 (1998), 5.8367 (1997)
                             Fiscal year: calendar year
     Communications France
          Telephones - main lines in use: 34.86 million (yearend 1998)
            Telephones - mobile cellular: 11.078 million (yearend 1998)
                        Telephone system: general assessment: highly developed
                                          domestic: extensive cable and
                                          microwave radio relay; extensive
                                          introduction of fiber-optic cable;
                                          domestic satellite system
                                          international: satellite earth
                                          stations - 2 Intelsat (with total of
                                          5 antennas - 2 for Indian Ocean and
                                          3 for Atlantic Ocean), NA Eutelsat,
                                          1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region);
                                          HF radiotelephone communications
                                          with more than 20 countries
                Radio broadcast stations: AM 41, FM about 3,500 (this figure
                                          is an approximation and includes
                                          many repeaters), shortwave 2 (1998)
                                  Radios: 55.3 million (1997)
           Television broadcast stations: 584 (plus 9,676 repeaters) (1995)
                             Televisions: 34.8 million (1997)
                   Internet country code: .fr
       Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 62 (2000)
                          Internet users: 11.7 million (2001)
     Transportation France
                                Railways: total: 31,939 km (operated by French
                                          National Railways (SNCF); 14,176 km
                                          of SNCF routes are electrified and
                                          12,132 km are double- or multiple-
                                          standard gauge: 31,840 km 1.435-
                                          m gauge
                                          narrow gauge: 99 km 1.000-m gauge
                                          (2000 est.)
                                Highways: total: 892,900 km
                                          paved: 892,900 km (including 9,900
                                          km of expressways)
                                          unpaved: 0 km (1999)
                               Waterways: 14,932 km (6,969 km heavily
                               Pipelines: crude oil 3,059 km; petroleum
                                          products 4,487 km; natural gas
                                          24,746 km
                       Ports and harbors: Bordeaux, Boulogne, Cherbourg,
                                          Dijon, Dunkerque, La Pallice, Le
                                          Havre, Lyon, Marseille, Mullhouse,
                                          Nantes, Paris, Rouen, Saint Nazaire,
                                          Saint Malo, Strasbourg
                         Merchant marine: total: 49 ships (1,000 GRT or over)
                                          totaling 1,263,691 GRT/1,769,932 DWT
                                          ships by type: bulk 3, cargo 4,
                                          chemical tanker 9, combination bulk
                                          1, container 3, liquefied gas 3,
                                          passenger 3, petroleum tanker 15,
                                          roll on/roll off 4, short-sea
                                          passenger 4
                                          note: includes some foreign-owned
                                          ships registered here as a flag of
                                          convenience: French Polynesia 2,
                                          Greece 1, Japan 1, Norway 1, Sweden
                                          9 (2002 est.)
                                Airports: 477 (2001)
           Airports - with paved runways: total: 270
                                          over 3,047 m: 14
                                          2,438 to 3,047 m: 29
                                          914 to 1,523 m: 75
                                          under 914 m: 56 (2001)
                                          1,524 to 2,437 m: 96
         Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 207
                                          1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
                                          914 to 1,523 m: 73
                                          under 914 m: 131 (2001)
                               Heliports: 3 (2001)
     Military France
                         Military branches: Army (includes marines), Navy
                                            (includes naval air), Air Force
                                            (includes Air Defense), National
          Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age (2002 est.)
          Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 14,534,480 (2002
       Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 12,092,938 (2002
                                   service: est.)
      Military manpower - reaching military males: 390,064 (2002 est.)
                              age annually:
     Military expenditures - dollar figure: $46.5 billion (2000)
         Military expenditures - percent of 2.57% (2002)
     Transnational Issues France
                Disputes - international: Madagascar claims Bassas da India,
                                          Europa Island, Glorioso Islands,
                                          Juan de Nova Island, and Tromelin
                                          Island; Comoros claims Mayotte;
                                          Mauritius claims Tromelin Island;
                                          territorial dispute between Suriname
                                          and French Guiana; territorial claim
                                          in Antarctica (Adelie Land); Matthew
                                          and Hunter Islands, east of New
                                          Caledonia, claimed by France and
                           Illicit drugs: transshipment point for and consumer
                                          of South American cocaine, Southwest
                                          Asian heroin, and European

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