Libraries and publishing benefited from new thinking and an injection of funds, while aid to authors and publishers was restructured and book prices were fixed once again, with the objective being to assist smaller publishing houses and specialist bookshops. The network of regional lending libraries was significantly reinforced, while financial assistance was provided for the export of French books.
In addition, archaeology, ethnography and historical buildings and monuments all benefited from the general increase in resources. The Left lost the municipal elections and the European Parliament election. At the same time, the Savary Bill , to limit the financing of private schools by local communities, caused a political crisis. It was abandoned and Mauroy resigned in July Laurent Fabius succeeded him, and the Communists left the cabinet. In terms of foreign policy, Mitterrand did not significantly deviate from his predecessors and he continued nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific in spite of protests from various peace and environmentalist organizations.
In , French agents sank the Greenpeace -owned ex- trawler Rainbow Warrior while it was docked in Auckland , New Zealand which the group had used in demonstrations against nuclear tests, whaling , and seal hunting. One Greenpeace member was killed, and when news broke of the event, a major scandal erupted that led to the resignation of Defense Minister Charles Hernu. France subsequently paid reparations of 1. Before the legislative campaign , proportional representation was instituted in accordance with the Propositions. This period of government, with a President and a Prime Minister who came from two opposite coalitions, was the first time that such a combination had occurred under the Fifth Republic, and came to be known as " Cohabitation ".
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Chirac mostly handled domestic policy while Mitterrand concentrated on his "reserved domain" of foreign affairs and defence. However, several conflicts erupted between the two. In one example, Mitterrand refused to sign executive decrees of liberalization, obliging Chirac to pass the measures through parliament instead. Mitterrand also reportedly gave covert support to some social movements, notably the student revolt against the university reform Devaquet Bill.
With the polls running in his favor, Mitterrand announced his candidacy in the presidential election.
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He proposed a moderate programme promising "neither nationalisations nor liberalisation" and advocated a "united France," and laid out his policy priorities in his "Letter to the French People. Mitterrand thus became the first President to be elected twice by universal suffrage. After his re-election, he named Michel Rocard as Prime Minister, in spite of their poor relations. Rocard led the moderate wing of the PS and he was the most popular of the Socialist politicians. Mitterrand decided to organize a new legislative election. The PS obtained a relative parliamentary majority.
Four centre-right politicians joined the cabinet. She was the first woman to become Prime Minister in France, but proved a costly mistake due to her tendency for making acerbic and racist public remarks. After the Socialists experienced heavy losses in the regional elections, Cresson resigned from office.
The Socialist Party suffered a crushing defeat with the right-wing parties winning seats to the left's He killed himself on 1 May The second "cohabitation" was less contentious than the first, because the two men knew they were not rivals for the next presidential election.
His second and last term ended after the presidential election in May with the election of Jacques Chirac. Socialist candidate Lionel Jospin lost the presidential election. Overall, as President, Mitterrand maintained the "basic characteristic of a strong welfare base underpinned by a strong state. Mitterrand supported closer European collaboration and the preservation of France's special relationship with its former colonies, which he feared were falling under " Anglo-Saxon influence. Despite Mitterrand's left-wing affiliations, the s saw France becoming more distant from the USSR , especially following events such as the expulsion of 47 Soviet diplomats and their families from the country in after they were accused of large-scale industrial and military espionage.
Mitterrand also sharply criticized the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan as well as the country's nuclear weapons buildup. When Mitterrand visited the USSR in November , the Soviet media claimed to be 'leaving aside the virtually wasted decade and the loss of the Soviet-French 'special relationship' of the Gaullist era'.
Nevertheless, Mitterrand was worried by the rapidity of the Eastern bloc's collapse. He was opposed to German reunification but came to see it as unavoidable. France participated in the Gulf War — with the U. His major achievements came internationally, especially in the European Economic Community. He initially opposed further membership, fearing the Community was not ready and it would water it down to a free trade area.
He supported the enlargement of the Community to include Spain and Portugal which both joined in January In February he helped the Single European Act come into effect. He worked well with his friend Helmut Kohl and improved Franco-German relations significantly. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was against a German reunification  and also against the then discussed Maastricht Treaty.
In he established the Mitterrand doctrine , a policy of not extraditing convicted far-left terrorists of the years of lead such as Cesare Battisti to Italy , due to the alleged non-conformity of Italian legislation to European standards of rule of law, in particular the anti-terrorism laws passed by Italy in the s and s. When the European Court of Human Rights finally ruled against the Mitterrand doctrine, the policy had already led to most of the criminals never being punished for their crimes.
Responding to a democratic movement in Africa after the fall of the Berlin Wall , he made his La Baule speech in June which tied development aid to democratic efforts from former French colonies, and during which he opposed the devaluation of the CFA Franc. Seeing an "East wind" blowing in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, he stated that a "Southern wind" was also blowing in Africa, and that state leaders had to respond to the populations' wishes and aspirations by a "democratic opening", which included a representative system , free elections, multipartyism , freedom of the press , an independent judiciary, and abolition of censorship.
Claiming that France was the country making the most important effort concerning development aid, he announced that the least developed countries LDCs would henceforth receive only grants from France, as opposed to loans in order to combat the massive increase of Third World debt during the s. He also criticized interventionism in sovereign matters, which was according to him only another form of " colonialism ". However, according to Mitterrand, this did not imply lessened concern on the part of Paris for its former colonies.
Mitterrand thus continued with the African policy of de Gaulle inaugurated in , which followed the relative failure of the creation of the French Community. All in all, Mitterrand's La Baule speech, which marked a relative turning point in France's policy concerning its former colonies, has been compared with the loi-cadre Defferre which was responding to anti-colonialist feelings.
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African heads of state themselves reacted to Mitterrand's speech at most with indifference. Hassan II , the king of Morocco, said for his part that "Africa was too open to the world to remain indifferent to what was happening around it", but that Western countries should "help young democracies open out, without putting a knife under their throat, without a brutal transition to multipartyism. All in all, the La Baule speech has been said to be on one hand "one of the foundations of political renewal in Africa French speaking area", and on the other hand "cooperation with France", this despite "incoherence and inconsistency, like any public policy ".
The two scientists had given the new virus different names. The controversy was eventually settled by an agreement helped along by the mediation of Dr Jonas Salk between President Ronald Reagan and Mitterrand which gave equal credit to both men and their teams. In October , to commemorate the tricentenary of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes , Mitterrand gave a formal apology to the descendants of Huguenots around the world.
The stamp states that France is the home of the Huguenots "Accueil des Huguenots". Hence their rights were finally recognised. Mitterrand died in Paris on 8 January at the age of 79 from prostate cancer, a condition he and his doctors had concealed for most of his presidency see section on "Medical Secrecy" below.
Following his death, a controversy erupted when his former physician, Dr Claude Gubler, wrote a book called Le Grand Secret "The Great Secret" explaining that Mitterrand had false health reports published since November , hiding his cancer. Mitterrand's family then prosecuted Gubler and his publisher for violating medical confidentiality.
The placing of such a wreath was not without precedent. Nonetheless, Mitterrand's regular annual tributes went beyond the marking by his predecessors of exceptional occasions, and offended sensibilities at a time when France was re-examining its role in the Holocaust. The Urba consultancy was established in by the Socialist Party to advise Socialist-led communes on infrastructure projects and public works.
The Urba affair became public in when two police officers investigating the Marseille regional office of Urba discovered detailed minutes of the organisation's contracts and division of proceeds between the party and elected officials. Although the minutes proved a direct link between Urba and graft activity, an edict from the office of Mitterrand, himself listed as a recipient, prevented further investigation. The Mitterrand election campaign of was directed by Henri Nallet , who then became Justice Minister and therefore in charge of the investigation at national level.
In Mitterrand declared an amnesty for those under investigation, thus ending the affair. Socialist Party treasurer Henri Emmanuelli was tried in for corruption offences, for which he received a two-year suspended sentence. From to , Mitterrand established an "anti-terror cell" installed as a service of the President of the Republic.
This was an unusual set-up, since such law enforcement missions against terrorism are normally left to the National Police and Gendarmerie , run under the cabinet and the Prime Minister, and under the supervision of the judiciary. The cell was largely staffed by members of these services, but it bypassed the normal line of command and safeguards.
In one of its first actions, the cell was involved in the " Irish of Vincennes " affair, in which it appeared that members of the cell had planted weapons and explosives in the Vincennes apartment of three Irish nationals who were arrested on terrorism charges. Most markedly, it appears that the cell, under illegal presidential orders , obtained wiretaps on journalists, politicians and other personalities who may have been an impediment for Mitterrand's personal life.
The Judge finished his investigation in , but it still took another four years before coming on 15 November before the 16th chamber of the Tribunal correctionnel de Paris. The affair finally ended before the Tribunal correctionnel de Paris with the court's judgement on 9 November The court judged that certain people were tapped for "obscure" reasons, such as Carole Bouquet 's companion, a lawyer with family in the Middle East, Edwy Plenel , a journalist for le Monde who covered the Rainbow Warrior story and the Vincennes Three affair, and the lawyer Antoine Comte.
The case was taken to the European Court of Human Rights , which gave judgement on 7 June that the rights of free expression of the journalists involved in the case were not respected. In the French state was ordered by the courts to give Jean-Edern Hallier's family compensation. Through the offices of the 'Cellule Africaine', a Presidential office headed by Mitterrand's son, Jean-Christophe , he provided the Hutu regime with financial and military support in the early s.
With French assistance, the Rwandan army grew from a force of 9, men in October to 28, in France also provided training staff, experts and massive quantities of weaponry and facilitated arms contracts with Egypt and South Africa.
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It also financed, armed and trained Habyrimana's Presidential Guard. The operation is currently the object of political and historical debate. On 10 July , the Rainbow Warrior , a Greenpeace vessel, was in New Zealand preparing to protest against French nuclear testing in the South Pacific when two explosions sank the ship, resulting in the death of freelance photographer Fernando Pereira. The New Zealand government called the bombing the first terrorist attack in the country.
On the twentieth anniversary of the sinking, it was revealed that Mitterrand had personally authorised the mission. Television New Zealand TVNZ also sought access to the court video recording hearing where two French agents pleaded guilty, which they won a year later.