Transportation

<!–^~^67|right|^~^–> Road network Densest in the world, longest in the EU with a total of 964,356 km of local, secondary and main roads and motorways, including 7,396 km of motorways (second in Europe). Rail network On 1 January 1996, the SNCF (National Railroad Company) was responsible for 31,940 km of track. France holds the world speed record (515 km/h) with its high-speed train (TGV), which runs on 1,268 kilometres of special track. Annual capacity: 55.5 billion passenger/km (first in Europe […]

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Internet ‡ la French

A guide to French Media

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Renaissance

In the early 16th century, after a series of Italian wars, Francois I strengthened the French Crown and welcomed to France many Italian artists and designers such as Leonardo da Vinci. Their influence assured the success of the Renaissance style character

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Research & Development

<!–^~^70|right|^~^–>National R & D expenditure amounts to 190 billion francs ($38 billion) i.e. 2.5% of GDP. The public sector finances 51% of it and is responsible for operating (building maintenance, salaries, laboratory equipment) the major national research centres, which include the CNRS (all fields), INSERM (medicine), INRA (agronomy), etc.. Privately-financed research focuses on advanced technology sectors such as electronics, aeronautical engineering, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and automobile construction. France ranks fourth among OECD countries for research, after Japan, Germany and the United […]

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Minitel

Started in the early eighties by the government’s own France Telecom, the Minitel has become the standard for France’s online services…

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Grand SiËcle

The 17th century was marked by a period of exeptional power and glamour for the French Monarchy…

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Industry

<!–^~^69|right|^~^–>Leading industrial sectors in France : Construction and civil engineering. Annual production : 797 billion francs ($159.4 billion). Four French groups (Bouygues, SGE, Eiffage and GTM-Entrepose) rank among the top ten in European construction, with an annual turnover of 158 billion francs ($31.6 billion). Agri-foodstuffs. Annual turnover: 637 billion francs ($127.8 billion). Leading sectors: meat and dairy production, cereals, confectionery, soft and alcoholic beverages. Leading exporter and second-ranked producer in the EU. Chemicals, rubber and plastics. Annual turnover: 348 billion […]

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National Dailies

There are a total of 76 national daily titles in France, representing a circulation of 779 million copies per year.

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Revolution Era

The 18th century’s Enlightment brought thinkers such as Voltaire and Rousseau to struggle against the principles of the old regime and absolutism…

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Agriculture

<!–^~^68|right|^~^–>Farms: 730,000Farmers/farm workers: 910,000Utilized agricultural area: 30,139,000 hectares Principal agricultural products in France: Sugar beet: 1st in the EU, 2nd in the world (29 million tonnes) Wine: 2nd in the world, 2nd in the EU (5.3 million tonnes) Milk: 2nd in the EU, 5th in the world (23.3 million tonnes) Beef and veal: 1st in the EU, 6th in the world (1,815,000 tonnes) Cereals: 1st in the EU (53.4 million tonnes, including 30 million tonnes of soft wheat, 8th in […]

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