France's frail and fragile democracy


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A funeral with great pomp and ceremony, national mourning decreed, a minute's silence in schools and state offices, and a deluge of media coverage that overshadows an industrial disaster and the resulting pollution in Rouen in the north of the country. For several days now the French state, politics and media have been mourning their loss and commemorating the passing of one of their own, former president Jacques Chirac, whose life work consisted mostly of the conquest and preservation of power.