January 8, 2014

Death to the Fifth Republic

Robert Zaretsky, Foreign Policy

The Associated Press

France's Fifth Republic, born 55 years ago, was fashioned in the image of Charles de Gaulle. As Algeria disintegrated into civil war and Paris feared a military putsch at home, the last president of the impotent Fourth Republic, René Coty, asked de Gaulle to take over in his stead. When the aging general was told of popular fears that he would assume dictatorial powers, de Gaulle, who had previously led France's provisional government from 1944-46, replied curtly: "At the age of 67, I'm too old to become dictator

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TAGGED: Francois Hollande, France

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