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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 8, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Tax affairs cause of trouble Weefneiday, March 8, 1972 THE U1HBRIDGE HERALD _ 35 France into general election campaign ahead of time By JONATHAN FENNY PAU1S (Renter) Amid a I blazing row atioul Ihc prc- j mien's taxes and resistance to the government's labor poli- cies, France is slipping into a general election campaign a year More voters are due lo go to the polls. The tax affairs of Premier Jacques Cliaban-Dclmas have produced a controversy which is developing into a dress re- hearsal for the National Assem- bly elections and has underlined the importance of the French Communist party in the opposi- tion ranks. Leading members o! the governing Gaullist parties are hurling accusations of subver- sion at the opposition, alter- nately accusing it of adopting Nazi-style tactics and of work- ing for the Communist cause. The opposition, stretching from Communists and ex- treme left-wingers to moder- ate Centrists often close to the government, has reacted by broadening its original attack on the premier's tax position lo an assault on the whole French fiscal system. DENIES CHARGES Chaban-Delmas himself, de- nying the charges, said in a television interview that the opposition oiislaught now goes far beyond allegations that he paid no taxes between 1967 and 1970 or that he had a large hidden fortune, Adding fuel to the debates Is the [act that the government's policy of encouraging annual wage contracts to avoid labor disputes has run into serious trouble within the nationalized industries. The wage contract policy, with which Chaban-Delmas is closely connected, was largely successful in avoiding the tra- ditional round of strikes in na- tionalized industries last year. This year, negotiations are continuing in the coal industry but talks have broken in Iho railways, the big state- owned Renault motor com- pany, and the metal industry. Union leaders say manage- ment offers on wages and working conditions do not go far enough. There is speculation that po- litical motives may play a part in their attitude since the dominant union group, Hie Confederation Gcnerale d u Travail, i s Communist-led. And the Communist party has been playing a leading role in the opposition's stcpped-up campaign against Uic govern- ment. UNITY EI.l'SIVE Tlie opposition has been div- ided and ineffective since Ihe tSC'J election which brought Georges Pompidou to the presidency and Jacques Clia- brm-Delmas to the premier- ship. A decades-old problem about relations with tlte Com- munist party has held back ticialisf party plans for a united left-wing. Opposition Centrists have been going round in circles debating whether to launch a liberal reformist movement or risk losing some of their more con- servative supporters by link- ing up wilh the lolt. The search for some form of unity More the, 1973 Na- tional Assembly elections is vital for the opposition be- cause of the strength of the Gmillists and their allies. By bringing into the govern- ment various Centrist leaders who formerly opposed the late Presitleni Charles dc Gaulle, Pompidou ensured himself the support of a substantial slice of the non-Gaullist electorate. WILDS COAUTION He has gone a considerable way towards building a broad coalition which could evolve into a big conservative group- ing along Ihe lines of British American parties. 11 is generally assumed here that Ihc government parties -the Gaullists, the Independ- ent Republicans led by Fi- nance Minister Valory Gis- rsrd d'EslainR, and a group ol Centrists led bv Culture Minister Jacques will lose some of their assem- bly scats next year. Tliis appears almost incrila- hie since they won an unu- sually large majority in the last general election, held in a climate of fear and strident anti-communism I'1'1' followed. riots and strikes in May-June, At present, Uic as- sembly includes 2M Gaullists, M Independent Republicans, Socialists, 3-1 Communists, M Centrists-including gov- ernment supporters, oppo- n e n t s and non-committed 31 Independ- WIVE SALES UP SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Cp.lifornin sold more than 226 million gallons of wine in 1971, a recoil! for the state, the Cal- i'ornia Wine Institute reported. li was the sixth consecutive record sales year. 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