In Paris, the leader of the Gaullist Party, Jacques Chirac, announced he was pleased with the outcome of his 40 minutes meeting with President Giscard d'Estaing on Wednesday (7 December).
SCU: Mayor of Paris, and Gaullist Party leader, Jacques Chirac, entering Elysee Palace, Paris, surrounded by newsmen.
SV: Newsmen at doorway.
SCU: Chirac leaving, and answering questions.
SV PAN: Chirac leaves in car.
Reports said Gaullists remained the strongest element in the Government despite President Giscard's efforts to weaken its share of power. Mr Chirac, now Mayor of Paris, is considered to be more strongly entranced than ever as the Gaullist leader. The official Government majority leader is Prime Minister Raymond Barre. In 1976, Mr. Chirac had wanted President Giscard to call an early election. But the President held off, because he was sceptical about the enduring strength of the union of French Communists and Socialists. Although these two have since quarrelled about revising their 1972 common programme of government, they pose an electoral threat strong enough to have prompted the Giscard-Chirac meeting.
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Background: In Paris, the leader of the Gaullist Party, Jacques Chirac, announced he was pleased with the outcome of his 40 minutes meeting with President Giscard d'Estaing on Wednesday (7 December). Mr. Chirac has asked for the meeting of the Elysee Palace to alert the President to the strength of left-wing parties three months before the next general election.
SYNOPSIS: Awaited with apprehension, this was the first meeting between the two leaders since Mr. Chirac resigned as Prime Minister 18 months ago. Reports beforehand said the President was determined to show he would reject Gaullist pressure to chance government policy.
When he emerged, Mr. Chirac said he would not comment beyond saying he was very satisfied with the meeting, which he thought had been powerful. The important thing was that he thought the President had understood his views. And this, was why he was pleased.
Observers said the meeting had been brief because President Giscard had not wanted to show any favours to Mr. Chirac, who wants to be confirmed as the real political leader of the ruling coalition party.