Officially, price controls were abolished on December 1, 1986 in France, by the government of cohabitation of Jacques Chirac, with Édouard Balladur at the Ministry of Finance. 'Ordinance No 45-1 483 of 30 June 1945 is hereby repealed. The prices of goods, products and services previously covered by the said ordinance are freely determined by competition," the truly historic new ordinance provides. It erases a measure taken at the Liberation, when the country lacked everything and ration tickets would last until 1949.
But, in reality, the state has never stopped putting its paw in setting prices. Today, more than ever. A little more than a quarter of the products and services included in the calculation of INSEE's consumer price index (CPI) are managed in one way or another by the public authorities.
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This essentially concerns three sectors: rents (they weigh up to 5.96% in...
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