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France Government

Country Name France
Full Country Name French Republic
Local - Long Republique francaise
Local - Short France
Government Type semi-presidential republic
Capital Name Paris
Capital - geographic coordinate 48 52 N, 2 20 E
Capital Time Difference UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

note: applies to metropolitan France only, not to its overseas departments, collectivities, or territories
Daylight Savings Time +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Independence no official date of independence: 486 (Frankish tribes unified under Merovingian kingship); 10 August 843 (Western Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 14 July 1789 (French monarchy overthrown); 22 September 1792 (First French Republic founded); 4 October 1958 (Fifth French Republic established)
National Holiday Fete de la Federation, 14 July (1790); note - although often incorrectly referred to as Bastille Day, the celebration actually commemorates the holiday held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille (on 14 July 1789) and the establishment of a constitutional monarchy; other names for the holiday are Fete Nationale (National Holiday) and quatorze juillet (14th of July)
Constitution history: many previous; latest effective 4 October 1958

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic (upon recommendation of the prime minister and Parliament) or by members of Parliament; proposals submitted by Parliament members require passage by both houses followed by approval in a referendum; passage of proposals submitted by the government can bypass a referendum if submitted by the president to Parliament and passed by at least three-fifths majority vote by Parliament’s National Assembly; amended many times, last in 2008
Legal System civil law; review of administrative but not legislative acts
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal

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