The nature of the French economy has changed radically in recent years.
Breaking with its mercantilist and dirigiste past, France has since the early
1980s converted to market liberalization, both as the necessary by-product of
European integration and globalization and as a deliberate effort by policymakers.
Whereas the French state used to own large sectors of the economy,
partly to keep them from foreign control, now even a Socialist-led government
proceeds with privatization, with scant regard for the nationality of the buyer.