Premier Jacques Chirac, chastened by a political defeat at the hands of French students, slowed the pace of all his remaining legislation Tuesday, saying that "a pause is necessary in government action."
A day after withdrawing the university reform bill that had sent students into the streets in massive protests, Chirac assembled the conservative and center-right deputies of his parliamentary coalition and informed them that he has canceled plans for a special session next month of the National Assembly.
The pause was welcomed publicly by President Francois Mitterrand, a Socialist, who told a nationwide radio audience that he had advised Chirac to withdraw the university bill. Mitterrand said that Chirac, in doing so, has pursued "an attitude of wisdom." He said Chirac's decision has come "in time-a little late, but in time."