France: Introduction

France is a country located in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France, the mainland in Europe, borders the Bay of Biscay, English Channel, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Monaco, Andorra, and Luxembourg. France is linked to the United Kingdom by the Channel Tunnel, which passes underneath the English Channel. The government system is a republic. The chief of state is the president, and the head of government is the prime minister. France has a mixed economic system which includes a variety of private freedom, combined with centralized economic planning and government regulation. France is a member of the European Union (EU).

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