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The French Socialist Party PS was established by the conversion of the Section francaise de linternationale ouvriere SFIO in to the PS in 1969 However it wasnt until 1971 at the Epinay-sur-seine conference when Francois Mitterrand emerged as leader that it began its transformation into Frances leading political party In order to understand the transition that took place within the socialist ranks in the 1980s in France it is necessary to have an idea of the history of the left RBB 2000 During the Fourth Republic the Socialists SFIO adopted an anti communist stance due to the influence of the Cold War ethos It was also deeply involved in the coalition governments of the time often involved in policy and decision making of things that did not tow the party line For example the SFIO were during the miners strike in 1948 it was the socialist interior minister Jules Moch who sent in troops against striking miners which resulted in at least two deaths Forbes an Hewlett 1998 p17 During the 1960s the political parties of the left were sorely divided which hit them hard during the elections as low support showed The problem the left had was the dominant position that the communist party PCF had always held this made it difficult to create a large socialist government It was in the 1970s that the PS started to make concerted efforts to end this period of dominance The PS proceeded to ally with the communists rather than fight against them The agreement they came to was called the Common Program and came into place in 1972 This move was a deliberate one by the PS and it resulted in growth and consolidation of the PS at the expense of the PCF The co-operation was simply a means to an end for the PS This end was to create a socialist not communist dominance of the left The 1974 presidential election was a
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