Given the government's machinations in regard to bread rationing, the
rising cost of living, and the Gautlist policy of pardoning locally notori-
ous collaborators, the French did not greet New Year's,
with great
optimism. In fact, the recorders of public opinion showed a remarkable
consensus in reporting a prevailing mood of discouragement and disillu-
sionment. The
at Nancy wrote: "The year
has gotten off to a
bad start. The situation is even considered critical by public opinion in
the political domain as much as in the psychological, social, and economic
domains. The Government is criticized. The supply of hopes begins to be
exhausted; the discontent is general."
In almost identical language, the editors of the Savoyard
paper proclaimed, in special type: "General discontent. The year
gins badly. The discontent reaches all social milieux. Are we being too de-
manding? ... We have understood that we must wait and limit our desires.
But the general impression has been that our governors did not have and
still do not have the elements of our renaissance in hand."
These and the
majority of other assessments of the new year placed the greatest blame for
the discontent on the economic situation, particularly the recent reimpo-
sition of the bread card.
La Resistance savoyarde
neatly summarized the
provincial perspective in a short weather report turned political commen-
tary. "Gray skies overhead.
is the returned bread card, the shrunken
franc, taxes, the electricity shortage, shoes that are deformed or without
soles because the cobbler has no leather. Let's go anyway! Let's roll up our
sleeves!! !"
As in earlier commentaries on the vagaries of the bread card,
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