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A fter a whirlwind start, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is facing his first real head winds. Having taken the initiative since moving into the Elysee Palace in May, Mr. Sarkozy is being buffeted by public worker strikes and a high-profile divorce. Neither should be fatal to his presidency, but both dent his image. He must be careful: Resistance to reform is a constant in French politics and this month’s strike challenges the cornerstone of his administration — remaking France.

Mr. Sarkozy took office amid hopes — inflated by his own rhetoric — that France was entering a new era. A political outsider, he stood for the repudiation of politics as usual in Paris, specifically the sclerosis and corruption of the Jacques Chirac era. Mr. Sarkozy did not disappoint.

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