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France: A country located in western mainland Europe. It is surrounded by the English Channel and United Kingdom to the North West, Belgium to the North, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland to the East, Italy to the South East and Monaco, Andorra, and Spain to the South.

During 2003/2004 this country debated and then passed a law on March15 2004 banning the wearing of large religious symbols in public schools from the academic year beginning September 2005.

The French Republic or France (French: République française or France) is a country whose metropolitan territory is located in western Europe, and which is further made up of a collection of overseas islands and territories located in other continents.

France is a democracy organised as a unitary semi-presidential republic. It is a developed nation with the fifth-largest economy in the world in 2003. Its main values are expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

France is a founding member of the European Union, and is the largest member state with respect to land area. France is also a founding member of the United Nations. It is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council wielding veto power, and it is also one of only seven acknowledged nuclear powers in existence.

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