Facts about France
France is a country located in Western Europe and that also comprises various overseas islands and territories located in other continents. France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. Bordering countries are Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, and Spain. France is also linked to the United Kingdom by the Channel Tunnel.
The north and northwest have a temperate climate. In the south-east a Mediterranean climate prevails. In the west, the climate is predominantly oceanic with a high level of rainfall, mild winters and cool summers. Inland the climate becomes more continental with hot, stormy summers, colder winters and less rain.
France's economy combines extensive private enterprise with substantial government intervention. The government retains considerable influence over key segments of infrastructure sectors, with majority ownership of railway, electricity, aircraft, and telecommunication firms. A member of the G8 group of leading industrialized countries, it ranked as the sixth largest economy in the world.
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