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Until 1988, France Télécom was known as the direction générale des Télécommunications, a division of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. It became autonomous in 1990. This was in response to a European directive, aimed at making competition mandatory in public services from 1 January 1998. The 2 July 1990 Bill changed France Télécom into an operator of public law, with Marcel Roulet the first Chairman. Since then, the company has had a separate body corporate from the State and acquired financial autonomy. It was privatised by Lionel Jospin's Plural Left government starting on 1 January 1998. The French government, both directly and through its holding company ERAP, continues to hold a stake of almost 27% in the company. In addition, the government Conseil of Ministers names the CEO. In September 1995, Michel Bon was appointed to run France Télécom Group.