Sickle takes a hammering


PARIS - France's communists wound up a renewal congress yesterday, dropping the emblem of the hammer and "sickle and proclaiming their will to join the cabinet if the left wins a majority in the 1998 general election.

Delegates at the party's 29th congress also approved participation in a left wing cabinet despite a bruising previous experience and gaping differences with the socialists on the European single currency. Despite their 1,080 to 43 vote defeat, hard liners defiantly wore their hammer and sickle buttons.