Alexandria's Feed
Apr 24, 2012

French rivals scramble to seduce Le Pen voters

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s presidential rivals scrambled on Tuesday to seduce nearly a fifth of the electorate that voted for far right anti-immigration crusader Marine Le Pen, voicing sympathy for voters’ distress in the economic crisis.

Conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy, fighting for his political life after being beaten into second place in Sunday’s first round, hammered away at Le Pen’s themes of fear of immigration, insecurity and industrial decline at public rallies and in media interviews.

Apr 23, 2012

Fear, disillusionment, drives French far-right vote

AULNAY-SOUS-BOIS/VERSAILLES, France (Reuters) – From small business owners to factory workers, a deep anger with economic malaise, having to vie with immigrants for jobs and benefits and put up with austerity seemingly imposed from Europe has spread through France, helping to drive the far-right vote.

Patrick S., 56, a forklift truck driver at a PSA Peugeot Citroen auto plant in the northeastern Paris suburbs, said people on the minimum wage had the right to ask questions.

Apr 22, 2012

Hollande tops Sarkozy in French vote, Le Pen surges

PARIS (Reuters) – Far-rightist Marine Le Pen threw France’s presidential race wide open on Sunday by scoring nearly 20 percent in the first round – votes that may determine a runoff between Socialist favorite Francois Hollande and conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Hollande led Sarkozy by about 28.5 percent to 26 percent in reliable computer projections broadcast with one-third of ballots counted, meaning the two will meet in a head-to-head decider on May 6 that may be closer than had been expected.

Apr 20, 2012

French election rivals clash on euro

PARIS, April 20 (Reuters) – France’s presidential rivals
clashed over the euro crisis in final exchanges before Sunday’s
first round of an election in which most polls show Socialist
Francois Hollande pulling further ahead of unpopular
conservative Nicolas Sarkozy.

In separate radio interviews on Friday, President Sarkozy
said he had helped steer the euro zone through the worst of its
debt crisis, making him the safest pair of hands, while the
challenger Hollande blamed his adversary for mismanaging
France’s strained public finances.

Apr 19, 2012

France, Spain clear bond auction hurdle

MADRID/PARIS (Reuters) – France and Spain sold all the bonds they wanted at auction on Thursday, though for Spain the cost was rising yields, indicating growing concerns the government will not be able to tame its deficit.

After a brief respite fuelled by a trillion euros of cash the European Central Bank (ECB) lent Europe’s banks in December and February, markets are becoming nervous again about euro zone debt loads, with fears that Spain might follow Greece, Ireland and Portugal in needing a bailout from international lenders.

Apr 19, 2012

Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman films to premiere at Cannes in 2012

PARIS (Reuters) – Brad Pitt is expected to be among the familiar faces on the Cannes red carpet this year with his latest movie “Killing Them Softly”, organisers said on Thursday, underlining the importance of star power for the world’s biggest film festival.

The picture, directed by New Zealand-born Andrew Dominik, is in the main competition lineup at the May 16-27 event, held each year on the glamorous French Riviera.

Apr 19, 2012

Pitt, Kidman films to premiere at Cannes in 2012

PARIS (Reuters) – Brad Pitt is expected to be among the familiar faces on the Cannes red carpet this year with his latest movie “Killing Them Softly”, organizers said on Thursday, underlining the importance of star power for the world’s biggest film festival.

The picture, directed by New Zealand-born Andrew Dominik, is in the main competition lineup at the May 16-27 event, held each year on the glamorous French Riviera.

Apr 18, 2012

French election centrist Bayrou still cagey as Sarkozy woos

PARIS (Reuters) – The lone centrist in France’s presidential election, Francois Bayrou, is weighing whether to hitch his wagon to a struggling conservative Nicolas Sarkozy before the second round or stick to his principles and stay in opposition, analysts say.

The deciding factor will be whether Sarkozy has any chance of seizing the final round on May 6 from Socialist Francois Hollande, they say, with surveys indicating the challenger could beat the incumbent by 8 to 16 percentage points.

Apr 17, 2012

Bayrou his own master in French election

PARIS (Reuters) – Three-time candidate for the French presidency Francois Bayrou has become the man of the hour and a potential kingmaker in the 2012 race, even though his share of the vote has dwindled.

The lone centrist has little chance of reaching the May 6 runoff between the top two contenders, given the 10 percent that pollsters expect him to win, but his swing voters could provide a vital boost for President Nicolas Sarkozy to snatch victory.

Apr 2, 2012

France warns pro-Palestinian activists against West Bank trip

PARIS (Reuters) – France urged pro-Palestinian activists, who plan to visit Bethlehem this month in solidarity for residents of the occupied West Bank, to avoid joining the operation given there was a high risk of being detained or turned back by Israeli authorities.

About 1,200 Palestinian supporters throughout Europe have bought plane tickets for the visit on April 15 to help open an international school and a museum at the request of a local organization called “Welcome to Palestine”.

    • About Alexandria

      "Alexandria covers general news in the busy Paris bureau, focusing on politics, courts, crime and terrorism. When not covering political crises in the French government, criminal investigations, high-profile trials or visits by foreign diplomats, she can be found writing about fashion, culture and style at Paris Fashion Week or the Cannes Film Festival. Before Paris, Alexandria wrote about the business side of the apparel industry and e-commerce in San Francisco and Los Angeles. She has been with Reuters since 2004. Earlier assignments have included the Michael Jackson molestation trial, Louisiana's BP oil spill, marijuana legalization in California and polygamy in ..."
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