Senior Correspondent, France
Brian's Feed
Apr 16, 2014

France seen missing 2015 European deficit deadline – Reuters poll

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s public-sector deficit will overrun EU limits yet again next year, breaching a deadline that was already extended by two years and setting the stage for a clash between Paris and its European partners, a Reuters poll found.

The poll, published days before the government reports back to Brussels, highlights the challenge Paris faces as it insists, despite weak economic growth, that it will honour that extended deadline and trim the deficit to 3 percent of GDP in 2015.

Apr 15, 2014

French Socialists pick veteran to run party after poll rout

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Socialist Party named its new chief on Tuesday, a one-time political opponent of President Francois Hollande who will have to overhaul a ruling party reeling from local election losses in time for European parliament elections in May.

Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, 63, was elected by the party’s national congress to replace Harlem Desir, weeks after local polls in which the Socialists lost dozens of towns to the right and far-right opposition.

Apr 2, 2014

Hollande takes chance on ex-partner Royal in new French cabinet

PARIS (Reuters) – Segolene Royal has returned politically to the side of her former partner, French President Francois Hollande, joining his Socialist government on Wednesday seven years after her own failed run at the presidency.

For Royal, who had four children with Hollande, her appointment to the sensitive energy and environment portfolios in a cabinet shakeup marks a dramatic political comeback.

Dec 4, 2013

France’s Hollande reveals “benign” prostate problem

PARIS, Dec 4 (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande
acknowledged on Wednesday that he underwent treatment for a
swollen prostate just before he ran for office, declaring after
a radio station revealed the issue that the condition was

The health of French leaders has been a sensitive issue
since former president Francois Mitterrand kept his prostate
cancer secret for over a decade of his 14 years in power. He
died less than a year after leaving office in 1995.

Sep 10, 2013

French industry output unexpectedly falls at start of third quarter

PARIS, Sept 10 (Reuters) – French industrial output
unexpectedly fell in July as oil and coke refining and car
production shrank, confounding forecasts for the euro zone’s
second-biggest economy to make a solid start to the third

The data suggests the economy is still fragile after pulling
out of recession in the second quarter, adding to the challenge
facing President Francois Hollande’s government as it puts the
final touches to a 2014 budget that must cut debt without
killing nascent economic recovery.

Jan 31, 2013

French unions test Hollande in public sector protest

PARIS (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of public sector workers marched through Paris and other cities on Thursday to demand better pay in the first street challenge to President Francois Hollande’s deficit cuts since he was elected last May.

Under pressure to curb spending and reduce a debt swollen by the economic downturn, Hollande’s Socialist government has refused to lift a public sector pay freeze imposed by his conservative predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, in 2010.

Jan 20, 2013

Snow hits London and Paris flights, more cuts seen

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – London’s Heathrow Airport canceled a fifth of flights on Sunday and airlines scrapped 40 percent of flights to Paris’s main airports as snow blanketed parts of Europe, with more forecast.

Air France predicted more cancellations on a similar scale for Monday.

Heathrow Ltd, owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, said the reduced schedule – amounting to around 250 fewer flights – would help it cope with the snowfall without making further cancellations.

Jan 20, 2013

Syria opposition and backers to meet in Paris: minister

PARIS (Reuters) – Syrian opposition leaders will meet in Paris this month, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Sunday, decrying an “abominable” situation in which he said 100 people a day were being killed in an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

“The situation is horrific and Bashar must go as fast as possible,” Fabius said.

Jan 18, 2013

Socialists seek new fix for French pensions – minister

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Socialist government will overhaul the nation’s pension system again because former president Nicolas Sarkozy failed to ensure its long-term viability, Labour Minister Michel Sapin told Reuters on Friday.

A government-endorsed panel of experts estimates the system that relies on people in work paying taxes to fund those in retirement will run up a deficit of 20 billion euros ($27 billion) by the end of the decade – despite a reform by Sarkozy that sparked large and widespread street protests in 2010.

Dec 21, 2012

Depardieu joins long list of French tax exiles

PARIS/BRUSSELS, Dec 21 (Reuters) – A tax exile row between
millionaire “Asterix” star Gerard Depardieu and the Socialist
government of President Francois Hollande hides a much older
problem with French taxes.

To be sure, Hollande’s headline-grabbing 75 percent income
tax band may well be prompting well-off French to consider lives
as exiles in Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland or Britain.