Senior Correspondent, France
Brian's Feed
Oct 30, 2011

Air France cancels flights but fewer than feared

PARIS (Reuters) – Air France said on Sunday a cabin staff strike over job conditions had caused less disruption than it had feared during a busy weekend and predicted cancellation of about 15 percent of flights on Monday.

To keep as many planes in the air as possible in the middle of a holiday period, the airline limited short-haul flights to 100 passengers on Saturday and Sunday so that numbers of flight stewards respected safety norms. That meant many aircraft were running with empty seats while people were turned away.

Oct 30, 2011

Sarkozy under fire for seeking China cash for Europe

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s opposition Socialists have attacked President Nicolas Sarkozy for seeking Chinese help in solving the euro zone debt crisis, tapping into voters’ concerns six months before a French presidential election.

Party leader Martine Aubry said Europe had been shown to be weak by turning to Beijing, following up on accusations by Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande that France had become “double dependent” on Germany and China.

Oct 29, 2011

Air France cancels flights as 5-day strike hits

PARIS (Reuters) – Air France canceled about one in five flights and warned of wider disruption as a five-day strike by flight attendants over employment terms began on Saturday, in the middle of a busy holiday weekend.

A spokeswoman for the airline said it aimed to ensure 80 percent of some 1,000 daily flights, short- and long-haul, at the two major Paris airports, Orly and Charles de Gaulle.

Oct 27, 2011

France’s Sarkozy flags more budget cuts in 2012

PARIS, Oct 27 (Reuters) – President Nicolas Sarkozy told
French households on Thursday they will have to weather a
further 6-8 billion euros in budget cuts to compensate for
faltering economic growth that the government now sees at 1
percent next year.

In a TV interview aimed at preparing already disgruntled
voters for fresh belt-tightening measures six months before
elections and explaining the causes of the economic turmoil
hitting the country, Sarkozy said France’s sole focus must be to
bring down its debt and deficit.

Oct 17, 2011

French left sends Hollande into presidential battle

PARIS (Reuters) – Francois Hollande will try to unseat France’s conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy and return a Socialist to the Elysee Palace for the first time in 17 years in an election just over six months from now.

Hollande, a moderate who says France must balance its books without sacrificing the welfare state or shrinking the number of state-employed school teachers, won a U.S.-style primary ballot on Sunday to designate the Socialist Party’s presidential challenger.

Oct 16, 2011

Hollande to run for presidency for French left

PARIS (Reuters) – Francois Hollande convincingly won the French Socialist Party’s presidential primary election on Sunday to become the candidate who will try to unseat Nicolas Sarkozy next April and return a Socialist to the Elysee Palace for the first time in 17 years.

With about two-thirds of votes counted, Hollande’s victory in a runoff ballot against Martine Aubry was resounding, with his score topping 56 percent.

Oct 16, 2011

French left picks presidential runner, Hollande favoured

PARIS (Reuters) – French left-wingers vote on Sunday to designate the presidential candidate whose mission will be to unseat Nicolas Sarkozy in an election next year, and the favorite is Francois Hollande, a moderate Socialist Party veteran little known beyond France.

In a U.S.-style primary, the first of its kind in France, voters choose between Hollande, who has never held a national government post, and Martine Aubry, one-time labor minister, architect of France’s 35-hour week and daughter of the former European Commission President Jacques Delors.

Oct 14, 2011

Hollande lands hardliner boost for French primary

PARIS, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Francois Hollande received a boost
in his campaign to become the French Socialist Party’s candidate
in the 2012 presidential election, winning the backing on Friday
of a hardliner who rails against banks and globalisation.

Ahead of a primary election runoff against Martine Aubry on
Sunday, Hollande secured public support from Arnaud Montebourg,
a 48-year-old lawyer who took 17 percent of the vote in the
first ballot, transforming him into something of a kingmaker.

Oct 13, 2011

French Strauss-Kahn sex assault probe dropped

PARIS (Reuters) – French public prosecutors dropped an investigation on Thursday into a writer’s accusation of attempted rape against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn due to lack of evidence.

The Paris public prosecutor’s office said evidence existed suggesting sexual assault but a prosecution on that lesser charge was not possible under the statute of limitations. The incident at the centre of the complaint dates back to 2003.

Oct 13, 2011

French sex assault probe against Strauss-Kahn shelved

PARIS (Reuters) – French public prosecutors dropped an investigation on Thursday into a writer’s accusation of attempted rape against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn due to lack of evidence.

The Paris public prosecutor’s office said evidence existed suggesting sexual assault but a prosecution on that lesser charge was not possible under the statute of limitations. The incident at the center of the complaint dates back to 2003.