Senior Correspondent, France
Brian's Feed
Nov 27, 2012

Sarkozy returns to French politics as party peace broker

PARIS (Reuters) – Ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy sought on Tuesday to broker a truce between the two men locked in a leadership dispute that could break up France’s right-wing opposition party just months after it lost power.

Nine days after a disputed internal leadership election that plunged his UMP party into crisis, the two politicians fighting to become leader agreed to hold a new election, but only if the re-run was endorsed first in a referendum among UMP members.

Nov 26, 2012

Strauss-Kahn awaits word on French sex inquiry

PARIS (Reuters) – Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn finds out on Wednesday whether the last sex offence case against him in France will be dropped, 18 months after rape accusations ended his presidential ambitions.

The 63-year-old has asked a court in northern France to halt a judicial inquiry to determine whether he should stand trial on pimping charges related to sex parties attended by him and by prostitutes.

Nov 23, 2012

Sarkozy judge mistook hostage for billionaire -lawyer

PARIS (Reuters) – A judge investigating Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign funding mistook a Colombian hostage for a billionaire backer of France’s right-wing party when he queried a meeting in the ex-president’s diary, a lawyer for Sarkozy said.

Sarkozy, who lost power in May, was questioned for 12 hours on Thursday by a judge who is trying to establish whether his election win in 2007 was aided by illegal funding from France’s richest woman, 90-year-old Liliane Bettencourt.

Nov 9, 2012

France slides towards recession

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s central bank said it expected the euro zone’s second-largest economy to slip into recession as 2012 ends – a scenario that could make it harder for the government to hit next year’s debt-reduction targets.

The Bank of France, which had already predicted gross domestic product would shrink 0.1 percent in the third quarter, said on Friday it was now expecting a similar 0.1 percent decline in the last three months of 2012 as well.

Oct 26, 2012

Anti-austerity stand on French left to test Hollande

TOULOUSE, France, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Growing opposition
within France’s ruling Socialist Party to Europe’s hard line on
budget austerity risks undermining President Francois Hollande’s
efforts to convince markets he is serious about meeting deficit
targets.

A rising chorus of critics in the party, meeting in the
southern city of Toulouse on Friday for its annual congress,
wants Hollande to take a tougher stand on pro-growth policies in
Europe to counter a German-led austerity drive.

Oct 24, 2012

Strauss-Kahn seeks comeback via conference circuit

PARIS, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former
IMF chief whose French presidential ambitions were shattered by
a sex scandal last year, is making a comeback in business and at
conferences.

The 63-year-old Strauss-Kahn was accused of trying to rape a
New York hotel maid in May 2011. He protested his innocence and
criminal charges against him were dropped, though civil
proceedings by the woman are still pending.

Oct 11, 2012

France has foiled bomb plot: prosecutor

PARIS (Reuters) – French police have foiled a plot to build a bomb similar to the one planted by an Algerian Islamist group that killed eight people on a Paris subway train in 1995, a public prosecutor said on Thursday.

Police rounded up 12 people in raids on Saturday and another suspect was shot dead after he fired at police with a revolver.

Oct 11, 2012

France has foiled lethal bomb plot: prosecutor

PARIS (Reuters) – French police have foiled a plot that could have set in motion the biggest bomb attack since an Algerian Islamist group killed eight people and injured close to a hundred on a Paris subway train in the 1990s, a public prosecutor said on Thursday.

Forensics experts believe that bomb-making material discovered in a garage east of Paris was sufficient to make an explosive device like the lethal one planted on a packed Paris train in 1995, prosecutor Francois Molins said.

Oct 9, 2012

Police fire teargas during French job protests

PARIS (Reuters) – French riot police fired teargas to disperse protesters outside the Paris auto show on Tuesday as people marched nationwide to denounce hardship and job losses in a country where unemployment is at its highest since 1999 and economic growth has stopped.

The incident came as tens of thousands responded to a call by the CGT labor union, one of the two biggest in France, for the first nationwide protests since Socialist President Francois Hollande took office in May.

Oct 3, 2012

French First Lady shuns TV job, regrets Royal tweet

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s “First Lady” is dropping plans to relaunch a TV career but says that she will not quit as a journalist at Paris Match magazine because she wants to raise her children without depending on President Francois Hollande for money.

Valerie Trierweiler, whose debut in the role of presidential partner was marred when she took a political swipe at the woman who had four children with Hollande, said in an interview she regretted that faux-pas and was still finding her way.