Senior Correspondent, France
Brian's Feed
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.

Dec 19, 2012

Court upholds Strauss-Kahn sex inquiry in France

PARIS/DOUAI, France (Reuters) – A French court on Wednesday rejected a request by former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn to drop a sex offence inquiry in which he risks standing trial on pimping charges, his lawyers said.

The ruling was given just over a week after Strauss-Kahn settled a separate civil case in New York with a hotel maid who accused him of attempted rape in May 2011, ending his French presidential hopes and career at the International Monetary Fund.

Dec 12, 2012

Actor Depardieu’s Belgium move “pathetic”: French PM

PARIS (Reuters) – Actor Gerard Depardieu’s decision to establish residency in Belgium, which does not have a wealth tax, by buying a house just over the border with France, is “pathetic” and unpatriotic, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Wednesday.

Depardieu has become the latest wealthy Frenchman after luxury magnate Bernard Arnault to look for shelter outside his native country following tax hikes by Socialist President Francois Hollande.

Dec 10, 2012

Car sales plunge, highlighting shrinking French economy

PARIS, Dec 10 (Reuters) – France’s central bank said on
Monday it expected the euro zone’s second-largest economy to
contract in the fourth quarter of 2012, a state underlined by
data showing tumbling car sales.

The Bank of France repeated a prediction that gross domestic
product will drop 0.1 percent in the three month to the end of
the year, compared with the third quarter.

Dec 1, 2012

France announces ArcelorMittal steelworks deal

PARIS, Nov 30 (Reuters) – The French government backed away
on Friday from a threat to nationalise a steelworks, saying it
secured promises from the owner, ArcelorMittal, to
invest and avoid any forced layoffs at the site where the
company has idled two blast furnaces.

Workers at the plant said the announcement fell well short
of what they had hoped from a government that won power in May
on promises to combat industrial decline and mass job losses in
Europe’s second-largest economy.

Nov 29, 2012

France’s National Front smells opportunity as rivals feud

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s far-right National Front party celebrated a fourfold increase in requests for membership on Thursday as a feud convulsed its main right-wing rival the UMP.

UMP leadership contenders accuse one another of fraud in an internal election and the party now risks a permanent split just months after it lost power, a potential gift for Socialist President Francois Hollande.

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.