Senior Correspondent, France
Brian's Feed
Sep 19, 2012

No rules, no regrets for French cartoonists in Mohammad storm

PARIS, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Sometimes funny, often crass,
always irreverent. Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical weekly
that has published lewd cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad is a
serial offender and proud of it.

As copies of the magazine priced at 2.5 euros ($3.25) flew
off French news stands on Wednesday, its publishers insisted as
always on their right to poke fun at all symbols of political
and religious authority in the name of freedom of expression.

Sep 18, 2012

French leaders sound alarm over planned Mohammad cartoons

PARIS, Sept 18 (Reuters) – The French government has called
for restraint after learning that a satirical weekly plans to
publish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad on Wednesday just as an
anti-Islam video has ignited Muslim protests around the globe.

The Paris offices of the paper, Charlie Hebdo, were
firebombed last November after it published a mocking caricature
of Mohammad, and in 2005 Danish cartoons of the Prophet sparked
a wave of protests across the Muslim world in which at least 50
people were killed.

Sep 13, 2012

French minister: Peugeot should cut in Spain, not just France

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s industry ministry is pressing the country’s leading carmaker to limit the impact of a domestic restructuring set to claim 8,000 jobs – by shifting part of the cuts burden to Spain.

Arnaud Montebourg, industrial renewal minister, was expected to raise the issue in talks on Thursday with PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) chief executive Philippe Varin over a plan that involves shutting the firm’s historic Aulnay plant near Paris.

Sep 13, 2012

Peugeot should cut in Spain, not just France – French minister

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s industry ministry is pressing the country’s leading carmaker to limit the impact of a domestic restructuring set to claim 8,000 jobs – by shifting part of the cuts burden to Spain.

Arnaud Montebourg, industrial renewal minister, was expected to raise the issue in talks on Thursday with PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) chief executive Philippe Varin over a plan that involves shutting the firm’s historic Aulnay plant near Paris.

Sep 12, 2012

Veteran Socialist Desir set to lead France’s ruling party

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s ruling Socialists said on Wednesday a long-serving party member who was convicted of financial misdemeanors in the 1990s has been nominated to succeed former minister Martine Aubry as leader.

Harlem Desir, a member of the European Parliament and former president of rights group SOS Racisme, is seen as a safe choice for President Francois Hollande at a time when party hardliners are protesting against his plans for major cuts in the deficit.

Jul 19, 2012

France bins tax breaks that symbolized Sarkozy era

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Socialist-dominated parliament voted on Thursday to end tax breaks on overtime work and raise wealth tax, abolishing two cornerstones of the economic policy conservative former president Nicolas Sarkozy pursued over the past five years.

The measures were in a budget bill that France’s first left-wing government in a decade presented to the National Assembly after taking power following Francois Hollande’s presidential election victory in May.

Jul 12, 2012

France’s leftist rulers reel as Peugeot axes jobs

AULNAY-SOUS-BOIS, France (Reuters) – France’s left-wing government faced its first serious industrial crisis as trade unions vowed to “wage war” over the announcement on Thursday that PSA Peugeot Citroen will axe 8,000 jobs and shut the first car factory in 20 years.

The news, broadcast to angry workers over loudspeakers at the doomed plant in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a depressed northeastern Paris suburb, came two months after Socialist President Francois Hollande won power pledging to reverse industrial decline.

Jul 11, 2012

Cash-strapped France may halt high-speed train expansion

PARIS, July 11 (Reuters) – France may abandon plans for a
major extension of its high-speed train network, one of the most
visible if costly symbols of its engineering prowess, as the new
left-wing government strives to shrink its huge debt.

Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac broke the news in a public TV
interview on Wednesday, saying it seemed extravagant to spend so
much in hard times on 14 new TGV train lines former president
Nicolas Sarkozy promised before he lost power in May.

Jul 3, 2012

France cuts growth forecasts, prepares for cuts

PARIS (Reuters) – Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault slashed France’s official growth forecasts on Tuesday, paving the way for a slew of cuts next year that are bound to anger many after the new Socialist government promised to avoid austerity.

In response to a grim assessment of public finances by the state auditor on Monday, Ayrault said the economy was set to grow by only 0.3 percent this year, less than the 0.7 percent that the previous conservative government had envisaged.

Jun 17, 2012

French Socialists win absolute parliament majority

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande’s Socialists won an absolute parliamentary majority on Sunday, strengthening his hand as he presses Germany to support debt-laden euro zone states hit by austerity cuts and ailing banks.

The Socialist bloc secured between 296 and 321 seats in the parliamentary election runoff, according to reliable projections from a partial vote count, comfortably more than the 289 needed for a majority in the 577-seat National Assembly.