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Sep 2, 2013

France says pension reform enough for several years

PARIS (Reuters) – The minister in charge of France’s pension reform says her proposals are robust enough to tide the system over for several years at least, even if economic growth falls short of expectations.

Health and Social Affairs Minister Marisol Touraine, whose pension law is set to go to parliament in October, told Reuters that while the plan may appear less bold than a 2010 move under conservative Nicolas Sarkozy to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62, the Socialist reform would be a lasting one.

Sep 2, 2013

Assad warns of retaliation as France builds case for Syria attack

PARIS (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad warned Syria would retaliate if France takes part in foreign strikes on his forces, while Paris said it had intelligence proving Assad had ordered chemical attacks and was determined to punish him.

“If the policies of the French state are hostile to the Syrian people, the state will be their enemy,” Assad said in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro. “There will be repercussions, negative ones obviously, on French interests.”

Sep 2, 2013

French ministers rebuff opposition call for Syria vote

PARIS (Reuters) – Senior members of France’s ruling party rebuffed opposition calls for a parliamentary debate on whether to take military action against Syria, saying on Monday lawmakers should respect the president’s constitutional right to decide on attacks.

President Francois Hollande’s demands for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to be punished for an alleged chemical strike have left him out on a limb since Britain’s parliament voted against taking part in any action and U.S. President Barack Obama said he would seek Congress approval before any assault.

Sep 2, 2013

France unlikely to allow lawmaker vote on Syria: senior Socialist

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s government should not bow to calls from opposition figures to have lawmakers vote on whether to take military action in Syria, the senior government Socialist who heads parliament’s foreign affairs committee said on Monday.

President Francois Hollande’s demands for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to be punished for an alleged chemical attack have left him out on a limb since the British parliament voted against carrying out punitive strikes and U.S. President Barack Obama said he would seek Congress approval before any action.

Aug 31, 2013

U.S. says world cannot let Assad get away with chemical attack

WASHINGTON/PARIS (Reuters) – The United States made clear on Friday that it would punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the “brutal and flagrant” chemical weapons attack that it says killed more than 1,400 people in Damascus last week.

“We cannot accept a world where women and children and innocent civilians are gassed on a terrible scale,” President Barack Obama told reporters at the White House.

Aug 30, 2013

France says ready to act over Syria, despite British refusal

PARIS (Reuters) – President Francois Hollande said a British parliamentary vote against taking military action in Syria would not affect France’s will to act to punish Bashar al-Assad’s government, which it blamed for a chemical attack on civilians.

Hollande told the daily Le Monde he still supported taking firm punitive action over an attack he said had caused irreparable harm to the Syrian people, and said he would work closely with France’s allies.

Aug 30, 2013

France says ready to punish Syria despite British no vote

PARIS (Reuters) – France said on Friday it still backed action to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government for an apparent poison gas attack on civilians, despite a British parliamentary vote against it.

An aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, a close Assad ally, seized on the British no vote as evidence that “people are beginning to understand” the dangers of military action.

Aug 30, 2013

France says British vote does not change its will to act over Syria

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande said a British parliamentary vote against taking military action in Syria would not affect France’s will to act to punish Bashar al-Assad’s government for a chemical weapons attack on civilians.

Hollande told the daily Le Monde in an interview that he still supported taking firm punitive action over an attack he said had caused irreparable harm to the Syrian people, and said he would work closely with France’s allies.

Aug 29, 2013

French pension overhaul seen only a stopgap solution

PARIS (Reuters) – The modest scale of France’s pension overhaul should ensure a smooth passage through parliament and with the public, explaining the Socialist government’s tiptoe approach.

But the victory could be pyrrhic. The proposals, containing only modest increases to the size and duration of pension contributions and leaving retirement benefits untouched, may disappoint the European Commission and others who wanted more aggressive structural changes.

Aug 26, 2013

French government commissions 10-year action plan for reforms

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Socialist government has commissioned experts to produce a 10-year gameplan for overhauling areas such as public spending and education in keeping with its strategy of pursuing gentle, incremental reforms.

Responding to criticism that he has been slow to embark on structural changes and lacks a big-picture vision, President Francois Hollande wants ideas on his desk by year-end for sprucing up industry and slimming down the welfare state.

    • About Catherine

      "Catherine is chief correspondent for Reuters France, in charge of political and macroeconomic news, with a focus for 2011 on the G20 presidency, euro zone debt crisis and 2012 election campaign. She has reported from 16 countries for Reuters -- most recently in Latin America as a senior correspondent in Mexico City -- on stories ranging from the Haiti earthquake to the Beijing Olympic Games."
      Languages:
      English, French, Spanish
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