PARIS, April 17 (Reuters) – France’s Nicolas Sarkozy stepped
up his demand on Tuesday to give the European Central Bank a
bigger role in driving growth, despite a German rebuff, in a
quest to convince voters five days from an election that he is
the best defender of the economy.
Sarkozy raised hackles in Berlin by declaring at a weekend
campaign rally that he wanted a debate on having the ECB direct
its exchange rate policy to propel growth, breaching a November
agreement not to publicly discuss the bank’s role.
(Reuters) – Buoyed by a wave of support for its firebrand presidential candidate, a renascent far-left movement in France could cause a headache for Socialist Francois Hollande if he wins the upcoming election by jostling for weight in his government.
With radical leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon riding a tide of popular support ahead of presidential and legislative elections, front-runner Hollande may be obliged to give the far left a government post and make policy concessions or see his centre-left agenda cramped by an unruly left-wing parliamentary group.
PARIS (Reuters) – French presidential rivals Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande stage competing rallies in Paris on Sunday in a last-ditch bid for votes a week before elections that could propel the left into power after 17 years of conservative leaders.
A rash of opinion polls suggests conservative incumbent Sarkozy’s re-election hopes may be crumbling as a recent spurt in support evaporates. Latest voter surveys show Hollande regaining momentum for the first round and winning a May 6 runoff by between 9 and 14 percentage points.
PARIS (Reuters) – Presidential rivals Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande will stage competing rallies in Paris on Sunday in a last ditch battle for votes, just a week before elections that could propel the left into power after 17 years of conservative leaders.
Conservative incumbent Sarkozy will address supporters in the Place de la Concorde, the city’s biggest outdoor square famous for being the site where King Louis XVI was guillotined during the bloody aftermath of the 1789 Revolution.
PARIS (Reuters) – Trudging into Paris with blistered feet after a 10-day march from a steel mill in northeast France at risk of closure, steelworker Jerome Baroin was in no mood to discuss President Nicolas Sarkozy’s re-election bid.
“Sarkozy has done nothing for us. His promises were just lies,” said Baroin, 29, whose 350 kilometer (220-mile) march with 17 other workers from the idle plant in Florange, by the German border, highlights an embarrassment for the conservative incumbent.
PARIS (Reuters) – Socialist presidential frontrunner Francois Hollande has accused Nicolas Sarkozy of encouraging market volatility for political ends after the conservative said victory for Hollande could spur a crisis of confidence in France.
With tensions between the two rivals mounting 10 days from the first presidential election round on April 22, Sarkozy has warned that markets could take flight from French securities if Hollande wins power in a May 6 runoff.
PARIS (Reuters) – President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to achieve a budget surplus for the first time since 1974 and cut France’s swelling debt if re-elected on May 6, warning that his Socialist rival would lead the country towards the fate of Greece or Spain.
Presenting an austere manifesto less than three weeks before the first round of voting on April 22, Sarkozy said he would put a “golden rule” to parliament in July committing France to balance its budget as promised to its European partners.
PARIS (Reuters) – French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe warned on Thursday that Socialist presidential frontrunner Francois Hollande’s economic and European plans were an “explosive cocktail” that could derail Europe’s exit from its debt crisis.
Leading the charge to back conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is struggling in his battle for a second term, Juppe said a 60-day plan of emergency economic measures outlined by Hollande on Wednesday could “drive France over a precipice”.
PARIS (Reuters) – French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Thursday there could only be a resolution to the Tuareg-led rebellion in the north of Mali through a political dialogue and urged regional cooperation to fight al Qaeda’s expansion in the area.
For long one of the most stable democracies in West Africa, Mali has plunged into turmoil since a widely condemned coup on March 22 that emboldened Tuareg rebels to seize half the country in their quest for a northern homeland.
PARIS (Reuters) – President Nicolas Sarkozy may top the first round of a presidential election this month but still lose a runoff on May 6 as most fringe voters say they will back Socialist challenger Francois Hollande, opinion polls show.
Sarkozy pulled into the lead for the April 22 first ballot in yet another poll on Tuesday, but surveys for the second round have stabilized with Hollande firmly ahead, as supporters of other candidates prefer him to the conservative incumbent.