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Apr 15, 2012

France’s Sarkozy, Hollande face off week before vote

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.

Apr 14, 2012

Sarkozy, Hollande to do battle in Paris squares

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.

Apr 12, 2012

Angry workers could doom France’s Sarkozy

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.

Apr 12, 2012

French presidential rivals spar over markets

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.

Apr 5, 2012

Sarkozy vows budget surplus, debt cut if re-elected

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.

Apr 5, 2012

France’s Juppe warns of left’s “explosive cocktail”

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”.

Apr 5, 2012

France urges talks with Mali rebels, unity against al Qaeda

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.

Apr 3, 2012

France’s Sarkozy seen losing runoff despite gains

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.

Mar 30, 2012

France election to pick up pace after gunman pause

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s election race will pick up pace next week after being thrown off course by an Islamist gunman, with Nicolas Sarkozy finally unveiling his manifesto and opponents set to tear it apart.

Mohamed Merah’s killings of three soldiers, a rabbi and three children prompted presidential candidates to suspend campaigning for several days from March 19 and the nation is only just emerging from a distressed daze.

Mar 29, 2012

Hollande won’t wed to conform if wins French election

PARIS (Reuters) – French presidential frontrunner Francois Hollande has defended the idea of an unmarried first couple in the Elysee Palace if he wins the presidency on May 6, in what would be a potential break with protocol and tradition.

Asked whether he would wed longtime companion Valerie Trierweiler if he becomes president, the Socialist candidate said he had no intention of changing his principles to fit with tradition.

    • 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."
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