Chief Correspondent France
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Mar 4, 2012

Bland stage manner may not hamper France’s Hollande

LONDON (Reuters) – Striding into London’s Eurostar terminal on the campaign trail, French presidential hopeful Francois Hollande was mobbed like a pop star by Socialist Party fans and bystanders who jostled to get photos taken next to him.

French travelers whooped and waved as they spotted him from passing escalators and Hollande, known for his warmth and easy joviality, was clearly in his element as he stopped to greet old friends and chat with well-wishers.

Mar 2, 2012

French right takes Socialists to task over scuffle

PARIS (Reuters) – Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign director for the French election wrote an acerbic letter to his counterpart in the camp of rival Francois Hollande on Friday, asking that the Socialist Party keep control of militants who mobbed the president this week.

Sarkozy was jostled by a crowd of left-wing militants and Basque activists, as he visited the southwestern city of Bayonne in France’s Basque country, by the Spanish border, on Thursday.

Mar 1, 2012

France’s Hollande tells London he’s “not dangerous”

LONDON (Reuters) – France’s Socialist presidential frontrunner Francois Hollande sought to reassure the financial sector during a visit to London on Wednesday he was not “dangerous” but insisted more regulation of banks was needed to build a fairer society.

Hollande, who leads French President Nicolas Sarkozy in opinion polls ahead of the two-round April-May election, was in London to meet opposition Labor leader Ed Miliband and seek support from some 150,000 French nationals living in the capital.

Feb 28, 2012

France’s Hollande set for low-profile London trip

PARIS (Reuters) – French Socialist Francois Hollande will travel to London Wednesday in a low-key campaign trip to meet the left-wing opposition leader and expatriate voters but will not see Prime Minister David Cameron or financial sector officials.

Hollande, who leads the opinion polls for the April-May presidential vote, is having to rely on support from allies such as Labor Party leader Ed Miliband, because the conservative leaders of Britain, Germany and Italy have declined to meet him.

Feb 28, 2012

France’s Sarkozy edges up in election polls

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy moved closer to Socialist election frontrunner Francois Hollande in an opinion poll published on Tuesday, two weeks after he formally entered the race for April’s presidential election.

Several surveys of voters’ intentions for the first-round ballot on April 22 show Sarkozy, who has battled bleak popularity ratings and economic gloom, gaining on Hollande since he began campaigning in mid-February. The latest showed him halving Hollande’s lead to 3.5 percentage points within a week.

Feb 26, 2012

Low in polls, Sarkozy stakes all on campaign verve

LILLE, France (Reuters) – Delivering thundering speeches in three cities that left him worked into a sweat aides had not seen in years, French President Nicolas Sarkozy showed in the first week of his re-election campaign that he has lost none of his oratorical power.

Yet mingling with the public in Lille, a northern city whose bleak backstreets betray its struggle to adapt to the decline of local heavy industry, Sarkozy’s eyes flicker restlessly and he looks ill-at-ease, as if he can sense the hostile mood.

Feb 23, 2012

Hollande derides Sarkozy plan for needy and fat cats

PARIS (Reuters) – French presidential frontrunner Francois Hollande accused rival Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday of trying to hoodwink voters with a promise to boost the pay of low-wage earners and halt excessive payouts to company bosses if re-elected.

The comments marked an intensification of the sparring between the two candidates that began in earnest last week when Sarkozy officially declared his candidacy for a contest that takes place in two rounds on April 22 and May 6.

Feb 22, 2012

Sarkozy proposes welfare change for low-paid

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed tweaks to the welfare system if re-elected that would ease charges on salaried employees at a time when households are feeling the strain of three years of economic gloom.

Seven days into a re-election campaign that aides say will produce an idea a week, Sarkozy told France 2 television that after easing charges on companies in a recently passed “Social VAT” reform, it was time to help low-income households.

Feb 22, 2012

French Socialists dig in heels on EU austerity

PARIS, Feb 22 (Reuters) – The French Socialists’
abstention in a parliamentary vote on Europe’s future bailout
fund has provided new fodder for concern among EU-watchers about
how a possible left-wing presidential election victory would
affect the euro zone crisis.

The Socialist Party, whose candidate Francois Hollande leads
opinion polls for the April-May election, sat out Tuesday’s
lower house vote to create a permanent European Stability
Mechanism (ESM) in protest at austerity policies in Europe.

Feb 20, 2012

Bruni dresses down for Sarkozy re-election bid

PARIS (Reuters) – As Nicolas Sarkozy strives in his re-election campaign to shed a flashy image and rebrand himself as president of the people, France’s glamorous first lady Carla Bruni seems to be undergoing a reverse makeover to appear a little more ordinary.

A head-turning former supermodel and singer who posed nude and dated rock stars before her romance with the newly elected Sarkozy in 2007, Bruni dazzled in designer garb and stylish hairdos in her early years as the president’s third wife.

    • 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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