Chief Correspondent France
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Feb 16, 2012

Sarkozy referendum pledge a carrot for disgruntled voters

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s offer to hold regular policy referendums if re-elected is a bold attempt to reach out to grassroots voters resentful over market-driven economic gloom, but it may not swing opinion polls back in his favour.

Announcing his re-election bid late on Wednesday, Sarkozy pledged to “give the public its voice back” via plebiscites, starting with one on his proposal to make the unemployed undergo retraining and actively seek jobs.

Feb 14, 2012

Sarkozy to enter election race Wednesday

PARIS (Reuters) – Nicolas Sarkozy is set to formally enter France’s 2012 presidential race on Wednesday, kicking off a rapid-fire re-election campaign with the odds stacked in favor of Socialist challenger Francois Hollande.

The conservative leader is expected to declare his candidacy on prime time television on Wednesday evening and hold his first campaign rally on Thursday in the Alpine town of Annecy, where his ruling UMP party expects a deluge of supporters.

Feb 12, 2012

Rebranding Sarkozy: Too sullied a sell for 2012?

PARIS (Reuters) – In February 2007, a fiery Nicolas Sarkozy had millions convinced that he – a go-getter abandoned as an infant by his Hungarian father – would break with the past, end chronic unemployment and restore a sense of pride to France.

His luster began fading within hours of his May 6 election win, as he celebrated with corporate chiefs and pop stars at a gaudy nightspot and set a presidential tone many French people soon felt was showy, impulsive and even vulgar.

Feb 6, 2012

France’s Hollande raises election bar for Sarkozy

PARIS (Reuters) – Socialist presidential challenger Francois Hollande has raised the bar with a weighty economic plan and nimble performance in a televised debate this week, and President Nicolas Sarkozy is preparing to fight back with a TV interview on Sunday.

With Sarkozy aiming to dazzle voters with crisis measures to stem rampant unemployment, Hollande laid out plans on Thursday to squeeze tax breaks on the wealthy and big companies to fund investment in small businesses, education and new jobs.

Feb 6, 2012

Sarkozy details measures for growth, jobs

PARIS (Reuters) – President Nicolas Sarkozy used a primetime television interview on Sunday to flesh out a flurry of measures to boost employment and competitiveness which he hopes to rush through France’s parliament before a presidential election in April.

Sarkozy, who is running far behind Socialist challenger Francois Hollande in opinion polls for the election, said he would raise the VAT rate to 21.2 percent from 19.6 percent from October to fund a reduction in social charges on companies.

Jan 31, 2012

Merkel election support for Sarkozy shows worries of both

PARIS/BERLIN, Jan 31 (Reuters) – By enlisting
Germany’s Angela Merkel to help his bid for reelection, French
President Nicolas Sarkozy has put Europe at the heart of his
campaign. Merkel’s decision to back him suggests nervousness on
her part about a change of leadership when the French-German
partnership is driving euro zone policy.

Both leaders have played down the move. But with Socialist
Francois Hollande leading polls, Merkel’s camp worries about
losing the momentum she has built with Sarkozy in tackling
Europe’s debt crisis and the prospect of France being run by a
man whose campaign one Merkel MP termed a “leftist anachronism”.

Jan 29, 2012

Sarkozy details measures for growth, jobs

PARIS (Reuters) – President Nicolas Sarkozy used a primetime television interview on Sunday to flesh out a flurry of measures to boost employment and competitiveness which he hopes to rush through France’s parliament before a presidential election in April.

Sarkozy, who is running far behind Socialist challenger Francois Hollande in opinion polls for the election, said he would raise the VAT rate to 21.2 percent from 19.6 percent from October to fund a reduction in social charges on companies.

Jan 27, 2012

France’s Hollande raises election bar for Sarkozy

PARIS (Reuters) – Socialist presidential challenger Francois Hollande has raised the bar with a weighty economic plan and nimble performance in a televised debate this week, and President Nicolas Sarkozy is preparing to fight back with a TV interview on Sunday.

With Sarkozy aiming to dazzle voters with crisis measures to stem rampant unemployment, Hollande laid out plans on Thursday to squeeze tax breaks on the wealthy and big companies to fund investment in small businesses, education and new jobs.

Jan 24, 2012

Sarkozy admits election defeat is a possibility

PARIS, Jan 24 (Reuters) – French President Nicolas
Sarkozy is facing up to the possibility that he could lose power
in April’s election, admitting to aides that a stubborn lead in
polls by his Socialist rival means his days could be numbered.

The conservative leader, stuck with dismal ratings as France
endures a third year of economic gloom, sounded
uncharacteristically defeatist as he remarked during a weekend
trip to French Guyana that the election could spell the end of
his political career.

Jan 13, 2012

France’s loss of AAA badge a blow to Sarkozy

PARIS, Jan 13 (Reuters) – France lost its triple-A
credit rating with Standard & Poor’s on Friday, putting it a
notch below Germany in a blow to President Nicolas Sarkozy three
months from a presidential election.

S&P cut France to AA+ from AAA as it downgraded a swathe of
euro zone countries, blaming insufficient policy measures by the
bloc’s leaders to tackle worsening strains.

    • 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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