Chief Correspondent France
Catherine's Feed
Dec 31, 2012

French govt may water down 75 pct tax after setback

PARIS, Dec 31 (Reuters) – An embarrassing derailment of
President Francois Hollande’s 75 percent millionaires’ tax may
open an opportunity to water down a scheme that had damaged
France’s image with international investors, but he is unlikely
to give up without a fight.

Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici has promised a redrafted
tax on the wealthy will be pursued next year, following the
Constitutional Council’s decision on Saturday to strike down the
emblematic rate on income over 1 million euros ($1.32 million).

Dec 29, 2012

Top French court rejects 75 percent upper tax rate

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Constitutional Council rejected on Saturday a 75 percent upper income tax rate to be introduced in 2013 in a setback to Socialist President Francois Hollande’s push to make the rich contribute more to cutting the public deficit.

The Council ruled that the planned 75 percent tax on annual income above 1 million euros ($1.32 million) – a flagship measure of Hollande’s election campaign – was unfair in the way it would be applied to different households.

Dec 28, 2012

France clings to growth in trimmed third-quarter GDP

PARIS (Reuters) – France scaled back the extent of a surprise return to economic growth in the third quarter to 0.1 percent from a previous reading of 0.2 percent as the government struggles to revive exports and stem job losses.

The weakness of the euro zone’s second biggest economy will add to the government’s difficulties in meeting EU budget rules. Socialist President Francois Hollande is banking on 2013 growth of 0.8 percent to achieve a financial target that the International Monetary Fund says is over-optimistic.

Dec 6, 2012

ArcelorMittal pulls French bid for EU steel project

PARIS (Reuters) – A politically charged deal between the French government and ArcelorMittal to preserve jobs at an ailing steelworks looked at risk of unraveling on Thursday after the global steel giant ditched a bid to run an EU-funded project there.

ArcelorMittal (ISPA.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), 40-percent owned by India’s Mittal family, withdrew an application to use the Florange site in northern France for an EU pilot project in less polluting steel that Paris had hoped could keep two idled blast furnaces going.

Dec 4, 2012

French far-right circles as conservative spat goes on TV

PARIS, Dec 4 (Reuters) – With the mainstream conservative
UMP opposition party at risk of imploding in a leadership feud,
France’s far-right National Front will urge disillusioned
centre-right voters on Tuesday to switch to its “Navy Blue”
patriotic grouping.

As the UMP appears on televised parliamentary questions
split for the first time into rival political blocs, National
Front leader Marine Le Pen will be in a nearby room promoting a
coalition she hopes will boost conservative votes for her party.

Nov 28, 2012

“Sans-culotte” minister alarms investors in France

PARIS, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Snarling at bosses who shut down
factories, bashing low-price Asian exporters and telling an
Indian steel baron he can get out of France, the industry
minister in Paris is a loose cannon in a government striving to
attract investment.

At home, Arnaud Montebourg’s leftist tirades offer political
cover to Socialist President Francois Hollande, who has been
forced by fear of recession to disappoint many who voted for him
in May and has adopted pro-market policies to boost growth –
such as raising unpopular sales duties to cut taxes on business.

Nov 27, 2012

French conservatives slip further into crisis

PARIS, Nov 27 (Reuters) – France’s opposition conservatives
sank deeper into a leadership crisis on Tuesday that could split
the party, as moderates demanded a new vote to replace the
disputed election of a hardliner and formed a breakaway wing.

Jean-Francois Cope, affirmed as winner of the UMP’s Nov. 18
leadership vote in revised ballot results on Monday, said it was
time to move on from a week-old dispute that has left
ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy’s party in chaos.

Nov 26, 2012

Warring French right looks to Sarkozy as a saviour

PARIS, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Former French President Nicolas
Sarkozy met on Monday one of the two men locked in a vicious
dispute over succeeding him as conservative party leader, after
one of the party’s founders begged him to step in to save it
from implosion.

Sarkozy, who had until now steered clear of an ugly
week-long dispute over who won a Nov. 18 party leadership vote,
held a midday meeting with Francois Fillon, who is mounting a
legal challenge to rival Jean-Francois Cope’s razor-thin

Nov 20, 2012

Analysis: Hollande’s softly-softly plan needs tough execution

PARIS (Reuters) – After six months keeping the world guessing about whether he had a vision for fixing France’s sickly economy, President Francois Hollande has unveiled a battle plan “à la française” to ease companies’ labor costs and trim public spending.

But the softly-softly pace of adjustment may be too slow to satisfy financial markets after Moody’s on Monday became the second credit ratings agency to strip Paris of its AAA rating, citing both a loss of competitiveness and low growth.

Nov 20, 2012

Sarkozy ally wins French right leadership battle

PARIS (Reuters) – Rightist Jean-Francois Cope , an ally of former President Nicolas Sarkozy, claimed t he leadership of France’s main conservative party on Monday in a closely fought two-way contest marred by mutual accusations of voter fraud.

Cope, already the incumbent leader of the UMP party, beat centrist former prime minister Francois Fillon by 50.03 percent to 49.97 percent, the head of an internal voting commission said – a margin of just 98 votes out of almost 175,000 cast.

    • 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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