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Apr 19, 2012

French Socialist says ECB must support growth, weaken euro

PARIS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank should be more active in supporting economic growth in the euro zone and should allow the single currency to weaken against the dollar to boost the bloc’s exports, a top aide to France’s presidential frontrunner said.

Jerome Cahuzac, a Socialist member of parliament and a senior advisor to candidate Francois Hollande on budgetary matters, said a more pro-growth approach did not imply rewriting the mandate of the central bank, which requires it to guarantee price stability.

Apr 19, 2012

“Friends of Syria say Annan plan is last hope

PARIS (Reuters) – The “Friends of Syria” coalition meeting in Paris on Thursday called a U.N.-backed peace plan the “last hope” to resolve the crisis and said they would do all they could to help it succeed, according to draft conclusions obtained by Reuters.

“Every day that passes means dozens of new Syrian civilian deaths,” the French-language statement said as French officials hosted senior diplomats from a dozen or so like-minded governments. “It is not time to prevaricate. It is time to act.”

Apr 19, 2012

France: Syria needs more observers, backup plan

PARIS, April 19 (Reuters) – France said on Thursday a
U.N.-backed peace mission needed to send at least 300-400
observers to Syria to succeed – higher than previous estimates -
adding foreign powers would discuss new ways to end the violence
in case the mission failed.

Damascus and the United Nations agreed on Thursday on the
terms for observers to enter the country to monitor a ceasefire,
called more than a year after the start of an uprising against
President Bashar al-Assad.

Apr 19, 2012

France says wants Syria humanitarian corridors

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for aid corridors to be set up in Syria to protect opponents of Bashar al-Assad and urged major powers to show unity to persuade Russia and China to drop their support for the Syrian president.

Ahead of a foreign ministers’ meeting in Paris on Thursday, Sarkozy repeated calls to create a safe passage for relief organizations – with Syrian approval or an international mandate – to get food and medicine to about 1 million civilians caught up in the fighting.

Apr 19, 2012

UN head says Syria yet to send clear signal on peace

UNITED NATIONS/PARIS, April 19 (Reuters) – Syria has not
fully withdrawn troops and heavy weapons from towns, failing to
send a “clear signal” about its commitment to peace, U.N. chief
Ban Ki-Moon said on Thursday, underlining Western fears for the
week-old truce.

In the first progress report since the Security Council
passed a resolution on Saturday authorising the deployment of
observers, Secretary-General Ban proposed an expanded mission of
300 personnel to monitor a shaky ceasefire between forces loyal
to President Bashar al-Assad and opposition fighters.

Apr 18, 2012

Socialist would hand France’s unions more power

PARIS (Reuters) – The Socialist frontrunner in France’s presidential election would hand militant trade unions a bigger role in the economy if he wins power next month, gambling on transforming traditionally combative labor relations, aides say.

Francois Hollande, who polls suggest is on course to become the first left-wing president in nearly two decades, believes a more cooperative approach could help restore public finances and improve flagging industrial competitiveness.

Apr 13, 2012

No reason for market attack on France after vote: Noyer

PARIS (Reuters) – Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer said on Friday he saw no reason for markets to target France in the wake of the presidential election provided the next government focuses on deficit reduction.

President Nicolas Sarkozy said this week victory for his Socialist rival Francois Hollande, who leads in opinion polls for the May 6 runoff, could lead to a crisis of confidence in France.

Apr 11, 2012

ECB’s Coeure says bond-buys still an option as Spain hurts

PARIS (Reuters) – The scale of market pressure on Spain is not justified given the reforms being undertaken by its government and the European Central Bank still has its bond-buying programme as an option, ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said on Wednesday.

Markets are watching closely for any signs that a rise in Spanish bond yields back above 6 percent may prompt a change in ECB rhetoric after policymakers in recent weeks stressed it was now up to governments to deal with the crisis, not the bank.

Apr 11, 2012

ECB’s bond-buy programme available, says Coeure

PARIS, April 11 (Reuters) – The scale of market pressure on
Spain is not justified given the reforms being undertaken by its
government and the European Central Bank still has its
bond-buying programme as an option, ECB Executive Board member
Benoit Coeure said on Wednesday.

Markets are watching closely for any signs that a rise in
Spanish bond yields back above 6 percent may prompt a change in
the ECB’s rhetoric after policymakers in recent weeks underlined
it was now up to governments to deal with the crisis, not the
bank.

Apr 10, 2012

Socialists, despite rhetoric, would not carve up French banks

PARIS, April 10 (Reuters) – France’s Socialist presidential
frontrunner has branded finance his real enemy but his
government would be more lenient in carving up banks’ activities
than regulators in nearby Britain, regarded as a global haven
for finance, advisers say.

Francois Hollande, who leads President Nicolas Sarkozy
comfortably in polls ahead of France’s May 6 presidential
runoff, has said he wants to tax banks more heavily and separate
their “socially useful” activities from those seen as
speculative, in a bid to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis.