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Apr 10, 2012

Sarkozy struggles in polls as French economy sputters

PARIS (Reuters) – President Nicolas Sarkozy’s effort to persuade voters he is the best man to lead a French economic recovery suffered a blow on Tuesday when a survey showed stalling growth as he struggles to make headway against his Socialist rival.

Less than two weeks before voting begins, the conservative’s narrow lead over challenger Francois Hollande is steady or shrinking for the April 22 first round and he is still trailing in the May 6 runoff, three opinion polls showed.

Apr 10, 2012

French economy grinds to a halt

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s economy posted no growth in the first quarter and there are no sign of a strong recovery in activity in the coming months, according to a Bank of France survey on Tuesday.

In its monthly report, the Bank of France indicated that the euro zone’s second largest economy avoided a recession, after it grew by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter.

Apr 3, 2012

French Socialist’s toned-down treaty talk may assuage Berlin

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Socialist presidential candidate has become the standard bearer of the European Left’s fightback against austerity, but the toned-down additions he is proposing to a German-inspired fiscal pact should prove acceptable to Berlin.

Francois Hollande, who leads in polls ahead of an expected May 6 runoff with conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy, alarmed many by vowing to “renegotiate” a treaty on budget discipline signed by 25 European leaders last month.

Apr 3, 2012

Analysis: French Socialist’s toned-down treaty talk may assuage Berlin

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Socialist presidential candidate has become the standard bearer of the European Left’s fightback against austerity, but the toned-down additions he is proposing to a German-inspired fiscal pact should prove acceptable to Berlin.

Francois Hollande, who leads in polls ahead of an expected May 6 runoff with conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy, alarmed many by vowing to “renegotiate” a treaty on budget discipline signed by 25 European leaders last month.

Mar 31, 2012

German bid to save transactions tax gets cool response

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – German attempts to win backing for a watered-down tax on financial transactions in Europe received a lukewarm response on Saturday, in the face of opposition from some governments, putting a full-scale levy off the agenda for now.

Berlin has struggled to rally support for a tax on buying and selling shares, bonds and derivatives. At a meeting of EU finance ministers, it made a last-ditch attempt to salvage its prospects, offered to initially limit the tax to equities.

Mar 31, 2012

German bid to save transactions tax gets cool response

BRUSSELS, March 31 (Reuters) – German attempts to win
backing for a watered-down tax on financial transactions in
Europe received a lukewarm response on Saturday, in the face of
opposition from some governments, putting a full-scale levy off
the agenda for now.

Berlin has struggled to rally support for a tax on buying
and selling shares, bonds and derivatives. At a meeting of EU
finance ministers, it made a last-ditch attempt to salvage its
prospects, offered to initially limit the tax to equities.

Mar 30, 2012

Exclusive: Germany makes last-ditch attempt to save transaction tax

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Germany made a last ditch attempt on Friday to salvage the prospect of a financial transaction tax in Europe by proposing to apply the charge initially only to trading in company stock, but still faced resistance to its plans.

A document circulated at a meeting of EU ministers and obtained by Reuters describes a two-stage approach of advancing towards a “comprehensive financial transaction tax”, with the first step being a scaled-down levy.

Mar 29, 2012

French vote may change economic team, not course

PARIS (Reuters) – The man who could become France’s first Socialist president in nearly two decades may have turned his campaign rhetoric against bankers and the rich, but in office his policies would be guided by advisers steeped in commerce and public service.

Francois Hollande met some of his most trusted counsellors more than 30 years ago at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA), the civil service college that turns out industry leaders and top public officials.

Mar 28, 2012

Analysis: French vote may change economic team, not course

PARIS (Reuters) – The man who could become France’s first Socialist president in nearly two decades may have turned his campaign rhetoric against bankers and the rich, but in office his policies would be guided by advisers steeped in commerce and public service.

Francois Hollande met some of his most trusted counselors more than 30 years ago at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA), the civil service college that turns out industry leaders and top public officials.

Mar 26, 2012

Sarkozy to bar some imams from entering France

PARIS (Reuters) – President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday he would bar some Muslim preachers from entering France to participate in an Islamic conference next month as part of a crackdown after shootings by an al Qaeda-inspired gunman.

Sarkozy, who is campaigning for re-election, has also announced plans to punish people viewing Islamist websites and going abroad for indoctrination since the killings.