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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.

Mar 26, 2012

French jobless total hits highest since Oct 1999

PARIS, March 26 (Reuters) – The number of jobless people in
France rose for a 10th consecutive month in February to reach
its highest level since October 1999, casting a pall over
President Nicolas Sarkozy’s re-election prospects.

Figures released on Monday by the Labour Ministry showed
that the number of registered job seekers in mainland France
rose by 6,200 in February to 2.868 million, up 0.2 percent month
on month and 6.2 percent on the year.

Mar 26, 2012

Sarkozy to bar radical imams from entering France

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

Sarkozy, who has announced plans to punish those viewing Islamist Web sites and going abroad for indoctrination, said he would block the entry of some imams invited to a congress organized by the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF).

Mar 22, 2012

French intelligence queried over al Qaeda shooter

PARIS (Reuters) – France questioned on Thursday whether its intelligence service had blundered by allowing a young Muslim with a violent criminal record, spotted twice in Afghanistan, to become the first al Qaeda-inspired killer to strike on its soil.

Hardened by battling Islamic militants from its former North African colony of Algeria, France’s security services have long been regarded as among the most effective in Europe, having prevented terror attacks on French soil for the last 15 years.

Mar 21, 2012

French police launch assault on besieged gunman

TOULOUSE, France, March 21 (Reuters) – French police
launched an assault late on Wednesday on an apartment where a
gunman suspected of killing seven people in the name of al Qaeda
was holed up, officials said.

Three loud blasts were heard at the site in the southwest
city of Toulouse just before midnight, which blew open the door
of the apartment where the gunman had been holed up since 3 a.m.
(0200 GMT), a police source said.

Mar 21, 2012

French police seek to wear down besieged gunman

TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) – French police played a waiting game on Wednesday night with a besieged gunman suspected of shooting dead seven people in the name al Qaeda, seeking to capture alive a militant who had boasted of bringing France to its knees.

The 24-year-old Muslim shooter, identified as Mohamed Merah, has been bottled up by France’s elite RAID commandos since 3 a.m. (10.00 p.m. EDT) inside a five-storey building in a suburb of the southwest city of Toulouse – a drama that has gripped France a few weeks ahead of a close-fought presidential election.

Mar 17, 2012

French Socialist seeks Tobin tax, eurobonds for growth

PARIS, March 17 (Reuters) – France’s Socialist
presidential frontrunner said on Saturday he would overhaul an
EU budgetary treaty to include a financial transactions tax and
common European bonds to finance investment in the energy
sector, education and urban development.

Francois Hollande, who has made renegotiation of the fiscal
pact signed this month by 25 European leaders a central part of
his campaign, also said he wanted to change the role of the
European Central Bank to give it a broader mandate for
stimulating growth, not just controlling inflation.