Investment strategy correspondent, London
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Aug 27, 2014

French PM, on charm offensive with business, says to speed up reforms

JOUY-EN-JOSAS, France, Aug 27 (Reuters) – French Prime
Minister Manuel Valls launched a charm offensive on the
corporate world on Wednesday, promising to speed reforms aimed
at freeing up the economy and to make tens of billions of euros
in tax cuts.

Valls declared that he “loves business” in what was the most
pro-entrepreneur speech yet from the Socialist government of
President Francois Hollande – who in his election campaign
described finance as his enemy. The head of France’s employers’
group said the comments could mark a new era.

Aug 27, 2014

EU Commission says France must urgently speed up reforms

PARIS (Reuters) – The European Commission said France’s new government must urgently speed up its reform plan, aimed at helping the economy by cutting business taxes at the same time as trimming public spending to bring the deficit to within EU limits.

The call showed that the EU was keeping up the pressure on President Francois Hollande after a government crisis this week provoked by three ministers who challenged his increasingly pro-business line and rejected budgetary rigor.

Aug 26, 2014

Hollande entrusts French economy to ex-banker Macron

PARIS (Reuters) – By making ex-banker Emmanuel Macron his new Economy Minister, French President Francois Hollande will be hoping to boost his pro-reform agenda and end two years of infighting on his economics team.

Macron, 36, Hollande’s top economic adviser until a few weeks ago, has the business community’s ear, although his appointment will not ease the cabinet’s relations with rebel lawmakers who want an economic policy U-turn.

Aug 26, 2014

French firebrand Montebourg joins jobless queue – for now

PARIS, Aug 26 (Reuters) – As France’s firebrand economy
minister, Arnaud Montebourg loved setting off political bombs.
But this time, one may have exploded on him earlier than he
expected.

The self-styled economic protectionist had made little
secret of his intention to leave Francois Hollande’s government
at some point before the 2017 election – possibly to try and
secure the Socialist Party ticket to run as president himself.

Aug 26, 2014

France to unveil pro-reform cabinet after rebel ministers ousted

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s prime minister will scramble to put together a new pro-reform government on Tuesday, a day after the surprise eviction of rebel ministers who had opposed budgetary rigour.

Manuel Valls will seek as wide a basis as possible for his second cabinet in five months ahead of tough negotiations at home and with EU peers on France’s 2015 budget and he is expected to try to poach politicians from other parties. An announcement is expected by late afternoon.

Aug 26, 2014

French PM to unveil pro-reform cabinet after rebel ministers’ eviction

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s prime minister will scramble to put together a new pro-reform government on Tuesday, a day after the surprise eviction of rebel ministers who had opposed budgetary rigor.

Manuel Valls will seek as wide a basis as possible for his second cabinet in five months ahead of tough negotiations at home and with EU peers on France’s 2015 budget and he is expected to try to poach politicians from other parties.

Aug 25, 2014

France’s Hollande ejects rebel minister Montebourg from cabinet

PARIS, Aug 25 (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande
on Monday called for a cabinet reshuffle, evicting from his
government rebel leftist ministers who had argued for an
economic policy U-turn away from budgetary rigour.

The surprise move – which risks triggering a confrontation
between the new government and the hard left – came a day after
outspoken Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg attacked euro zone
powerhouse Germany for ruining the region’s economy with what he
called an “obsession” with the policies of economic austerity.

Aug 20, 2014

France’s Hollande says to speed up reforms, ease tax on poorest

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday he would accelerate reforms while at the same time giving tax breaks to poorer households as he tries to win back confidence from voters who do not trust he can lift the country out of stagnation.

The most unpopular French president in modern history has come under growing fire from both the opposition and some ruling Socialist party lawmakers over his economic policy after his government abandoned growth and fiscal targets last week.

Aug 14, 2014

Stagnating France to miss deficit target, urges EU leniency

PARIS (Reuters) – France slashed its growth forecasts for both 2014 and 2015 on Thursday and said it would miss its public deficit target this year after data showed the economy delivered no growth at all for the second quarter in a row.

Setting the stage for tricky negotiations with EU partners on public finances, Finance Minister Michel Sapin wrote in French daily Le Monde that the EU must adapt its deficit rules in light of the bloc’s weaker-than-expected economy.

Aug 14, 2014

German slump, stagnant France paint dismal eurozone picture

BERLIN/PARIS, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Germany’s economy shrank in
the second quarter and France again managed to conjure up no
growth, data showed on Thursday, snuffing out any signs of a
recovery in the euro zone which is now weighed down by
tit-for-tat sanctions with Russia.

Europe’s largest economy contracted by 0.2 percent on the
quarter, undercutting Bundesbank forecasts that it would
stagnate, with foreign trade and investment notable weak spots,
the Statistics Office said.