Investment strategy correspondent, London
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Aug 28, 2015

French Socialists see reason to hope with Greens in turmoil

LA ROCHELLE, France (Reuters) – French Socialists welcomed a decision by two senior Green lawmakers to split away and create a new movement to support them, saying on Friday it would strengthen the Left’s hand in regional and presidential elections.

The extra support could be key for Socialist President Francois Hollande’s chances to get re-elected in 2017 as well as for regional elections in December.

Aug 14, 2015

French economy stagnates in Q2, misses expectations

PARIS, Aug 14 (Reuters) – The French economy came to an unexpected
standstill in the three months to June after a strong first quarter, as a jump
in exports was not strong enough to offset the impact of weak consumer spending
and changes in inventories.

Data published by the INSEE national statistics agency on Friday showed the
2-trillion euro economy was left unchanged at 0.0 percent in the three months to
June, missing a forecast of 0.2 percent growth.

Aug 7, 2015

Focus on Fed, euro zone’s economic health

PARIS (Reuters) – The search for clues to whether the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates in September for the first time in nearly a decade is set to intensify next week.

U.S. employment rose at a steady clip in July and wages rebounded after unexpectedly stalling in June, signs of an improving economy that could open the door wider to a rate hike soon. But Friday’s data did not cement expectations the Fed will act next month.

Aug 7, 2015

Global Economy Weekahead: Focus on Fed, euro zone’s economic health

PARIS (Reuters) – The search for clues to whether the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates in September for the first time in nearly a decade is set to intensify next week.

U.S. employment rose at a steady clip in July and wages rebounded after unexpectedly stalling in June, signs of an improving economy that could open the door wider to a rate hike soon. But Friday’s data did not cement expectations the Fed will act next month.

Aug 7, 2015

French aid worker hostage freed in Yemen

PARIS (Reuters) – A French woman abducted in Yemen in February has been freed, President Francois Hollande’s office said on Friday, adding that he would welcome her back to France later in the day.

Development worker Isabelle Prime and her translator Shereen Makawi were abducted by gunmen in the capital Sanaa on Feb. 24 while on their way to work. Yemeni tribal sources said in March Prime would be released, but only Makawi was freed at the time.

Jul 1, 2015

France wants Greek deal now, warns of euro zone break-up risk

PARIS (Reuters) – France wants the euro zone to push for a deal with Greece before Sunday’s referendum, President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday, in comments that differed sharply from those of German leaders.

While the divergence in their public statements reflected different domestic political contexts, they came amid rising tension after Athens announced a referendum for Sunday on bailout terms offered last week by European creditors, and defaulted on its debt to the IMF.

Jun 30, 2015

EU ‘shooting party’ targets message at Greece, risks backlash

BRUSSELS/PARIS (Reuters) – Euro zone governments are hammering home a series of coordinated messages to Greece in hopes of persuading voters to disavow Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and vote “yes” to a debt deal with creditors on Sunday, EU officials and diplomats say.

Yet in doing so, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande risk sparking a backlash against foreign interference in a country where conspiracy theories about the machinations of outside powers have a rich history.

Jun 29, 2015

France’s Hollande says ‘a few hours left’ for Greek deal

ATHENS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande made a last-ditch appeal on Monday to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to return to the negotiating table with creditors, saying only a few hours remained for a deal.

Athens shocked creditors by announcing on Saturday a July 5 referendum on the latest cash-for-reform proposal. It now has less than 48 hours to pay back 1.6 billion euros of IMF loans.

Jun 24, 2015

Nostalgia for drachma grows in Greece

ATHENS (Reuters) – In a traditional cafe in a working-class neighborhood of Athens, 55-year-old musician Stelios Maragakis said he has the solution to Greece’s debt crisis: ditch the euro.

“We must return to the drachma. The only way to save Greece is the drachma,” he said, sipping from a small glass of spirit, Greek music sounding in the background.

Jun 22, 2015

Athens tourists feel potholes, not cash worries

ATHENS (Reuters) – Tourists exploring the antique sites of Athens on Monday said they weren’t sufficiently worried about Greece’s debt crisis to stock up on extra money, despite warnings by some travel groups that bank dispensing machines could shut.

But the bumpy bus rides past near-daily street protests were a reminder that they were visiting a country in trouble.