Investment strategy correspondent, London
Ingrid's Feed
Apr 13, 2015

France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen steps back to ease family feud

PARIS (Reuters) – Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of France’s far-right National Front, said on Monday he would not seek its ticket to stand in regional polls, taking some of the sting out of a damaging public row with his daughter Marine, the party’s current leader.

But the 86-year-old former paratrooper told Le Figaro in an interview that he was disappointed by his daughter and would not quit politics, showing that the family feud that could emerge as a threat to the FN’s bid for power is not necessarily over.

Apr 8, 2015

French PM rules out motorway toll hikes in 2015

PARIS, April 8 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Manuel Valls said
on Wednesday a pact would be concluded soon to end a
long-running dispute with French motorway operators over the
future of their concession contracts and that it did not
envisage a toll hike this year.

Valls, who was announcing a wider package of measures aimed
at boosting corporate investment in the euro zone’s second
largest economy, said a long-held-up plan under which the
operators would invest 3.2 billion euros in upgrading the
motorway network could go ahead.

Apr 8, 2015

France announces plan to boost business investment

PARIS (Reuters) – Firms are to be given bigger tax rebates on investments as part of reforms announced on Wednesday to boost business activity and help the slow revival of France’s economy.

Flat business investment remains a drag on the improving outlook for the euro zone’s second-largest economy at a time when consumer spending and exports are picking up.

Mar 31, 2015

France’s National Front struggles to turn popularity into power

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s National Front scored its best ever local election result, but its hopes for power remain thwarted by widespread distaste for its anti-immigration policies and an election system that allows voters to block it from office.

The far-right FN won one in four votes in the first round of local elections on March 22, its highest score ever. In the second round last Sunday, it secured 62 councillors in 14 departmental assemblies, less than 2 percent of councillors nationwide but a big jump from the single councillor it had before.

Mar 29, 2015

Sarkozy wins French local elections; far right makes limited gains

PARIS (Reuters) – The far-right National Front made only limited gains in French local elections won by a wide margin on Sunday by ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservatives and their centrist allies.

Sarkozy’s UMP and its allies will take over two thirds of the 102 local “departements”, exit polls showed, up from 41 now, in a boost for the former president, whose recent comeback at the helm of the UMP is challenged within the party.

Mar 29, 2015

French local election runoff to test far-right strength

PARIS (Reuters) – French voters elect thousands of local councillors on Sunday in a test of the far-right National Front’s growing hold on grassroots politics.

While the FN came second in the first round of voting last week, in a setback to its claims that it has become the country’s first party, it did win one in four votes and is all but certain to see a big jump from its current two councilors.

Mar 27, 2015

French consumers more confident, PM upbeat on growth

PARIS (Reuters) – France will achieve solid growth faster than expected, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday, as data showed households more optimistic than they have been in four and a half years.

Speaking two days ahead of local elections where his unpopular Socialist party expects a severe defeat, Valls said improving economic data meant growth could be strong enough to bring unemployment down this year.

Mar 26, 2015

France cuts 2015 deficit target, eyes economic recovery

PARIS (Reuters) – France cut its budget deficit target for this year on Thursday and said economic growth could beat the government’s 1 percent forecast, after reporting a smaller-than-expected fiscal gap for 2014.

Finance Minister Michel Sapin said France, which has repeatedly missed its fiscal targets, is confident it will finally bring the deficit below an EU cap of 3 percent of GDP on schedule in 2017.

Mar 25, 2015

French business morale at 3-year high as economy shows signs of life

PARIS, March 25 (Reuters) – French business morale was at
its highest for nearly three years in March, adding to signs the
euro zone’s No. 2 economy is emerging from stagnation on the
back of lower oil prices and a weaker euro.

The composite indicator of morale rose to 96 from 94 in
February, its highest since April 2012, lifted by retail trade
and by an improvement in the services sector.

Mar 23, 2015

Sarkozy passes French poll test but has long way to go

PARIS (Reuters) – Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has put a faltering comeback back on track by steering his conservatives to victory over the far-right National Front in local elections, but major obstacles remain to his presidential ambitions.

Sunday’s results in the first round of voting mean his UMP party is well placed to make sweeping gains in the March 29 run-off for councillors in France’s “departements”, at the cost of President Francois Hollande’s Socialists.