Chief correspondent, West and Central Africa
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Jul 27, 2015

Britain, France see euro reform as possible ‘win-win’

PARIS (Reuters) – Britain and France agreed on Monday that efforts by euro zone nations to shore up the single currency after the Greek crisis could go hand-in-hand with wider reforms the UK needs to stay in the European Union.

Prime Minister David Cameron wants assurances that non-euro zone EU members such as Britain will not see their influence wane in the wider 28-country bloc as the euro zone integrates more, before he puts British membership of the EU to a landmark referendum by 2017.

Jul 22, 2015

On reform, Europe asks Greece to go where many fear to tread

PARIS/BERLIN (Reuters) – Greece’s new bail-out deal imposes a stiff dose of budget rigor and market deregulation which critics say few leaders of Western Europe’s biggest nations have dared serve their own voters.

“Francois Hollande is very good at telling others how to do their reforms,” opposition French conservative Xavier Bertrand said in a dig at France’s Socialist leader, a key broker in the Greek accord clinched on July 13 after all-night Brussels talks.

Jul 22, 2015

Insight – On reform, Europe asks Greece to go where many fear to tread

PARIS/BERLIN (Reuters) – Greece’s new bail-out deal imposes a stiff dose of budget rigour and market deregulation which critics say few leaders of Western Europe’s biggest nations have dared serve their own voters.

“Francois Hollande is very good at telling others how to do their reforms,” opposition French conservative Xavier Bertrand said in a dig at France’s Socialist leader, a key broker in the Greek accord clinched on July 13 after all-night Brussels talks.

Jul 16, 2015

French Socialist chief gives German ‘friend’ history lesson

PARIS (Reuters) – Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, head of France’s ruling Socialists and a close ally of President Francois Hollande, issued an open letter to the German people on Thursday urging them to re-think their place in Europe.

The letter, which starts “mein lieber Freund” (“my dear friend”), shows how ties between the two EU founding nations have been strained over Greece, on which Germany pushed against France to demand tough bail-out terms.

Jul 13, 2015

Insight – For France, mission accomplished as ‘Grexit’ averted

PARIS (Reuters) – As President Francois Hollande led Angela Merkel off for a working dinner at his Elysee Palace a week ago last Monday, his advisers breathed deep sighs of relief.

    Minutes earlier, the German chancellor had agreed to echo Hollande in telling reporters that the “door remains open” to a deal between Greece and its international creditors.

Jul 13, 2015

For France, mission accomplished as ‘Grexit’ averted

PARIS (Reuters) – As President Francois Hollande led Angela Merkel off for a working dinner at his Elysee Palace a week ago last Monday, his advisers breathed deep sighs of relief.

    Minutes earlier, the German chancellor had agreed to echo Hollande in telling reporters that the “door remains open” to a deal between Greece and its international creditors.

Jul 8, 2015

France says ‘No’ to Greek euro exit: PM Valls

PARIS (Reuters) – France will do all it can to keep Greece in the euro zone, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Wednesday, saying a “Grexit” could have major geopolitical consequences for Europe and damage the world economy.

His keynote speech to the French parliament on the Greek crisis was the strongest statement of intent from Paris so far that it will fight to avoid the departure of Greece from the single currency zone.

Jul 6, 2015

France tries to keep path open for Greece accord

PARIS, July 6 (Reuters) – France urged Greece on Monday to
come back to the negotiating table with new proposals, insisting
a cash-for-reform deal was possible even as the country’s
resounding ‘No’ vote prompted growing German calls for its exit
from the euro zone.

President Francois Hollande, who welcomes Germany’s Angela
Merkel for talks in Paris on Monday before a euro zone summit on
Tuesday, has sought in vain to bridge the gap between Greek
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and other European leaders.

Jul 3, 2015

UberPOP halts service in France after clampdown, protests

PARIS (Reuters) – Uber Technologies will suspend its UberPOP ride-hailing service in France, the U.S. company said on Friday, after it faced sometimes-violent protests and local authorities denounced it as an illegal taxi service.

After fierce protests last week by licensed French taxi drivers who argue it threatens their livelihood with unfair competition, France took two executives from California-based Uber into custody and said they will face trial in September.

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.

    • About Mark

      "Based in Dakar, I look after the Reuters file in West and Central Africa, except for Nigeria. Previously I covered politics and economics in Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt and London."
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