Chief correspondent, West and Central Africa
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Sep 19, 2014

Sarkozy returns to politics, offers France new start

PARIS (Reuters) – Nicolas Sarkozy announced his political comeback on Friday, saying he would seek the leadership of France’s main rightist party, opening the way for a possible return to the Elysee Palace in 2017 elections.

The former French president ended months of speculation about his future with a message on Facebook, saying he was ready to take charge of the conservative, opposition UMP party, which has been riven by rivalry since he was ousted from power.

Sep 14, 2014

Hardest yet to come for France’s Hollande

PARIS (Reuters) – A bitter public attack by a jilted ex-partner, a cabinet melt-down and the admission of broken economic promises have meant an uncomfortable three weeks for Francois Hollande.

But the hardest is yet to come for the French president, who this week embarks on a struggle to convince Socialist allies, the French people and his European Union partners that he is still fit to run the euro zone’s second largest economy.

Aug 26, 2014

Ex-banker replaces rebel minister in French cabinet shake-up

PARIS, Aug 26 (Reuters) – President Francois Hollande
replaced his maverick leftist economy minister with a former
Rothschild partner on Tuesday in a reshuffle intended to
reconcile his efforts to revive the stagnant French economy with
deficit-cutting orthodoxy.

The shake-up is the latest episode in the wrangling across
Europe about how much budgetary rigour the region’s economies
can bear as they recover from financial crises. For Hollande,
who is revamping his government for a second time in two years,
it could be his last chance to make a success of his presidency.

Aug 26, 2014

France fine-tunes pro-reform cabinet after rebel ministers ousted

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande fine-tuned his third government team in two years on Tuesday, seeking to reconcile pro-growth measures with deficit-reduction after ousting rebel ministers opposed to budgetary rigor.

He and Prime Minister Manuel Valls were due later to unveil a new cabinet which will make its debut just a few weeks ahead of tough negotiations at home and with EU peers on a 2015 budget widely seen breaking promises to Brussels over deficit cuts.

Aug 25, 2014

More weak German data as French government implodes on euro zone policy split

BERLIN/PARIS, Aug 25 (Reuters) – The euro zone’s flat-lining
economy took another hit on Monday when data showed German
business sentiment sagging for the fourth month running, while a
row over the lack of growth led the French government to resign.

Politicians and policymakers, meanwhile, were digesting
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s about-face on
Friday, in which he called in a landmark speech for governments
to use fiscal stimulus to revive the euro zone economy.

Jun 23, 2014

Insight – French politics trump business over Alstom

PARIS (Reuters) – There was dual cause for back-slapping in President Francois Hollande’s Elysee Palace late on Friday night.

France had thrashed Switzerland in the soccer World Cup, so largely assuring its place in the next round. And the government had just imposed its will to end a two-month fight for control over ailing French engineering group Alstom.

Jun 22, 2014

French politics trump business over Alstom

PARIS, June 22 (Reuters) – There was dual cause for
back-slapping in President Francois Hollande’s Elysee Palace
late on Friday night.

France had thrashed Switzerland in the soccer World Cup, so
largely assuring its place in the next round. And the government
had just imposed its will to end a two-month fight for control
over ailing French engineering group Alstom.

Jun 21, 2014

European left-wingers back Juncker for EU Commission

PARIS (Reuters) – Left-wing European leaders agreed on Saturday to back Luxembourg conservative Jean-Claude Juncker for the post of European Commission president, saying they would seek other top EU jobs for their party allies in return.

Among those posts was the European Parliament presidency, whose incumbent Martin Schulz, a German Social Democrat, won their backing to seek a new term at the head of the EU assembly.

Jun 20, 2014

Siemens-Mitsubishi raises Alstom offer as end-game nears

PARIS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) raised their offer for Alstom’s energy arm on Friday, challenging a revamped bid by General Electric as the deadline for a decision nears.

President Francois Hollande’s government, which has said it will veto any deal that does not protect French jobs and control over strategic activities, has yet to pronounce on either deal ahead of a decisive Alstom board meeting set for Monday at the latest.

May 29, 2014

Book Talk: Game-changer or Marx revisited? A new tale of capital

PARIS (Reuters) – “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by French economist Thomas Piketty has attracted praise and invective alike on its way to the top of the Amazon.com books best-seller list.

New York Times’ columnist Paul Krugman called its findings on wealth dating back to the 18th Century a game-changer that demolishes the myth that “great wealth is earned and deserved”.

    • 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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