Chief correspondent, West and Central Africa
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May 13, 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”.

May 12, 2014

France’s Le Pen: Eurosceptics to block EU-U.S. trade pact

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Marine Le Pen sees her far right National Front joining force with other Eurosceptic parties in the next European Parliament to block a major transatlantic trade pact billed by supporters as vital for global growth and jobs.

In an interview with Reuters less than two weeks before the May 25 European Parliament election, Le Pen forecast that anti-EU parties would together win enough seats to form a political group in the legislature, gaining access to increased EU funding and a greater say in the assembly’s running.

May 9, 2014

Hollande warns “disappointing” EU at risk of unravelling

PARIS, May 9 (Reuters) – President Francois Hollande on
Friday urged French voters in this month’s European Parliament
elections to reject Eurosceptic parties, warning that they
wanted to reverse decades of European integration.

In a column in Le Monde daily, he condemned protectionist,
anti-euro policies of the far-right National Front of Marine Le
Pen, which polls show emerging as France’s largest party in the
May 25 election amid widespread voter apathy.

Apr 9, 2014

France’s odd couple push Europe to re-think growth

PARIS (Reuters) – One is a balding, bespectacled safe-pair-of-hands known for his negotiating skills; the other a firebrand orator of the French left who made his name riling big business, Brussels and Berlin.

Step forward Finance Minister Michel Sapin and Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg, the odd couple now running the euro zone’s second largest economy since last week’s reshuffle. Their first joint task will be to explain why France again risks breaking promises to Europe to get its public finances in shape.

Apr 3, 2014

New French government to seek more leeway on deficit deadlines

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s reshuffled government lost no time on Thursday in indicating that it will seek to renegotiate its deficit-reduction deadline with the European Commission, setting it on a collision course with its EU partners.

New Finance Minister Michel Sapin hinted that Paris hoped to secure greater understanding in Brussels for its efforts to win a further delay in its budget target by parachuting his predecessor, Pierre Moscovici, into a key EU economic post.

Apr 3, 2014

New French government seeks leeway on deficit deadlines

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s reshuffled government lost no time on Thursday in announcing it would seek to renegotiate its budget deficit reduction deadline with the European Commission, setting it on a collision course with EU partners.

New Finance Minister Michel Sapin hinted that Paris hoped to secure more understanding in Brussels for its efforts to win a further delay in its budget target by parachuting his predecessor, Pierre Moscovici, into a key EU economic post.

Apr 2, 2014

Anti-austerity leftist promoted in French cabinet reshuffle

PARIS, April 2 (Reuters) – A fierce critic of budget
austerity was named French economy minister on Wednesday in a
reshuffled government packed with strident personalities,
including President Francois Hollande’s former live-in partner
Segolene Royal.

Hollande has charged the new cabinet with halting France’s
economic decline after 22 months in power during which his
popularity has collapsed to record lows, leading to the
trouncing of his Socialists in weekend local elections at the
hands of conservatives and the far-right.

Mar 31, 2014

Hollande names new PM, pledges tax cuts after poll rout

PARIS (Reuters) – President Francois Hollande named centrist Interior Minister Manuel Valls as his new prime minister on Monday, replacing Jean-Marc Ayrault who quit after ruling Socialists were trounced in local French elections.

Hollande vowed to pursue cuts in labour charges for business but also promised tax cuts to boost consumer spending, insisting that EU partners take his reform efforts into account in judging whether France had respected commitments to Brussels.

Mar 31, 2014

France’s Hollande names new PM, pledges tax cuts after poll rout

PARIS (Reuters) – President Francois Hollande named centrist Interior Minister Manuel Valls as his new prime minister on Monday, replacing Jean-Marc Ayrault who quit after ruling Socialists were trounced in local French elections.

Hollande vowed to pursue cuts in labour charges for business but also promised tax cuts to boost consumer spending, insisting that EU partners take his reform efforts into account in judging whether France had respected commitments to Brussels.

Mar 31, 2014

France’s Hollande names new centrist PM after poll rout: source

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande chose centrist Interior Minister Manuel Valls as his new prime minister on Monday, a coalition source said, replacing Jean-Marc Ayrault who quit after the ruling Socialists were trounced in local elections.

The 51-year-old Valls has been compared with “New Labour” former British premier Tony Blair both for his pro-business ideas and his dashing style. He is a bogeyman to the Socialist left, having proposed changing the party’s name and criticised the flagship 35-hour work week it pioneered over a decade ago.

    • 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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