Chief correspondent, West and Central Africa
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Oct 15, 2014

France tests EU rules with 2015 budget

PARIS (Reuters) – The European Union’s budget rules faced their biggest test in over a decade on Wednesday after France presented a draft 2015 budget breaking past commitments to rein its deficit back to within EU limits.

It was the second time in two years that President Francois Hollande’s government has failed to keep its budget promises and recalls the moment in 2003 when France and Germany both flouted the EU’s recently launched budget rule book – an event some say set the stage for the region’s debt crisis five years later.

Oct 13, 2014

Work on ‘taming’ firms wins Frenchman economics Nobel

STOCKHOLM/PARIS (Reuters) – French economist Jean Tirole won the 2014 Nobel Prize for economics for work that has shed light on how governments can “tame” the big businesses that dominate once public monopolies like railways, highways and telecommunications.

“This year’s prize in economic sciences is about taming powerful firms,” Staffan Normark, Permanent Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, told a news conference after awarding the 8 million Swedish crown ($1.1 million) prize.

Sep 30, 2014

France quietly counts its friends for EU deficit leniency

PARIS, Sept 30 (Reuters) – From Athens to Madrid and Dublin
to Rome, France can count on a sympathetic hearing in several
European capitals in its campaign for leniency over the latest
broken promise to bring its public finances into shape.

That will help it stand up to pressure from fiscal hawks in
Berlin and elsewhere who believe the time has finally come for
the euro zone’s second largest economy to taste some of the
bitter reform medicine swallowed by its southern neighbours.

Sep 26, 2014
via FaithWorld

French Muslims denounce “cowardly murder” of tour guide in Algeria


(Muslims, holding French and Algerian flags, attend a gathering in front of the Paris Mosque after Friday prayers September 26, 2014 to pay tribute to Herve Gourdel, a French mountain guide who was beheaded by an Algerian Islamist group. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen)

Thousands of Muslims gathered across France on Friday to denounce the beheading of tourist Herve Gourdel by militants in Algeria who said their act was a response to French strikes against Islamic State fighters.

Sep 21, 2014

French and German visions for Europe to clash in Berlin

BERLIN/PARIS, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Germany and France will
try to reconcile divergent visions of how to fix Europe’s
economy on Monday when Manuel Valls makes his first visit to
Berlin as French prime minister and holds talks with Angela

The trip comes at a watershed moment, with the region
struggling to shake off the aftermath of a prolonged financial
crisis that has left its citizens poorer, increasingly jobless
and turning to extremist politicians for answers.

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.

    • 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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