Chief correspondent, West and Central Africa
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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.

Mar 31, 2014

French reshuffle may loom after Hollande’s Socialists suffer local poll rout

PARIS (Reuters) – President Francois Hollande was due to take soundings on a possible cabinet reshuffle on Monday after a drubbing for his Socialists in local elections handed the far-right National Front victory in a record number of towns.

Provisional results from Sunday’s voting showed the protectionist, anti-EU party of Marine Le Pen set to take control of 11 towns across the country, easily surpassing a past record in the 1990s when it ruled in four towns.

Mar 30, 2014

French reshuffle may loom after Hollande’s Socialists routed in local elections

PARIS (Reuters) – President Francois Hollande will take soundings on a possible cabinet reshuffle on Monday after the drubbing of his Socialists in local elections handed the far-right National Front victory in a record number of towns.

Provisional results from Sunday’s voting showed the protectionist, anti-EU party of Marine Le Pen set to take control of 11 towns across the country, easily surpassing a past record in the 1990s when it ruled in four towns.

Mar 24, 2014

Hollande to pursue reforms despite French local vote thump

PARIS (Reuters) – President Francois Hollande’s government will stick to planned economic reforms and spending cuts despite being punished in local elections where the anti-immigrant National Front (FN) made gains, the French finance minister said on Monday.

In what leader Marine Le Pen called a breakthrough for her protectionist anti-EU party, the FN won power in the northern former coal-mining town Henin-Beaumont in a first-round vote on Sunday, and leads in a dozen towns before next week’s run-offs.

Mar 24, 2014

France’s National Front sees town halls in its grasp

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s anti-immigrant National Front (FN) has surged to power in one former Socialist town-hall bastion and expects more victories in local elections where voters punished President Francois Hollande for failing to tackle unemployment.

In what leader Marine Le Pen called a breakthrough for her protectionist anti-EU party, the FN won power in the northern former coal-mining town Henin-Beaumont in a first-round vote on Sunday, and leads in at least six other towns before run-offs scheduled for next week.

Mar 20, 2014

Losses for Hollande, far right gains expected in French town-hall vote

PARIS/MARSEILLE (Reuters) – President Francois Hollande’s Socialists fear heavy mid-term losses that could jeopardize reforms and the far-right National Front is seen making major gains when voters elect mayors in towns and villages across France from Sunday.

Mayors loom large in French social and political life and the two-round elections are often decided on personality or local issues.

Mar 16, 2014

Swords of Damocles threaten French comeback for Sarkozy

PARIS (Reuters) – “‘Affaires’? They’re picking up again,” joked President Francois Hollande to reporters last week in a pun on the French word for both business activities and political scandals.

Well might he smile. For the legacy of a turbulent past few weeks of intrigue may be to harm any hopes ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy has of avenging his 2012 defeat by Hollande in the next presidential election.

    • 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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