Chief correspondent, West and Central Africa
Mark's Feed
Jun 19, 2013

Analysis: French EU-wariness complicates life for Hollande

PARIS (Reuters) – A feeling in France that the European Union no longer works in its interest is fueling tensions between Paris and Brussels and adding pressure on President Francois Hollande to be more assertive in Europe.

Successive Europe-wide polls show that disenchantment with the EU is rising fastest in France, a founder member whose battle to reform its ailing economy has now become the top preoccupation of the 27-nation bloc.

Jun 16, 2013

French Socialists call for weaker euro, eased EU budget rules

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s ruling Socialists called on Sunday for a weaker euro and changes to EU rules on budget deficits, accusing the centerright governments of Britain and Germany of creating economic hardship across the European Union.

At a conference on Europe, Francois Hollande’s party adopted a policy paper that toned down earlier attacks on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, providing some relief to the French president as he seeks to ease tensions with Berlin.

Jun 12, 2013

France threatens to block start of EU-U.S. trade talks

PARIS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France threatened on Wednesday to block the start of free trade talks between the European Union and the United States if movies and digital media are not kept out the negotiations.

Two days before EU countries are supposed to give the go-ahead for negotiations, France said it would veto the talks unless the sector – that it sees as crucial to its cultural identity and under threat from Hollywood – is excluded.

Jun 12, 2013

France digs in on culture before EU meeting on U.S. trade talks

PARIS/BRUSSELS, June 12 (Reuters) – France is “extremely
determined” to keep movies and digital media out of free trade
talks between the EU and the United States, a government
minister said on Wednesday, a stance that could block the start
of negotiations.

Two days before EU countries are supposed to give the
go-ahead for negotiations, the EU is struggling to find a
compromise that satisfies France’s “cultural” concerns without
exempting the audiovisual sector from the wide-reaching talks.

Jun 11, 2013

Special Report: French homeless seek refuge in offices

PARIS (Reuters) – The occupiers staked their claim to the building with pizza.

When the first of 16 families entered a vacant four-storey office block in Paris one night last December, they placed repeated food orders so the neighbors could see from the comings-and-goings of delivery men that the address was occupied. Under French law, witness accounts of residency make eviction harder.

Jun 11, 2013

Anti-squatting: protection for vacant offices

PARIS (Reuters) – The four men occupying the disused food wholesale facility in northern Paris are not just tenants – they’re guards.

Engineer Simon Lavalette and three others – a journalist, an ex-fireman and a construction worker – live in the building, which sits in a row of empty premises waiting for business tenants on the banks of the Seine.

Jun 11, 2013

French homeless seek refuge in offices

PARIS (Reuters) – The occupiers staked their claim to the building with pizza.

When the first of 16 families entered a vacant four-storey office block in Paris one night last December, they placed repeated food orders so the neighbours could see from the comings-and-goings of delivery men that the address was occupied. Under French law, witness accounts of residency make eviction harder.

Jun 5, 2013

French will accept pain for reform gain -survey

PARIS, June 5 (Reuters) – Nearly three-quarters of French
want President Francois Hollande to push further ahead with
economic reforms and are ready to make personal sacrifices as
long the pain is fairly distributed, a survey by pollster BVA
found on Wednesday.

No fewer than 67 percent agreed with the statement “if we
carry on like this, we are headed for catastrophe”, according to
results of the telephone and Internet survey of nearly 1,000
people conducted between May 29-30.

Jun 5, 2013

Majority of French want more reform: survey

PARIS (Reuters) – Nearly three-quarters of French want President Francois Hollande to push further ahead with economic reforms and are ready to make personal sacrifices as long the pain is fairly distributed, a survey by pollster BVA found on Wednesday.

No fewer than 67 percent agreed with the statement “if we carry on like this, we are headed for catastrophe”, according to results of the telephone and Internet survey of nearly 1,000 people conducted between May 29-30.

Jun 4, 2013

Franco-German EU deal puts onus on Hollande to reform

PARIS (Reuters) – A Franco-German deal to strengthen the euro zone has ended months of bickering between Paris and Berlin and raised the onus on French President Francois Hollande to embark on potentially explosive social and economic reforms.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe’s most powerful politician, made a string of symbolic concessions to France in joint proposals for closer economic policy coordination outlined last week, in return for a clear commitment to reform.

    • 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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