Chief correspondent, West and Central Africa
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Feb 28, 2013

Italy vote arms critics of Berlin’s austerity mantra

PARIS (Reuters) – Austerity opponents from Athens to Paris say Italy’s election stalemate is proof that Europe’s voters have had enough of the painful spending cuts that Germany and its northern allies prescribe for their less fortunate neighbors.

While the outcome will not persuade Germany to abandon its demands for budgetary rigor altogether, it makes it more likely debt-laden euro zone states will receive some leniency from Berlin, paymaster of the European Union, as long as they show real efforts on reform.

Feb 26, 2013

French finance minister: “Worrying” Italy vote shows Europe needs growth

PARIS (Reuters) – Italy’s inconclusive election shows Europe’s leaders must give voters across the region hope of stronger growth to offset painful austerity, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Tuesday.

France’s Socialist government, which last week acknowledged it will not hit its 2013 deficit-cutting target, has long insisted that efforts to rein in debt across the euro zone must be counter-balanced by measures to bolster its sickly economies.

Feb 26, 2013

French finmin: “Worrying” Italy vote shows Europe needs growth

PARIS, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Italy’s inconclusive election
shows Europe’s leaders must give voters across the region hope
of stronger growth to offset painful austerity, French Finance
Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Tuesday.

France’s Socialist government, which last week acknowledged
it will not hit its 2013 deficit-cutting target, has long
insisted that efforts to rein in debt across the euro zone must
be counter-balanced by measures to bolster its sickly economies.

Feb 15, 2013

French reprieve on deficit may be short-lived

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s admission that it will miss its 2013 public deficit target looks to have escaped punishment for now, with bond markets still granting it cheap borrowing and the European Union’s fiscal enforcers signalling leniency.

But the reprieve will be short-lived unless President Francois Hollande can quickly spell out how his government plans to keep a bigger promise to balance the budget by the end of his mandate in 2017 while the economy flirts with recession.

Feb 14, 2013

Analysis: French reprieve on deficit may be short-lived

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s admission that it will miss its 2013 public deficit target looks to have escaped punishment for now, with bond markets still granting it cheap borrowing and the European Union’s fiscal enforcers signaling leniency.

But the reprieve will be short-lived unless President Francois Hollande can quickly spell out how his government plans to keep a bigger promise to balance the budget by the end of his mandate in 2017 while the economy flirts with recession.

Feb 11, 2013

France runs into German wall on EU growth drive

PARIS (Reuters) – French efforts to divert Europe from economic austerity have foundered twice in a week due to German resistance, underlining a growing policy divide that is hobbling the core partnership.

Berlin rejected President Francois Hollande’s call on Tuesday to set a mid-term target for the euro, a move he hoped would bring the single currency down to a level that would make it easier for French industry to sell its goods abroad.

Feb 10, 2013

Analysis: France runs into German wall on EU growth drive

PARIS (Reuters) – French efforts to divert Europe from economic austerity have foundered twice in a week due to German resistance, underlining a growing policy divide that is hobbling the core partnership.

Berlin rejected President Francois Hollande’s call on Tuesday to set a mid-term target for the euro, a move he hoped would bring the single currency down to a level that would make it easier for French industry to sell its goods abroad.

Feb 8, 2013

Austerity reaches Brussels as EU tightens budget

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders neared agreement on the first ever cut in their common budget on Friday after almost 24 hours of talks, seeking to placate millions at home struggling through government cutbacks and recession.

The expected deal met the demands of northern European countries such as Britain and the Netherlands that wanted belt-tightening, while maintaining spending on farm subsidies and infrastructure to satisfy the likes of France and Poland.

Feb 5, 2013

France’s Hollande calls for stable euro policy

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande urged the euro zone on Tuesday to set a mid-term target for its currency’s exchange rate and to forge a jobs policy to fight voter disillusionment.

But Hollande’s call, in a keynote speech to the European Parliament, ran into immediate opposition from Berlin which opposes intervening on currency markets and says the bloc should instead focus on making its economies more competitive.

Jan 23, 2013

Selfish, ignorant, dangerous: Europe’s anger over Cameron speech

BERLIN/PARIS, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Britain’s European partners
heaped scorn on Prime Minister David Cameron’s demand for
radical reform of the EU and promise of an “in-out” referendum
on UK membership, calling it reckless and ignorant of EU
decision making.

“If Britain wants to leave Europe we will roll out the red
carpet for you,” quipped French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius,
a barbed riposte to Cameron who last year used the same phrase
to invite wealthy French tax exiles to Britain.

    • 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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