Chief correspondent, West and Central Africa
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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.

Jun 3, 2013

Analysis: 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.

May 30, 2013

Germans irked as Hollande says EU cannot dictate French reforms

PARIS/BERLIN (Reuters) – President Francois Hollande pledged on Thursday to carry out long overdue reforms of France’s pension system and labor markets but said it was up to Paris, not the European Commission, to determine how they are implemented.

At a joint news conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hollande defended his comment that the EU executive cannot “dictate” reforms to member states – a defiant, nationalist tone that angered Germany’s ruling conservatives.

May 30, 2013

Hollande reform defiance sparks German anger

PARIS/BERLIN (Reuters) – President Francois Hollande’s insistence that the EU executive can’t “dictate” reforms to France has outraged Angela Merkel’s conservatives, hours before the German leader was due in Paris for talks.

Unveiling reform recommendations for the 27-nation European Union on Wednesday, the European Commission urged Hollande to rein in public spending, revamp pensions and cut labor costs in return for a two-year reprieve on budget deficit cuts.

May 21, 2013

EU leaders look to end Apple-style tax avoidance schemes

BRUSSELS/PARIS, May 21 (Reuters) – Growing concern in
European capitals about aggressive tax avoidance by high-profile
corporations such as Amazon, Google and Apple looks set to steal
the agenda of a European Union summit in Brussels on Wednesday.

The summit was originally called to discuss energy policy
and tax coordination, but press reports in Britain, France and
the United States exposing how little tax major international
companies have been paying by carefully structuring their
European operations has forced the issue up the agenda.

May 16, 2013

France’s Hollande urges euro zone government

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande called on Thursday for an economic government for the euro zone with its own budget, the right to borrow, a harmonized tax system and a full-time president.

At a 150-minute news conference marking his first year in office, a day after economic data showed France had slipped into recession, the Socialist leader defended his record on economic reform and budget discipline and told the French people they would have to work “a bit longer” for a full pension in future.

May 14, 2013

France passes reform to ease hire-and-fire rules

PARIS (Reuters) – The French parliament passed a landmark reform of the country’s labor code on Tuesday, part of President Francois Hollande’s efforts to convince European partners he is determined to revamp the euro zone’s second largest economy.

Negotiated with employers and three trade unions in January, the law makes it easier for firms to make layoffs or reduce pay and working hours in economic downturns but raises the cost of employing staff on widely-used very short-term contracts.

    • 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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