PARIS, March 13 (Reuters) – France’s Senate threatened on
Wednesday to reject plans by the government to slash the
country’s defence budget as part of cost-cutting measures,
saying it would leave the military at “breaking point.”
The Socialist government is battling to reduce state
spending by 60 billion euros ($78 billion) over President
Francois Hollande’s five-year term, and was forced last week to
order ministries to save an extra 5 billion in 2014 as its
deficit target receded.
PARIS (Reuters) – Reports of the defection of a general and personal friend of Bashar al-Assad will cheer the Syrian leader’s enemies at a meeting in Paris on Friday of the Western and Arab states that want to drive him from power.
A source in the exiled opposition said Manaf Tlas, a brigade commander in Assad’s Republican Guard, was en route to Paris where the “Friends of Syria” group of states opposed to Assad was due to meet. He has family there.
PARIS (Reuters) – France will propose making United Nations envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria obligatory by invoking the U.N.’s “Chapter 7″ provision, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Wednesday, describing the conflict there as a “civil war”.
Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter allows the Security Council to authorize actions ranging from sanctions to military intervention. But Russia and China have previously vetoed two strong Security Council resolutions against Syria.
PARIS, April 5 (Reuters) – France has urged the European
Commission to resolve a row over plans to make airlines using EU
airports pay for their carbon emissions – a move that has
angered the United States, India and China and stirred threats
of a trade war.
The EU must “make all the necessary efforts” to find a
solution acceptable to countries outside the region, French
Prime Minister Francois Fillon said in a letter to European
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso late last month.