Former French Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac, who left his Socialist government post earlier this year amid allegations of a secret Swiss bank account, now faces a formal investigation for allegedly laundering the proceeds of tax evasion
The European Union has voiced concern about low fertility as a major demographic challenge. If it stays at these low levels, the population quickly moves from growth to decline, which is already happening in Germany, despite immigration
A Right and Proper Death of the Euro When the proposal was initially made for a common European currency, it seemed to be a good idea. Although inexpert in economics, it struck me as an effect of a false analogy with the United States that was common in Europe at that time
While Europe as a whole is suffering from the economic crisis, the Muslim population has been hit particularly hard. This, in addition to the frequent discrimination against Muslims, leaves many Muslims feeling alienated, disenfranchised and resentful
The global financial crisis has slowly yielded to a global unemployment crisis. This unemployment crisis will give way to a political crisis. The crisis involves all three of the major pillars of the global system -- Europe, China and the United States
It would indeed be nice if there were no wars anywhere on Earth. It would also be great to own five BMWs and three private islands. Both are equally unlikely scenarios, yet only the first is accepted as plausible by the perpetually deluded
Military interventions by powerful nations into lesser ones, such as now continues in Mali (and Afghanistan), and is being urged by many into the Syrian civil war, are inherently reckless since even the most powerful states can have the whole project blow up on them
France on confirmed the second case of new SARS-like virus in the country, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to urge people to stay calm and not rush to hospitals amid fear as it could prevent treatment to those who actually needs them.
"We need the health system to be able to take care of those (infected) patients and people who legitimately have this disease... We do not want to overburden the health system," WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told AFP.
"There have only been less than a handful of cases in France so far... The chances are very small that anyone in France has this disease," Hartl said.
The virus is medically known as nCoV-EMC or coronavirus, which scientists believe is similar to the virus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The deadly disease had killed more than 800 people in the Far East nearly a decade ago.
The WHO has issued no travel warning in the wake of the virus. "We have not seen general transmission in the community, again we have only seen transmission among very, very close contacts," he said. "So from that point of view the risk is very small and there is no reason yet to make any changes to our recommendations," he added.
Since September 2012, some 34 cases have been reported across the world, including Germany, Britain, France and Jordan. However, Saudi Arabia topped the toll with maximum 18 casualties.
With the aim to restore public confidence after a tax fraud scandal, the Socialist government of President Francois Hollande ordered ministers to disclose their assets for the first time in the history of their country.
The government will publish assets of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault along with 37 ministers on its official website.
Although ministers believe the move is risky, the government still believes that it may help revive the image that is ruined after the scandal over ex-budget minister Jerome Cahuzac's secret Swiss bank account.
The move has vehemently been opposed by right and left politicians. Hence, the government is likely to face a tough time when it will table a disclosure asset bill on April 24.
Right-wing UMP's parliamentarian and former Prime Minister Francois Fillon on Sunday criticized the government's measure and described it as "useless" and one that would "discredit politicians".
"This would have in no way prevented the Cahuzac scandal," Fillon said.
In U.S., politicians do not hesitate in publishing details of their tax returns. However, France has never discussed the parliamentarians' personal finances in public.
The Louvre, the most visited museum in the world, re-opened its doors to the public after shutting down the day before when members of its staff performed a strike to protest against rampant pickpocket incidents.
The museum announced the shutdown via its official Twitter account on Wednesday saying, "The Louvre will be closed tonight due to movement of personnel against pickpockets."
Christelle Guyader, SUD spokesperson, told the AFP that the mass walk out was carried out because pickpockets have gone out of control, with the employees repeatedly suffering "spitting, insults, threats and being struck."
"Sometimes they come to work afraid because they find themselves confronted with organized groups of pickpockets who are increasingly aggressive and which include children, who get into the museum free and even when taken in for questioning by police, come back a few days later," Guyader said.
Pickpocket gangs usually operate using several children who get into the museum for free. Aside from employees, the thieves also victimize tourists and visitors.
Later after the walk out, around 100 employees gathered in front of the Ministry of Culture to seek resolution. Management agreed to impose stricter security measures and boost police presence in and around the area.
With around 1,000 staff, the Louvre museum, which exhibits some of the world's most prized artworks including Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, attracts over 8 million visitors a year.
France's wealthiest businessman and art collector Bernard Arnault, who heads the luxury group LVMH, announced that he has dropped his application for Belgian citizenship.
The decision followed after a huge furore in his country over his citizenship bid, which many suspect it as an attempt to run away from paying up to 75% tax on incomes of more than $1.3 million under the government latest tax reform plans last year.
However, the tax plan was declared unconstitutional after Actor Gerard Depardieu decided to leave France to avoid the proposed tax rate.
However, Arnault had always said that his citizenship bid has nothing to do with government's latest tax plans. "I explained several times that I would remain a resident in France and that I would continue to pay my taxes there. In vain - the message did not get through. Today, I have decided to clear any ambiguity. I am withdrawing my demand for Belgian citizenship," he told Le Monde newspaper.
Both left and far-right political parties criticized Arnault's citizenship plans, which came into light last September.
"In France, no matter if the government is left or right-wing, they (entrepreneurs) are not thought highly of. We are like footballers, not CEOs. Mr Tata (founder of Tata Group) is a star in India, like Warren Buffett in the United States. In Germany, the UK or in the US, they condemn poverty to better fight it, while in France we condemn wealth," he concluded.
According to Forbes, Arnault is the 10th-richest person in the world with at least $29 billion income.
Socialist French President Francois Hollande is in the pilot's seat in the world's latest military incursion. We're not used to seeing the French lead the way into battle, but it's becoming increasingly frequent
After mounting a military operation to help Mali crush Islamist extremists, some observers say the Mali intervention symbolizes a changed French relationship with Africa -- and the presidency of French leader Francois Hollande
One longs for the heyday of ancient Timbuktu. Unfortunately, the broad region of West Africa that includes present-day Mali has had its share of geopolitical turmoil since at least the eighth century
France has a double crisis. Its ruling political party, Francois Hollande's Socialist, is in a state of catatonia, usually defined as a condition of incoherence with alternate periods of stupor and activity
The euro crisis is now threatening to turn the European Union into something fundamentally different. The member countries are divided into two classes -- creditors and debtors -- with the creditors in charge
The European Union is at risk of being destroyed by the euro. The credit crisis has created divisions in Europe which are undermining what was supposed to be mutual confidence and solidarity
Elections in Greece and France may be further dividing the Continent
Nice is much more than the beach and the sea. With its fine palette of museums, good food, and ramble-worthy old town, Nice is the enjoyable big-city highlight of any French Riviera visit
If the eurozone splinters, it will have been an avoidable disaster. The choice lies with Germany, which can save the monetary union if it allows for policies aimed at debt relief and growth, not just slashing deficits
Throughout the Euro crisis, the Euro elite has suffered from the same inability to imagine failure that led to August 1914. Even days before the outbreak of war, it was thought impossible because the consequences would end the system
Wayne Rooney played hero for England, scoring the game-winning goal to defeat co-host Ukraine, 1-0, in Group D. France lost to Sweden, 2-0, but still advanced to the final eight
England and France battled to a 1-1 tie to start their campaign in the European Championship 2012 Group D
New political leaders do not invent new national strategies. Rather, they adapt enduring national strategies to the moment. And for France, the underlying issue remains constant: France's struggle for a dominant role in Europe at a time of German ascendance
Travelers to France find a rich and constantly changing palette of cultural and historic sights. Here's a review of what's new or different in la belle France for 2013
Soccer superstar David Beckham inked a five-month deal with Paris St-Germain with his compensation going to charity. Beckham was most recently a member of the MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy
Like ghosts from the past, we see political violence, xenophobia, migrants being scapegoated and extreme nationalism creeping into our public debates -- even into our parliaments. This is a Europe diverging from its founding principles
French public reaction to American CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus' suicide-bombing of his own career demonstrates a lack of understanding of the perceived offense in favor of a blind defense of libertinism
Alsace is France with a German accent. Its unique mix of cultures offers enchanting cobbled villages, scenic vineyards, gourmet cuisine and art that is as vibrant as the medieval day it was painted
France booked a place in the quarterfinal round of Olympic women's basketball after beating Canada, 64-60, for its third win in as many games
Nearly every step towards total union has revealed still more of the inherent factors of disunity in Europe and has dramatized how distant 'Europe' has become from the simple and lucid ambitions of its origins
The best France can hope for now is that the newly elected Francois Hollande takes a plunge into a pothole of pragmatism and douses any budding socialist ideas
The defeat of French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the French elections provides a clear lesson
The elections in France and Greece seem widely to have been taken, at least on the European and American left, as a solution to the great European economic crisis
All over Europe, the gospel is that tight-fisted Germans are at the root of the European Union meltdown: They worked too hard, saved too much, bought too little and borrowed not at all
You can learn a lot about Europe's current economic crises by just ignoring the sophisticated barrage of news analysis and instead watching, listening, and talking to people
A French-Lebanese businessman claims that former French president Nicolas Sarkozy received more than $65 million in campaign donations from former Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi in 2006
French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which has long faced Muslim ire over publishing holy Prophet Mohammed's cartoons in the past, disclosed its plans to release an educational comic book biography
The people of France have spoken on the subject of the U.S. presidential election. Naturally, you couldn't care less about what anyone else (let alone the French) thinks about you or your electoral choices, right?
Sunny, out-of-the-way Languedoc is an intoxicating part of the world. Stretching from the Mediterranean to the Pyrenees in southwest France, it shares a balmy climate, winter wind, grapevines, and the sea with Provence
Substitute forward Olivier Giroud buried a goal in extra time to carry France to a 1-1 draw over defending champion Spain in a qualifying match for the 2014 World Cup
The Nobel Committee recently awarded its prestigious top prize to 500 million people who have, for the last 65 years, made a conscious decision to live together in peace and harmony: the European Union
Seventeen economically disparate nations bound their fortunes together in creating the euro zone, and it is exactly this that has thrown the European project into crisis
Voters in France and Greece proved that they're willing to cycle through governments over and over until someone fixes their predicament. They want Santa Claus, as if they were 5 years old again
Economists continue inveighing against austerity strategies. But none of them seem capable of explaining in plain, simple language why imposing austerity now is utterly foolhardy -- in fact, just plain stupid
It's time Europe stopped viewing immigrants as a threat to society
Socialist Francois Hollande edged ahead of incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in a runoff election Sunday to claim the French presidency
French President Nicholas Sarkozy is alleged to have maintained backdoor ties to the Libyan government from 2005 to 2011
It's a strategy sometimes seen in politics and in the case of the upcoming French elections, it may well be the winning strategy that determines the country's next president
Are the French getting their Tea Party on? That's what an outsider looking at the country's first-round presidential voting results might have been led to believe
The French elections have settled one question, that of the two finalists for the presidency
Government bureaucracies do not deal well with ambiguity, and terrorists tend to be very ambiguous
Over the past two years, the eurozone members have done a remarkable job managing the short-term symptoms of the crisis, although the costs have been great. Yet the long-term challenge remains
Thirty-one years ago Francis Mitterrand became the only left-wing president of France's Fifth Republic, and set off on the path of Socialism in one country, with dramatic consequences. The parallels are evident
Even before the financial sector and sovereign debt crisis began to destabilise Europe's banking system, European leaders were voicing fears that the Old World might be slipping towards global irrelevance
In Greece, opinion is that once again, as in 1917, 1940 and 1947, when, as they are convinced, they were ill-used by the great Western powers, they once again are victims of Western Europe, and especially of Germany
The euro should now be recognized as an experiment that failed. The political goal of creating a harmonious Europe has also failed
Moody's is downgrading the credit rating of all three of France's top banks because of the difficulty they have borrowing money
The stage is set for the 2012 Euro Cup following Friday's draw that saw host Poland and Ukraine getting the top draws while Spain placed in a tougher group. Poland was drawn in Group A along with Greece, Russia, and Czech Republic
Everyone is wondering about the next disaster to befall Europe. Italy is one focus; Spain is also a possibility. But these crises are already under way. Instead, the next crisis will be political, not in the sense of what conventional politician is going to become prime minister, but in the deeper sense of whether Europe's political elite can retain power
For most people, the knee-jerk reaction to an event on the other side of the world is, 'Why should I give a toss what happens in France?' While such foreign-policy prowess might be a hit at the local pub, would it really be smart to ignore an election that will impact everything in your life for which you pay or require borrowed money? Bear with me as I explain
The crisis won't be over until the underlying flaw of the euro is fixed -- namely the separation of monetary and fiscal policy. German public opinion has to realise that the euro was built on imperfect foundations and that these imperfections must be corrected. Meanwhile, the Italian president of the ECB will need all his technical and political expertise to keep the Eurozone together
It was short-term good news in that it defused 'the bomb' -- the possible catastrophe vortex of failing banks and defaulting sovereigns. The bad news is that it will induce a recession. Banks will create a credit crunch in trying to meet capital adequacy ratios, and the new austerity will create a fiscal contraction
European Union leaders have brokered a deal to reduce Greece's debt and hopefully stem the continent's lingering debt crisis. The deal is a major move forward, but it is still only one step in restoring stability on a continent beset by economic woes
In France, an Islamic terrorist has likely hijacked the agenda for the remainder of the French presidential race
What had seemed a long, tranquil current of political success that was conveying Francois Hollande to the French presidency has run into turbulence
French President Nicolas Sarkozy was elected by promising to modernize France's societal infrastructure and bring it more into line with America's. But then something got in the way: France
Europe's new fiscal compact treaty attempts to force regional reform without challenging sovereignty
Vaux-le-Vicomte is one of several sumptuous palaces studding the region around Paris. The most famous of these is Versailles. But several other chateaux also make for worthy day trips
Increasingly, the European debt crisis is ceasing to be a Greek or Italian crisis. It is a crisis in the future role Germany will play in Europe
While Europe panicked about Greece, Italy drew closer to the brink of economic ruin. No one was paying attention while Rome was burning. Until recently
With no end in sight for the two-year-old euro crisis, the question now is can the EU survive it while remaining united?
What made Europe a compelling political, economic, and social alternative wedged between Anglo-American free marketeers and Soviet nomenklatura is rapidly becoming a thing of the past
The current European Union is under threat no longer just from the debt contagion caused by weaker members, but also by plans of more prosperous members to form a breakaway group
EU leaders announced a new plan to contain the debt crisis in the euro area, after private banks and investors agreed to write off 50% of Greek debt from their books
Conventional wisdom has it that the eurozone cannot have a monetary union without also having a fiscal union. Euro-enthusiasts see the single currency as the first steppingstone toward a broader economic union, which is their dream. Euroskeptics do, too, but they see that endgame as hell -- and would prefer the single currency to be dismantled
Moody's Investors Service warned France that it may lose its top AAA credit rating because of French support for the bailout fund and the country's weakened finances
The French Socialist Party nominated Francois Hollande as their candidate for the 2012 presidential election. He is expected to battle incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy
Peter Zeihan discusses the collapse of the Franco-Belgian bank Dexia and examines its effects on the European debt crisis
The plans all are financial solutions to a particular set of financial problems. But regardless of whether they are realistic in addressing the financial problem, the question of whether the financial issue really addresses the fundamental dilemma of Europe -- which is political and geopolitical -- remains
My favorite corner of France is Burgundy, a region overflowing with edible, drinkable, scenic, and floatable delights
In France's presidential election the incumbent is running far behind his challenger in a contest that has more to do with personal character than issue
Socialism and its accompanying economic devastation thrive on complexity and red tape. If something is so simple that anyone can figure it out, then a socialist is being deprived of a livelihood. That's the dragon Europe is now stuck having to slay
Once again, socialism has put a silver fork in itself. Standard & Poor's downgraded France's credit rating, giving the country the side-eye on its claims to have its debt under control
While their economies may be undergoing turbulence in 2012, positive changes in France and Spain are also in the air -- making this year a good time to touch down in these essential European destinations
2012 could be the make-or-break moment for the embattled eurozone. Europe could either continue on the path of ever-greater integration - or return to being a regional group of rival states.
Fresh from battle experience over Libya, a French Rafale jet is heading to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to strut its stuff amid a heavy pitch to finally clinch a deal for the first foreign sale of the fighter aircraft
France, like all of Europe, is caught in an economic tsunami, and France is teetering at the edge of the precipice. Every week, it seems, presidents and prime ministers hold urgent meetings searching for a solution, culminating with the G-20 convocation recently. Still, the problem grows only worse
We may be looking at the possibility of a worldwide financial meltdown
Only the United States seems to have an affinity for protecting tiny, vulnerable countries. Israelis, anti-communist Chinese, Kurds, Greeks and Armenians have a few things in common. They have relatively small populations, aggressive neighbors, few strong allies, many expatriates and refugees in the United States, and a tragic history of persecution and genocide
If you want the real reason for concern in the United States about what's happening in Europe, follow the money. A Greek (or Irish or Spanish or Italian or Portuguese) default would have roughly the same effect on our financial system as the implosion of Lehman Brothers in 2008. That is, financial chaos
The European Union is presently a source of great instability that leaders have yet to tackle. This column argues the current policy response is misguided. The adjustment programmes are bound to fail to achieve sustainable budget deficits, and may result in an unprecedented destruction of economic activity
Time is running out for EU leaders to put an end to the Eurozone crisis. This column explains how leaders could find a definitive solution to Greece insolvency, isolate solvent countries from possible Greek contagion, improve EU governance by creating a true European parliament, and refocus on a pro-growth policy mix
Repressive regimes of the Middle East and North Africa had all the equipment they needed to quash Arab Spring protests, thanks to arms exporters
Europe faces a banking crisis it has not wanted to admit even exists
Certain artists are so identified with particular places that it's hard to pry them apart. France, with its shimmering light and gorgeous scenery, has more than its share of these pairings. It's enjoyable to see the artists' masterpieces in museums, but you can get a better sense of what inspired them by visiting the places where they worked
Europe was seen as a work in progress moving inevitably toward unification -- a group of nations committed to a common fate. What was a core vision in 2008 is now gone. What was inconceivable -- the primacy of the traditional nation-state -- is now commonly discussed, and steps to devolve Europe in part or in whole are being contemplated. This is not a trivial event
French Prime Minister Francois Fillion announced tax hikes to reduce the country's budget deficit by $.17.3 billion (EUR 12 billion) over the next two years
A new round of second-quarter GDP figures shows slowing growth in the EU, which makes for a complicated economic situation, as reduced government spending can further stifle growth. Some economists say that, in tackling this dilemma, European governments are focusing too closely on their balance sheets and neglecting to propose real growth policies
Manufacturing in the 17-nation eurozone slowed down in August, marking the first time since September 2009 that the manufacturing sector contracted, according to a survey by Markit.
Among their other headaches, some of Europe's biggest leaders are troubled by the lukewarm state of their countries' melting pots. A combination of economic recession, terrorism fears and electoral politics has made scapegoats out of immigrants and government multiculturalism policies
France is peppered with wineries and wine-tasting opportunities. For some people, it can be overwhelming to try to make sense of the vast range of French wines, particularly when faced with a no-nonsense winemaker or sommelier. I'm no wine expert and would never claim to be, but I've learned a lot
The European Union's leaders, Germany and France, decided to try to change the EU's Lisbon Treaty. This is a highly charged and divisive move. While the Germans and French want important changes, a large number of the other 25 members do not
World War I, the 'war to end all wars,' ended on Nov. 11, 1918. The battlefields of Verdun in France provide a poignant tribute to the 800,000 casualties suffered here during the horrific war, which raged from 1914 to 1918. Verdun is in northeastern France, not far from the Champagne region, in a strategic location between Paris and the German border
My take is that the decision to stay outside of a city center rests on how you might answer several main questions
In early April French and UN helicopters bombarded the presidential residence in Abidjan. This military operation sealed the fate of incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, paving the way for Alassane Ouattara to claim office. But the French and UN action had another effect: it triggered outrage about international interference -- in particular on the part of France -- in African affairs
It is important to understand that the crisis is not fundamentally about Greece. After all, Greece represents only 2.5 percent of the eurozone's GDP, and the bloc's fiscal numbers are not that bad when looked at in the aggregate. The real crisis is the more fundamental question of how the European continent is to be ruled in the 21st century
This June marks the 67th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy, and the beginning of the end of World War II. The Normandy sites are spread along 75 miles of coastline
The plethora of unwanted strikes and student and youth unrest in Western Europe is a morbid condition. It is not pension claims that are driving the current political uproar. It is popular fury at the people who created the present economic crisis and have been rewarded, with everyone else left to face the consequences
The trilateral summit between French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made some gains in drawing Russia closer to NATO. However, many Russians, including Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, are skeptical of the West's intentions and many new NATO members from the former Soviet bloc are uncomfortable about closer ties with Russia
Of all of the sources of strategic delusion and political illusion today, nuclear weapons undoubtedly make the most prodigious contribution to hypocrisy and useless expense
This week has seen the annual ritual by which the Left in France marks summer's end and the resumption of politics as usual. This ritual is a general strike called by the Left, whenever a rightist government is in power.
Muliculturalism has failed. So said Chancellor Angela Merkel in a speech in Potsdam last October. David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy both echoed her opinion early this year. But it is not easy to know just what they meant. The term is open to so many interpretations and used in so many different ways. Is it an ideology, a set of policies, or a social reality?
What can only seem the irresistible self-destruction of Dominique Strauss-Kahn has already produced fundamental and irreversible consequences in French party-political affairs, in the presidential campaign that next spring will give France a new president or confirm the succession of the present one
The European Union is in danger of compounding its ongoing economic crisis with a political crisis of its own making. Over the last year, crises of confidence have hit the 17 EU members that in the years since 1998 have given up their own currencies to adopt the euro. Markets behaved as though the debt of peripheral EU countries was as safe as that of core EU countries
Events surrounding the military intervention in Libya these last two weeks, and what already has happened in Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain, and what continues elsewhere in the region, have produced two unplanned but important results.
My transoceanic lyricism goes flat when I hear about things like France's preposterous plan to fine Muslim women for wearing a full-face veil in public. In our globalized age, there is no shortage of hostility on the part of native populations for the immigrants among them. What explains this law is a familiar pattern of cultural politics akin to what psychologists call displacement
The dramatic European Union funding proposal is an important first step. Next comes enforcement of tough fiscal reform guidelines, which introduces a series of new political challenges and risks.
Nicolas Sarkozy of France is not a man noted for charm but for his unchecked energies and the restless activity. Italy's Silvio Berlusconi is another matter entirely. He is a success in politics apparently because the majority of Italians like him. Indeed, sometimes pays to be a nondescript politician like Gordon Brown of Britain.