Jacques Chirac

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France Fumes Over 'Unacceptable' US Spying

Summons US ambassador to Paris amid emergency meetings

(Newser) - Surprise: France isn't thrilled by claims that the US spied on its past three presidents , including current leader Francois Hollande, and has now summoned its US ambassador to the foreign ministry in Paris, reports the AP . Hollande, who calls the US spying an "unacceptable" security breach, held two... More »

WikiLeaks: US Spied on 3 French Presidents

Expect an angry response from Paris

(Newser) - A strange one, courtesy of WikiLeaks: The US eavesdropped on three French presidents, learning among other things that France was angry the US was eavesdropping on it. That tidbit is courtesy of a new WikiLeaks disclosure that the NSA wiretapped current French leader Francois Hollande and predecessors Nicolas Sarkozy and... More »

France Finds Chirac Guilty of Corruption

Suspended sentence seen as seachange against French corruption

(Newser) - A French court found former President Jacques Chirac guilty of embezzling public funds to illegally finance the conservative party he long led, in a historic verdict today with repercussions for his legacy and France's political elite. Chirac will not go behind bars, but was handed a two-year suspended prison... More »

Chirac, PM Took $20M From African Leaders: Aide

Claims money was sometimes hidden in drums

(Newser) - Former French president Jacques Chirac and his prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, have been accused of taking $20 million in illicit payments from African heads of state, allegations that both men deny. Lawyer Robert Bourgi, a onetime aide to the politicians, made the accusations in a radio station interview today,... More »

Chirac Finally Standing Trial

Former French prez goes before court tomorrow

(Newser) - After years of claiming presidential immunity to avoid legal proceedings, Jacques Chirac is finally facing a court. Tomorrow, the former president becomes France's first former head of state to go on trial since its Nazi-era leader was exiled—that is, if the whole case isn't derailed by a last-minute protest... More »

Chirac Must Stand Trial on Corruption Charges

Allegations go back to his days as mayor of Paris

(Newser) - Former French President Jacques Chirac has been ordered to stand trial in an alleged corruption scandal dating back to his time as Paris mayor—a case that caught up with him in retirement once he lost the judicial immunity of France's highest office. A magistrate ordered Chirac, whose 12-year presidency... More »

French Leaders Keep Health Hush-Hush

(Newser) - Don't expect French President Nicolas Sarkozy to talk about being rushed to the hospital after he collapsed during a jog yesterday. If he's anything like his predecessors, he'll probably say nothing at all, reports AFP. Since 1974, when President Georges Pompidou died while in office from leukemia, French leaders have... More »

Sarko Jeered at African Leader's Funeral

French president booed, taunted in Gabon

(Newser) - Crowds in the African nation of Gabon booed Nicolas Sarkozy at the funeral of the country's long-serving strongman president, Omar Bongo. Dozens of onlookers shouted "We don't want you, leave!" at the French leader and his predecessor, Jacques Chirac. France ruled Gabon in the colonial era and... More »

No, Bloggers: Obama Doesn't Think Chirac Is French Prez

(Newser) - The tone of a letter from President Obama to Jacques Chirac has some in the blogosphere wondering if Obama knows that Chirac is no longer the president of France, writes Jimmy Orr in the Christian Science Monitor reports. “Doesn’t Obama ever consult his staff before acting?” one concerned... More »

Depressed Pet Mauls Former French Prez

Pills can't keep Maltese from attacking Chirac 'for no apparent reason'

(Newser) - Former French President Jacques Chirac is recovering after his depressed poodle mauled him, the Daily Mail reports. Sumo, a white Maltese, takes anti-depressants and is prone to making “vicious, unprovoked attacks,” said Bernadette Chirac, who wouldn’t say where her 76-year-old husband had been bitten. “The dog... More »

Sarkozy Sues Over Scandal Diary

Intelligence chief's notes on Sarko marriage, financial deals in news mag

(Newser) - France's president Nicolas Sarkozy is at the center of a firestorm over publication of the diaries of a former French Intelligence chief which contain information about several politicians, including details of Sarkozy's personal life, the BBC reports. Yves Bertrand's personal diaries, reported in a news magazine, contain observations about the... More »

Cop Spied on Sarko's Lovers to 'Smear' Him

'Obsessed' intel chief detailed officials' drug habits, sexual exploits

(Newser) - Tawdry revelations from the diaries of a former intelligence chief are proving yet again that no one does scandal like the French: Authorities are accusing Yves Bertrand of spying on Nicolas Sarkozy’s wives and lovers to smear him before he became president and keep Jacques Chirac in power. Bertrand... More »

Paris-Berlin Relations Turn Sour

Tempers fraying in Merkel's camp after 2 high-level cancellations

(Newser) - Only a week after Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel called off a scheduled meeting, France and Germany's finance ministers canceled their own summit yesterday, reports AFP. While nobody wants to say that the leaders of Europe's two largest countries are getting testy with each other, disagreements over economic policy and... More »

Le Beau Sarko Vexes French

Tiny Casanova's antics create cult status as some deride his lack of decorum

(Newser) - He ain't your daddy's Jacques Chirac, and French president Nicolas Sarkozy's escapades have his countrymen both enthralled and concerned, reports the Guardian. His rollercoaster love life provides delicious gossip to a public that buys "I love Sarko" skivvies, and the tiny dynamo poses for intimate photo shoots and traipses... More »

Chirac Faces Pilfering Probe

Ex-prez grilled for 3 hours about funds for friends, allies during years as mayor

(Newser) - A French magistrate launched a probe yesterday into claims that former President Jacques Chirac skimmed funds while in office, the Independent reports. Chirac, who turns 76 next week, is accused of using tax money to back friends and allies during his reign as mayor from 1977 to 1995. More accusations... More »

Transit Strike Cripples France

Unions seek exit from huge work action

(Newser) - In France, the biggest strike since Nicolas Sarkozy's election paralyzed transportation services from national rail to the Paris metro today. Massive traffic jams, long waits for the few subway trains running, and fleets of bicycles were in evidence in the first day of what is seen as a critical showdown... More »

Sarkozy, Unions in Showdown

Strikes starting tonight will test French president's reform resolve, shape tenure

(Newser) - French railway workers will walk off the job again tonight, this time in an open-ended strike with some backup from subway, bus, electrical, and gas workers, all angry over Nicolas Sarkozy's proposal to end their special pension rights. The strike is expected to test the president's will for reforms aimed... More »

Cecilia Who? Sarko Plays Field

Newly separated French prez unlikely to stay lonely

(Newser) - Nicolas Sarkozy's new bachelor status has the French abuzz about how swingin' their prez will be. The freshly divorced head of state has been spotted lunching with an ex-Bond girl, flirting with a well-known playwright, and carrying a letter reading “I haven’t seen you for an eternity and... More »

Sarkozy Braces for Union Battle

Pension cuts could trigger crippling strikes in president's first test of leadership

(Newser) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy could face the first major obstacle of his four-month reign this week when he tries to slash the pensions of 500,000 workers who enjoy more generous retirement packages than other civil servants. Polls show Sarkozy's plan is supported by 65% of the public, but striking... More »

French Minister Visits Iraq, Forges US Bond

First visit to war-torn country is 'message of solidarity' with Iraqis

(Newser) - France tipped a symbolic hat to the US today by sending its foreign minister on a visit to Baghdad. Bernard Kouchner is the first French minister to visit Iraq since the US invasion of 2003 and comes at a time when analysts say that US-French relations are warming. Kouchner, who... More »

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