French politics

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France's Left Picks Politician Who Calls Bernie a Role Model

Benoit Hamon will represent Socialist Party in country's presidential election

(Newser) - A French politician who names Bernie Sanders among his left-wing role models won an easy victory in the country's Socialist primary runoff against Manuel Valls on Sunday. Benoit Hamon will represent France's ruling Socialist Party in the country's presidential election in April-May against Conservative Francois Fillon, far-right... More »

What Hollande's Victory Means for France

President-elect has a packed first 40 days

(Newser) - Following last night’s victory over Nicolas Sarkozy , Francois Hollande will have to jump right in to his new role—he will be sworn in as France’s president next Tuesday, the BBC notes. What does his election mean?
  • Hollande has vowed to renegotiate the eurozone budget treaty Sarkozy championed
... More »

France's Le Pen Endorses ... Blank Ballot

Far-right leader doesn't get behind Francois Hollande or Nicolas Sarkozy

(Newser) - Far-right leader Marine Le Pen is refusing to endorse either candidate in France's presidential runoff and says she will cast a blank protest ballot. Le Pen, who came in a strong third place in the first round of voting April 22, told her supporters at a big rally in... More »

Sarkozy, Hollande Advance to Runoff

President, chief rival will face each other in May 6 runoff election for presidency

(Newser) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy and chief rival Francois Hollande are headed for a showdown on May 6, after finishing as the top two candidates in today's first round of voting in France's presidential elections. Though the French government has yet to finalize the tally, the Wall Street Journal ... More »

With Sarkozy's Career on the Line, France Votes

Francois Hollande likely to head to runoff with Sarko

(Newser) - Throngs are voting today in Round 1 of France's presidential elections in what's seen as a referendum on Nicolas Sarkozy's economic stewardship and divisive personality, reports the AP . Early polls show a 28% turnout in the vote, which will trim the field of 10 candidates to two... More »

France Toughens Citizenship Gauntlet

Now citizens must pass test of language, 'values'

(Newser) - Bad news, Francophiles: It just became harder to become French. Nicolas Sarkozy’s government has just thrown up some tough new hurdles for would-be French citizens, requiring them to pass a difficult language test (foreigners will need to speak French at the level of a French 15-year-old) and swear allegiance... 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 »

Half of French Want DSK Comeback

49% want him back in politics, 45% don't in new poll

(Newser) - A new poll indicates that French people are divided over whether Dominique Strauss-Kahn should re-enter French politics after the weakening of the sexual assault case against the former International Monetary Fund chief. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed in the Harris Interactive poll for French newspaper Le Parisien responded "yes"... More »

France Looks Hard at Pols Gone Wild

Female politicians get catcalls, abusive language

(Newser) - The Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case in New York has French society taking a hard look at sexist politicians like never before, reports the Telegraph . "[I]f all those who mix power and sex had to account for their actions, half of our [male] politicians would be in trouble,"... More »

French Pol Confuses Inflation With Fellatio

Rachida Dati makes fumble on the radio

(Newser) - Paging Mrs. Malaprop: French politician Rachida Dati confused business with, ahem, pleasure yesterday during a radio interview. When asked about profiteering by overseas investment funds, she said, "I see some of them looking for returns of 20 or 25%, at a time when fellatio is almost non-existent." The... More »

Sarko to French Pols: Put Down the Croissants

French government gets the fitness bug after president loses 15 pounds

(Newser) - Nicolas Sarkozy has lost 15 pounds since he married Carla Bruni, subsisting on a diet of cottage cheese, fruit compote, and bottled water—and he's not the only one in the French government who's slimming down. As the Times of London reports, Sarkozy is pressuring his ministers to lose weight,... More »

Royal Ahead as French Left Picks Leader

Defeated presidential candidate goes into runoff with big lead

(Newser) - Ségolène Royal has emerged as the strongest candidate to take over France's Socialist Party as a bitter leadership contest goes to a runoff today, Reuters reports. Royal, defeated by Nicolas Sarkozy in last year's presidential race, will face Martine Aubry, the mayor of Lille who as a minister... More »

Former French PM Accused In Sarko Scandal

De Villepin will stand trial on false money- laundering accusation

(Newser) - Former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin will face trial for his role in an alleged smear campaign against Nicolas Sarkozy, who outmaneuvered him for the presidency. The "Clearstream Affair" scandal dates to 2004, when an anonymous source sent a judge a list of politicians, including Sarkozy, said... More »

In Paris, President Envy: 'There Is No French Obama'

Country's egalitarian tradition takes a hit

(Newser) - Sacre bleu! With Barack Obama’s victory in the US presidential race, the French, who’ve long prided themselves on a tradition of egalitarianism, are being forced to take a closer look at themselves—and they’re not happy with what they see, the Wall Street Journal reports. “This... More »

Sarkozy Puts France on Speed

Sarkozy is 'the most important European leader of his time,' writes Cohen

(Newser) - His love life may be distracting and his poll ratings may be low, but Nicolas Sarkozy is "a tonic to his country and the most important European leader of his time," writes New York Times columnist Roger Cohen. In just 14 months the French president has led a... More »

Bardot On Trial, Once Again, Over Racism

'60s sex kitten, oft-convicted, says rant was in defense of animals, not anti-Islam

(Newser) - Brigitte Bardot is on trial for racism—again. The 1960s French sex symbol, now 73, is a stridently anti-immigrant and seemingly anti-Muslim politician, Time reports. Bardot is on trial for “inciting racial hatred,” a charge she’s been convicted of four times. The current case involves a letter... More »

Sarkozy Steps Out With Singer/Model

French prez takes new flame for a ride—at Disneyland Paris

(Newser) - The Nicolas Sarkozy soap opera’s latest turn involves Mickey Mouse. The recently divorced French president strolled Disneyland with Italian pop singer Carla Bruni on Saturday, provoking a hail of gossip, AFP reports. The president’s office was officially mum, but one magazine editor said Bruni told him personally “... More »

TV Babe Helps Sarko Rebound

Newly divorced prez turns to half of French TV's 'Ken and Barbie'

(Newser) - It didn’t take Nicolas Sarkozy long to get over his recent divorce—the French president is already in a “close and loving relationship” with star journalist Laurence Ferrari, according to the Daily Mail. It began when Ferrari interviewed Sarkozy on the campaign trail, creating visible chemistry. “They... More »

Sarko in Snit Walks Out on '60 Minutes' Interview

Lashes out at 'stupid' questions on divorce

(Newser) - In a "60 Minutes" interview aired last night, surly French President Nicolas Sarkozy called his press secretary an "imbecile," dismissed the interview as "stupid," and abruptly ended the conversation when asked about his estranged wife, Cécilia, Reuters reports. "If I had something to... More »

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