Francois Fillon

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France Votes: 11 Candidates, Evacuation, Topless Protesters

It could be a wild day in Round 1 of election

(Newser) - A voting station in eastern France has reopened after being evacuated because of a suspicious vehicle parked nearby. Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told the AP that the voting station in Besancon was evacuated while explosives experts examined the car, but they deemed there to be no risk. He said... More »

Only One Way to 'Stave Off Disaster' in French Election

Country votes on Sunday

(Newser) - France votes Sunday in a presidential election further roiled by the fatal shooting of a police officer in an attack claimed by ISIS. On Friday, President Trump tweeted that the shooting would "have a big effect" on the vote, without offering specifics. But the Washington Post points out that... More »

The Fieriest Clash During the French Presidential Debate

It was Macron vs. Le Pen

(Newser) - The two frontrunners for the French presidency clashed spectacularly in the campaign's first televised debate between leading candidates Monday night. All five candidates landed punches during vigorous discussion on the big issues for France: jobs, terrorism, immigration, and Europe. But the face-off between independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right... More »

French Presidential Candidate's 'Biggest Scandal' Just Got Bigger

Francois Fillon allegedly funneled taxpayer money to wife, kids

(Newser) - A right-wing candidate for French president was placed under formal investigation Tuesday—meaning there's "serious or consistent evidence" of wrongdoing—in an unprecedented move, the Guardian reports. Francois Fillon allegedly misused public funds, specifically by paying his wife more than $720,000 over 15 years to be a... More »

Fillon Wins French Primary, Vows 'Change of Software'

Handily beats Alain Juppe in conservative runoff

(Newser) - Francois Fillon won France's first-ever conservative presidential primary Sunday after promising drastic free-market reforms and a crackdown on immigration and Islamic extremism, beating a more moderate rival who had warned of encroaching populism, the AP reports. "President! President!" chanted the former prime minister's supporters as he... More »

French Voters Reject Sarko Comeback

He unexpectedly loses party primary

(Newser) - Nicolas Sarkozy isn't going to get a second shot at the French presidency: The former president was unexpectedly defeated in a primary for the center-right Republican party, reports Reuters . After his defeat, Sarkozy endorsed former prime minister Francois Fillon, who will face Alain Juppe, another former PM, in a... More »

French PM: OK, No More 'Mademoiselle'

Term will no longer be included on official paperwork

(Newser) - French feminists have successfully done away with the term "mademoiselle." After much uproar over the honorific , PM Francois Fillon has agreed that it should be removed as an option on French paperwork, meaning women will no longer have to choose between "madame" (for married women) and "... More »

Clinton Blasts Syria After Embassy Hit

The US has 'absolutely nothing invested' in Assad regime

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton is fighting mad over yesterday’s attack on US and French embassies by pro-regime protesters in Syria. In a statement yesterday, Clinton said the US “strongly condemns Syria’s failure to protect diplomatic facilities,” and essentially disowned the regime. “If anyone, including President Assad, thinks... More »

Sarkozy's Party Trounced in Local Elections

French voice opposition to president's reforms

(Newser) - French voters delivered a stinging defeat to president Nicolas Sarkozy, voting against candidates from his Union for a Popular Movement in elections for regional councils. The Socialist/Green opposition coalition won 55% of the vote compared to UMP's 37%. "This is a real defeat for us" said Jean-François Copé... More »

'European Model' Could Die: French PM

'Sluggish growth' may destroy safety net, job security

(Newser) - The prime minister of France, the country perhaps most associated with the cherished "European model" of job security and social safety nets, warned today that it may prove unsustainable because the region's economies are too stagnant. "With this sluggish growth, we cannot preserve the European social model or... More »

French PM Lobbies US on Weak Economy

In Washington, Fillon seeks alliance to spur Chinese revaluing

(Newser) - While Nicolas Sarkozy struggles with the sputtering French economy at home, his prime minister has traveled to Washington to spur international action. François Fillon will meet with Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson today, where he is expected to press the US on the subprime crisis, the weak dollar, and... More »

Sarko's First Budget Offers No Big Shakeups

Eschewing austerity, France set to run another huge deficit

(Newser) - Nicolas Sarkozy presented his first budget to the French national assembly yesterday, but tax cuts have largely replaced the overhaul of the public sector he promised during his election campaign. Super-Sarko's plans to shake up the French economy have run aground, the Guardian reports: huge public debt, ballooning social security... More »

Sarko Backs Down on Public Sector Cuts

Retreats from promise to trim French civil servant rolls by 50%

(Newser) - Nicolas Sarkozy has backed down from a campaign pledge to reform the sclerotic French civil service, says the Telegraph. The government has scuppered the president's vow to halve the number of civil servants, which Sarkozy had made a central feature of his policy of "rupture." More »

Sarkozy Taps Close Adviser to Be PM

Ex-Chirac official is also president's jogging buddy

(Newser) - Nicolas Sarkozy named chief campaign adviser Francois Fillon his prime minister today, replacing firebrand Dominique de Villepin. Fillon, a right-of-center senator who directed an overhaul of France's pension system as a Chirac administration official, will lead Sarkozy's effort to institute reforms in employment and welfare laws. Fillon, whose wife is... More »

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