France declares austerity over as Germany offers wiggle room

France — Link

French finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said the 'dogma of austerity' as the only tool to fight the euro debt crisis was over.

France to relax austerity as recession bites

France — Link

European Union says France has slipped back into recession and will need two more years to bring its budget deficit under control.

Hollande gambling on election defeat for Merkel as French influence fades

France — Link

Relations have plunged to a new low after François Hollande's party openly criticised Merkel's self-serving approach to euro crisis.

French government distances itself from Socialist Party attack on Merkel

International — Link

Ministers publicly disown socialist party's internal document denouncing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 'selfish intransigence' over austerity.

Debt crisis: France puts brakes on austerity

France — Link

France will not introduce any further austerity measures this year but instead focus on spending cuts in 2014 to bring its deficit down to 3pc of GDP.

Hollande says reduced EU budget deal 'good compromise'

International — Link

The French president had argued against major spending cuts in the EU budget, but accepted deal that sees its first-ever reduction for 2014-20.

Greek journalist arrested for exposing 'Lagarde list' of Swiss bank accounts

International — Link

Journalist is arrested for publishing a 2010 file by then-French finance minister Christine Lagarde of about 2,000 Greeks with Swiss bank accounts.

'In the spring we elected him and in the autumn he betrayed us'

France — Analysis

Just days ahead of a crucial vote on whether the European Treaty on Stability, Cooperation and Governance (TSCG), otherwise known as the Fiscal Pact, should be ratified, the French Left is deeply split on the issue. Socialist prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says that if the treaty is not ratified the very future of the euro would be at stake. But a number of MPs on the left of the Socialist Party and from the Greens and radical-left Front de Gauche are bitterly opposed to it, claiming it is simply a charter for permanent austerity. Already there has been a well-attended protest march against the treaty, with some demonstrators even accusing President François Hollande of 'betraying' them over the issue. Though the National Assembly is certain to back the ratification anyway because of support from the Right, the issue is seen as a major test of the prime minister’s and president’s authority. Lénaïg Bredoux and Mathieu Magnaudeix report on the political headaches the treaty is causing the government while Mathieu Magnaudeix and Liza Fabbian take the temperature from the street protests.

Thousands in Paris denounce EU 'austerity' pact

France — Link

Protesters marched in rally organisers say was aimed at fighting EU-imposed austerity, not criticising the government of President Francois Hollande.

French 2013 budget taxes richest, cuts spending

France — Link

French PM Jean-Marc Ayrault announces "a combat budget" of tax increases and spending cuts for 2013, with new tax levies on high earners.

Fighting the organised crime of tax evasion

International — Analysis

Earlier this month it was revealed that French tycoon Bernard Arnault, chief executive of luxury goods firm LVMH, the wealthiest person in France and the fourth wealthiest worldwide, has applied for dual Belgian nationality. The French conservative opposition was quick to cite it as an example of the flight of capital that will follow higher taxes the government is to impose on the country’s top income earners, while President François Hollande decried Arnault's lack of patriotism. Mediapart Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel sets out here how tax evasion has become a colossal and insitutionalised business at the centre of the economy. Fighting it has never been more urgent, yet little effort - if any - is being made to prevent it or to sanction those who are bleeding society of vital resources.  

Hollande bid 'to lead revival of European Left'

International — Link

With Europe in crisis, François Hollande wants to use reaction against austerity to reinvigorate its moribund centre-left, says NYT's Stephen Castle.

France faces tougher cuts despite Hollande promises

France — Link

President Francois Hollande should make tough savings and public sector job cuts to meet a European deficit target, says the national audit office.

France pushes for 120bln-euro Europe 'growth pact'

International — Link

France sends EU leaders proposals for a 120 billion-euro 'growth pact', including a financial transaction tax it wants Europe to adopt this year.

Celebrations over, president-elect Hollande now faces a baptism of fire


France’s newly-elected president François Hollande has promised he will seek a reform of European austerity policies, beginning with a re-negotiation of the so-called fiscal compact treaty, and the introduction of economic growth initiatives. But his programme faces stern opposition from Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has ruled out any change to the fiscal compact. With a busy international agenda ahead, including summits of the G8 and NATO later this month, and crucial parliamentary elections in France in June, Hollande's room for negotiations before an EU summit on June 28th is uncomfortably tight. Meanwhile, the deepening political crisis in Greece continues to threaten an explosion of the eurozone. Lénaïg Bredoux and Ludovic Lamant report on the official and unofficial manouevering as the new French president prepares for his first major test in power.