French presidential election campaign

Sarkozy to finally announce re-election bid Wednesday

France — Link

President Nicolas Sarkozy is finally set to formally announce his bid for re-election on Wednesday in a prime-time interview on TV channel TF1.

Hollande holds out olive branch to City of London

International — Link

Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande tells British press that he wants Britain, and even the City of London,to feel "part of Europe".

Hollande slams Sarkozy's 'bad for society' wooing of far-right vote

France — Link

Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande attacks Nicolas Sarkozy for wooing far-right vote and using state ressources on unofficial campaign.

Sarkozy 'used extras' to pose as supporters

France — Link

Nicolas Sarkozy is accused of stage-managing a visit to a construction site near Paris by bussing in fake 'workers' to make him appear popular.

French Green candidate recieved 'bullet threat', while socialist candidate Hollande is flour-bombed

France — Link

Green presidential candidate Eva Joly has received 'bullet' death threats while socialist candidate François Hollande was flour-bombed in Paris.

Nicolas Sarkozy charges into elections behind a social and economic battering ram

France — Analysis

French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday announced a battery of economic measures the scope of which has never before been undertaken by a president facing an imminent re-election contest. While still not officially declaring himself candidate in the two-round elections that begin in April, although providing a clear hint that he will run as expected, Sarkozy presented a raft of major reforms to be rushed through parliament in the weeks ahead, including a hike in VAT, a go-it-alone ‘Tobin tax’ and the effective end of the 35-hour minimum working week, all of which are to be introduced after the elections. Mathieu Magnaudeix analyses the principal measures unveiled during an hour-long interview broadcast live across eight television channels.

Sarkozy unveils tax hikes but stays coy on re-election bid

France — Link

In a TV interview Sunday President Sarkozy refused to confirm a re-election bid, but confirmed a new financial transaction tax and a hike in VAT.

If the Left wins in France, a critical battle of ideologies must surely follow

France — Link

The Guardian's Joanathan Fenby argues that Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande's high-spending manifesto could rock the rest of Europe.

Cautious Hollande unveils 'serious' election manifesto

France

Four days after delivering a rousing performance of lofty rhetoric in a keynote speech to supporters at Le Bourget last Sunday, Socialist Party presidential candidate François Hollande has finally presented his policy programme. At a sobre press conference on Thursday, the current frontrunner appeared more concerned about demonstrating his economic competence than with “battling the world of finance”, the promise he made to the cheering party faithful last weekend. Lénaïg Bredoux and Stéphane Alliès report.

François Bayrou, or the power of self-belief

France — Link

BBC News profiles centrist French presidential candidate François Bayrou, Mediapart's first guest in a series of live interviews starting Friday.

Hollande targets rich in tax-rise election manifesto

France — Link

Socialist Party presidential candidate François Hollande has promised to raise taxes on banks, big firms and the rich, and to fund job creations.

French Greens seek insurance against presidential flop

France

Campaign managers for Eva Joly (pictured), the mainstream Green candidate in next year's French presidential elections, have hit on a novel idea to protect their party, Europe Ecologie-Les Verts, from potentially disastrous financial losses if she fails to score 5% of the vote. They are seeking an insurance policy, notably with British or US companies, costed against her performance in current opinion polls. Mathilde Mathieu and Michaël Hajdenberg report.

Sarkozy camp hoists social benefits fraud to forefront of re-election campaign

France — Report

President Nicolas Sarkozy has clearly decided to make the fight against social benefits fraud, described by one of his ministers as "a cancer of French society", one of the main themes of his 2012 re-election campaign. While that will not officially begin until early next year, this week saw a carefully coordinated blitz against the increasingly stigmatised welfare dependent, and which announces the colour of the presidential election debate ahead. Marine Turchi reports.