Macron meets with Italy's far-right new PM

International — Link

After initially displaying reticence at meeting with Italy's new far-right prime minister during his offical visit to Italy, French President Emmanuel Macron finally held informal talks in Rome on Sunday with Giorgia Meloni, while also posting on Twitter his thanks to outgoing Italian premier Mario Draghi.

French presidential elections: conservative candidate's woes deepen with nod to far-right


Valérie Pécresse, the presidential election candidate for the conservative Les Républicains party, on Sunday held what was billed as a key speech to re-boot her struggling campaign, dogged by defections, infighting, and the pull exerted on her electorate by the two far-right candidates with whom she lies neck-and-neck in opinion polls. Her speech, however, has only added to her woes, after it was slammed on Monday by party officials for borrowing far-right rhetoric, and dismissed by media commentators as a lacklustre performance. Ilyes Ramdani, who was at the meeting, reports.

Macron refused Russian Covid test over 'DNA theft fears'

International — Link

Before his meeting in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin on Monday, Emmanuel Macron refused to submit to a Russian PCR test for Covid over fears that his DNA could be extracted, sources close to the French president told news agency Reuters.

French minister seeks to ban ultra-right group after meeting violence

France — Link

French interior minister Gérald Darmanin has announced legal moves to dissolve an ultra-right group called Zouaves Paris after its members were identified assaulting anti-racist demonstrators at a meeting of far-right presidential election candidate Éric Zemmour.

French far-right party leader Le Pen meets Hungarian PM Orban

International — Link

Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right Rassemblement National party, has met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest, when she promised that if she is elected president next year, France will back a "reorientating" of the European Union "whose ideological brutality threatens the very idea of sovereignty".

France cancels defence meeting with UK over Australia subs dispute

International — Link

Paris has called off a meeting due in London this week between France's armed forces minister and her British counterpart amid a heightening row  over Australia’s decision to abandon a deal to buy 12 French diesel-electric submarines in favour of a pact with the US and UK.

France makes small troop increase to anti-jihadist ops in Sahel

International — Link

French President Emmanuel Macron has held a summit in Pau, south-west France, with leaders of five West African states engaged alongside France in fighting jihadist forces in the Sahel when he announced a further 220 French troops would be sent to the region to join their 4,500 colleagues already on the ground and the creation of a joint command structure with regional states.

Gaffe-prone Johnson puts his foot in it at meeting with Macron

International — Link

A photo showing UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson putting his foot up on a stool in front of President Emmanuel Macron at their meeting inside the Elysée Palace appeared garrulous and insulting, as widely commented on social media, but the photographer who captured the image has revealed that it was a comic gesture after the French president joked that he could use it to put his legs up.

Macron firm over backstop during Brexit talks with Johnson

International — Link

French President Emmanuel Macron, meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Paris on Thursday, said the so-called 'backstop' arrangement for the border on the island of Ireland was 'indispensable' to the UK leaving the EU with an agreed deal, but also added that a solution to the disputed issue was possible 'if there is a good will on both sides'.

Italy's Salvini snubs migrant crisis meeting in Paris

International — Link

Far-right Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini has declined to take part in a meeting of his European counterparts in Paris on Monday aimed at defining a common policy towards relocation and repatriation of migrants arriving on the continent in clandestine crossings of the Mediterranean, arguing that France and Germany are ignoring 'the demands of the most-exposed countries like us and Malta'. 

Former Israeli PM Olmert meets Palestine Authority's Abbas in Paris

International — Link

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert held a meeting in Paris on Friday with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas when the two men, who have previously met dozens of times, were in France on separate trips.

Macron's dog takes a pee in fireplace during meeting with ministers

France — Link

Emmanuel Macron's Labrador-Griffon relieved himself in an ornamental fireplace during a filmed meeting between the French president and ministers at the Elysée Palace.

Leftist Mélenchon wears velvet glove to reach French election knockout round

France — Report

With just days to go before the first round of the French presidential elections, radical-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon is mounting a serious challenge to the frontrunners, with opinion polls this week placing him neck-and-neck against conservative candidate François Fillon, and ever closer to the far-right’s Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron, the longstanding favourites now losing ground. Christophe Gueugneau followed the firebrand’s last major meeting this week, when Mélenchon, who wants to install a Sixth Republic with stronger powers for parliament, a system of regular referenda, and a renegotiation of EU treaties, attempted to reassure voters that he is not the anti-democratic revolutionary his detractors claim him to be.

Le Pen holds talks with Putin in Moscow

International — Link

The French far-right leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, when she also spoke to Russia's lower house, the Duma, when she called for international sanctions against the country to be lifted.

Socialist presidential candidate Hamon kickstarts his campaign

France — Link

Socialist presidential candidate Benoît Hamon, trailing centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen in opinion surveys of voting intentions, held a major rally in Paris in which he described rightwing rivals as being candidates of 'the money party'.