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French court seizes tycoon’s assets over fraud charges

Corruption investigators in France have seized the assets of French tycoon Bernard Tapie, suspected of having committed fraud as part of an organised gang, judicial sources said Wednesday. The charge relates to a 400 million euro ($525m) state payout Tapie received in 2008 when Christine Lagarde, now the head of…

Firebrand French leftist draws thousands to rally

Firebrand leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon gathered thousands of supporters in Marseille on Saturday, on a weekend of rallies before the first round of France’s presidential vote. Communist-backed Melenchon, who has shaken up the vote with a surge in the polls, will be hoping for a repeat of rallies in Paris and…

Toulouse killer to be buried in France: Muslim official

The Islamist gunman branded a “monster” by President Nicolas Sarkozy will be buried in France because Algeria refused to let him be buried there, a Muslim official said Thursday. Abdallah Zekri of the Paris Grand Mosque said Mohamed Merah’s family had asked him to organise a funeral in France after Algeria cited security reasons for rejecting their request…

Pregnant girlfriend to posthumously marry French gunman’s victim

The pregnant girlfriend of one of the French paratroopers murdered by Mohamed Merah is to be allowed to marry him posthumously, the family’s lawyer Gilbert Gollard said Friday. “We have just obtained from the Elysee (President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office) the authorisation for Abel Chennouf’s girlfriend to marry posthumously,” Collard said.…

France risks Turkey anger with genocide law vote

French senators vote Monday on a bill to outlaw denial of theArmenian genocide, a move that a furious Turkey has vowed it would punish with “permanent” sanctions if it is passed into law. The French lower house drew a first wave of Turkish ire last month, when it approved the bill which…

France suspends Afghan training after troops killed

President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday suspended French military training operations in Afghanistan and said he was mulling an early withdrawal after a renegade Afghan soldier shot dead four French troops. “The French army stands alongside its allies but we cannot accept that a single one of our soldiers be wounded…

Sarkozy tries to limit damage after France downgrade

President Nicolas Sarkozy struggled Saturday to contain the damage after France was stripped of its top triple-A credit rating just three months ahead of the right-wing leader’s re-election bid. He sent his prime minister to face the press and try to convince skeptical voters that Standard & Poor’s rating was…

Turkey cuts some ties with ‘racist’ France over genocide law

Turkey reacted with fury Thursday to a vote by French lawmakersto outlaw denial of the Armenian genocide, immediately cutting military ties and warning of “irreparable damage” to relations. “This is politics based on racism, discrimination and xenophobia,” thundered Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ordering home Ankara’s ambassador to Paris and banning political visits between the…

Turkey to launch sanctions against France over genocide bill

ANKARA — Ankara will announce sanctions against Paris, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday on the eve of a debate in the French parliament on a law criminalising the denial of the Armenian genocide by Turkish forces. “Tomorrow probably I will announce what we will do at the first…

Merkel, Sarkozy demand tough new eurozone pact

France and Germany want a new EU treaty by March with tougher budgetary rules to deal with the eurozone debt crisis, President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday. The two leaders made the announcement after crunch talks in Paris at the start of a crucial week for the…

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