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Entries in Nicolas Sarkozy (24)

Tuesday
May082012

New French President Will Meet Obama in DC

PATRICK KOVARIK/LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Francois Hollande, the new French president-elect, received both congratulations and an invitation from President Obama on Monday to come to Washington ahead of the G-8 meeting at Camp David and the NATO summit in Chicago, both scheduled for later this month.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that the president told Hollande, who defeated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, that he looked forward to working with him "on a range of shared economic and security challenges."

The two leaders are expected to address the eurozone crisis, which some economists fear could drag down what little recovery the U.S. economy has made since the recession that began in late 2007.

Hollande, a Socialist, is already butting heads with Germany's Angela Merkel, who favors harsh austerity measures and deficit-cutting.  The new French president wants to retreat from his country's vast spending cuts.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
May072012

Obama Calls Sarkozy, Thanks Him for "Strong Leadership," "Friendship"

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama placed a call Monday to outgoing French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who conceded defeat Sunday in the presidential elections to Socialist candidate Francois Hollande.

The president thanked Sarkozy "for his strong leadership and for his friendship and partnership in challenging times,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement Monday. “He expressed his appreciation for the valued cooperation that has characterized the relationship between the two leaders since January 2009.   President Obama said that he and Mrs. Obama extend their very best wishes to President Sarkozy and his wife Carla in their future endeavors."

Sarkozy is the first incumbent president to lose an election in France since 1981.

Hollande, who was leading 51.7 percent to 48.3 percent in the exit polls, will be France’s first socialist president since Francois Mitterrand left office in 1995.

Hollande’s victory was a clear rejection of Sarkozy’s attempts to get the debt crisis under control through an austerity program.

“Austerity can no longer be the only option for Europe,” Hollande said Sunday in his acceptance speech in reference to Sarkozy’s policies to cut government spending.

Under Sarkozy, France’s unemployment rate rose to 10 percent.  Hollande wants to put France on a different economic track, promising to raise taxes on France’s wealthiest and stimulate economic growth.  During his campaign, Hollande promised to deliver more jobs for policemen and 60,000 jobs in the education sector without increasing France’s total number of civil servants.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
May072012

Hollande Wins French Presidency, Promises ‘New Hope for the World’

PATRICK KOVARIK/LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images(PARIS) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy conceded defeat Sunday in the presidential elections to Socialist candidate Francois Hollande, making him the first incumbent president to lose an election in France since 1981.

Hollande, who was leading 51.7 percent to 48.3 percent in the exit polls, will be France’s first socialist president since Francois Mitterrand left office in 1995.

“I’ve tried to do my best to protect the French people from the unprecedented crisis that has shaken the world,” said Sarkozy, whose defeat makes him the eighth leader of a Eurozone country to be replaced or swept from office in just over a year.

But Hollande’s victory was a clear rejection of Sarkozy’s attempts to get the debt crisis under control through an austerity program.

“Austerity can no longer be the only option for Europe,” Hollande said Sunday in his acceptance speech in reference to Sarkozy’s policies to cut government spending.

Under Sarkozy, France’s unemployment rate rose to 10 percent.  Hollande wants to put France on a different economic track, promising to raise taxes on France’s wealthiest and stimulate economic growth.  During his campaign, Hollande promised to deliver more jobs for policemen and 60,000 jobs in the education sector without increasing France’s total number of civil servants.

“May 6 gave us a new start for Europe, a new hope for the world,” Hollande said on Sunday.

Hollande used one of President Obama’s favorite campaign terms several times in his speech, noting that “change” is a “heavy mandate,” but it is his “mission and duty.”

But the potential for change under Hollande in the way Europe tackles its debt crisis -- with more stimulus and less austerity -- makes European and American markets nervous.

And experts say Hollande doesn’t have a lot of room for maneuvering.

Nicole Bacharan, an expert on French-American relations at the Institute for Political Studies in Paris, said that it’s unclear what impact Hollande’s victory will have on European and American markets.

“Hollande wants to reopen negotiations on European monetary agreement,” Bacharan said.  “He thinks people are only focused on austerity and cutting spending and deficits.  He wants to have something included about the necessity of economic growth, but he has been vague on how he will create that.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May062012

Exit Polls: French Socialist Leader Hollande Beats Incumbent Sarkozy 

AFP PHOTO/JEFF PACHOUD/ERIC FEFERBERG(NEW YORK) -- Exit polls in France say that Socialist leader Francois Hollande is the projected winner in France's runoff presidential election against incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.

Partial official results show Hollande beating Sarkozy by 51.9 percent to 48 percent, making it the first time an incumbent president has been kicked out of office since 1981 and the first time a Socialist president took office sinece 1995.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr242012

French President Proposes New Immigration Law Ahead of Election

LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images(PARIS) -- If French President Nicolas Sarkozy is reelected in two weeks, he might push for a new law that will make it tougher for immigrants to settle in his country.

Hoping to attract far-right voters who voted for Marine Le Pen in the first round of elections last Sunday, Sarkozy is talking about having immigrants pass a French language exam as a prerequisite for living in France.

Sarkozy told TV station France 2 on Tuesday that the exam would help to limit the number of newcomers to France, saying, “We cannot keep on receiving so many foreign people here."

This hard line approach to France’s immigration problems might be too little, too late for Sarkozy, who is considered the underdog in the upcoming runoff election.  Socialist candidate Francois Hollande barely defeated Sarkozy in the first round vote with eight other challengers on the ballot, but is expected to have an easier time when they meet head-to-head on May 6.

Le Pen finished a strong third last Sunday, but might not endorse either candidate.  While Sarkozy is closer to Le Pen politically, the president is so unpopular that many of LePen’s supporters might decide to sit out the election rather than vote for Sarkozy.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr232012

French President, Socialist Rival Will Face Off in Election

LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images(PARIS) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy won the first battle on Sunday to keep his job, but things don't look as promising two weeks from now.

The deeply unpopular Sarkozy will face Francois Hollande in a run-off election on May 6 that most political pundits assume will be won by the Socialist candidate after he barely bested Sarkozy in Sunday's contest, 28.5 percent to 27 percent.  It's the first time an incumbent has placed second in the first round.

Sarkozy and Hollande fended off eight other challengers of various political stripes in an election that featured a lower turnout than in 2007 when Sarkozy took office.

Hollande promises to balance France’s budget woes and boost employment even as economic critics worry that he’ll increase spending programs for the poor.

Just like many incumbents from around the world, Sarkozy has been victimized by his country's economic downturn.  However, unlike President Obama, who is personally popular despite receiving less than stellar job approval ratings, many Frenchmen just don't like Sarkozy, partly because of his flamboyant lifestyle that includes his marriage to former model and jet-setter Carla Bruni.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar202012

Southern France on High Alert After School Shooting

ERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images(TOULOUSE, France) -- Monday's shooting deaths of three children and a rabbi in front of a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, was a continuation of a pattern of violence that compelled President Nicolas Sarkozy to raise the terrorism level in the region to its highest level.

Before the school shooting, which Sarkozy called the deadliest in France's history, three paratroopers were gunned down in two separate incidents last week in the Toulouse area.

It's believed the same shooter, who got away Monday, was involved in all the incidents.  There also seems to be an ethnic component to the attacks.

Two of the children who were killed were the sons of the slain rabbi, while a 10-year-old girl, who was the daughter of the Ozar Hatorah school's director, was also shot dead.

Sarkozy said that until the suspect is apprehended or killed, 14 riot police units "will secure the region."  The terror alert level will remain at scarlet, the highest on the color scale.

In another development, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant said Tuesday that witnesses recall seeing a small camera around the alleged gunman's neck, with speculation that he might have been filming the shootings. 

Gueant admitted authorities have "no clear leads" regarding the shooter's identity or where he might be now.

Meanwhile, police presence at Jewish communities and synagogues in New York and other U.S. cities was beefed up,  even though no direct threats have been made.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb152012

French President Nicolas Sarkozy Will Seek Second Term

LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images(PARIS) -- Despite low approval ratings and stiff competition from Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday that he will seek another term.

"The gap between Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy seems quite clear, which still is 60 to 40, which is showing an enormous gap between the two candidates,” said French political analyst Dominique Moisi, “one that is without precedent."

"The first two years were catastrophic,” Moisi said of Sarkozy’s presidency. “A combination of triviality, vulgarity, and personal, marital conditions that really destabilized the French, especially the conservatives and their vision of their president. Though he improved himself, it is likely that the image of the first two years will remain prevalent."

Sarkozy made his run official Wednesday during an interview with France’s TF1 channel, the BBC reported.

France holds its presidential election April 22.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan202012

Four French Troops Killed by Local Soldier in Afghanistan 

ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- French soldiers who were part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were shot and killed in eastern Afghanistan Friday by a member of the Afghan National Army.

Sixteen other French troops were also wounded in the attack, according to the BBC.

This comes a day after six American servicemembers -- believed to be U.S. Marines -- were killed in a helicopter crash there.

Following the shooting, French President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed the nationalities of the soldiers and announced France would be suspending all of its training programs with the Afghan army.  He also said he was sending his defense minister to Afghanistan to further inspect the situation.

In a statement, NATO offered its condolences for the four fallen troops.

"Unfortunately, this is a very sad day for our troops in Afghanistan and for the French people.  I would like to express my condolences for the four French soldiers who were killed today and my sympathy to those who were wounded.  I pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of all our troops in Afghanistan," NATO Secretary Gen. Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

The shooter has since been apprehended, NATO said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov102011

White House Tries to Clear Up Poke at Israeli Prime Minister

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- That "private" conversation President Obama had with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the G-20 summit in Cannes last week is causing the White House more of a headache than initially thought.

Obama and Sarkozy were caught on a live microphone making disparaging comments about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, one of their closest allies.

Sarkozy was heard saying, "I can’t stand to see him anymore, he’s a liar," while Obama said of Netanyahu, "You are fed up with him, but me, I have to deal with him every day."

On Tuesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney tried to ignore the president's apparent annoyance with his Israeli counterpart, changing the subject instead to the administration’s dismay with the Palestinians attempting to seek membership to the United Nations.

However, Ben Rhodes, a spokesman for the National Security Council, addressed the matter more directly on Wednesday, saying that the president "has a very close working relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu.  They speak very regularly."

And as Obama mentioned, Rhodes said the president has "probably spent more time one on one" with the Israeli prime minister than any other head of state.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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