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France unveils freeze on generous welfare system
Cuts are coming to France's social welfare system. Photo: Patrick Kovarick/AFP

France unveils freeze on generous welfare system

France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls provided his most detailed account yet on Wednesday of the “collective” cuts France will make to trim its budget by €50 billion, including a freeze on state pensions. The sick, families and pensioners will all feel the pain. READ () »

Pets to no longer be seen as just 'chairs' in France
Animals may soon be considered more than furniture in France. Photo: Danperry.com/Flickr

Pets to no longer be seen as just 'chairs' in France

France took a major step this week towards upping the legal status of animals, which presently sees them classed the same as a chair, a lamp or any old 'personal property'. But cats and dogs will soon be judged as “sentient, living beings”. The change wasn't welcomed by all. READ () »

French MEP: EU means 'porn without borders'
A European Parliament from France sees 'porn without borders' as good thing in EU. Photo: M_Max/Flickr

French MEP: EU means 'porn without borders'

For a French member of European Parliament one of the key benefits of an EU without borders is easier access to porn movies, according to an interview he gave to a local newspaper. READ () »

Paris cops told to ‘purge’ Roma from posh area
A Police in a posh Paris neighborhood have been ordered to 'purge' Roma people. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

Paris cops told to ‘purge’ Roma from posh area

Police in Paris’s posh 6th arrondissement have been ordered to count up Roma people and “systematically purge” them from the area, media reports said on Tuesday. The public outrage prompted by the orders forced France's top cop to wade into the row. READ () »

French hotels told to report Eastern Europeans
Police have told hotel owners in France to report Eastern Europeans. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

French hotels told to report Eastern Europeans

Police in southern France have been accused of racism after asking local hotel owners to report the arrival of Eastern European guests, in a bid to crackdown on certain crimes like pimping. "You have to be realistic" said a police union leader. READ () »

French, British leaders decry Ukraine violence
British Prime Minister Davide Cameron and French President Francois Hollande condemn Ukraine violence. Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP

French, British leaders decry Ukraine violence

French President François Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron have 'very firmly condemned' the violence in Ukraine between the government and pro-Russian separatist forces. Germany has also joined the fray.. READ () »

French ministers hand out €12m in bonuses
French ministers paid some €12 million in bonuses to their staff in 2013. Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP

French ministers hand out €12m in bonuses

Top French government ministers doled out a total of €12 million in bonuses to some 450 staff members last year, new data has revealed. The sum is unlikely to go down well with voters already livid over a moribund economy and record high unemployment. READ () »

Opinion - Regions
'French regions aren't the problem, it's the towns'
A plan to cut French regions has once again reared its head, but will it do any good? Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

'French regions aren't the problem, it's the towns'

A decades-old plan to cut the number of French regions in half has once again reared its head and prompted a fierce row. The Local talks to two experts to find out whether a seemingly sensible move to cut bureaucracy will ever happen and whether it will do any good. READ () »

French FM in Cuba for the first time in 30 years

French FM in Cuba for the first time in 30 years

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius arrived Saturday in Havana for a brief visit aimed at strengthening ties, as Cuba begins talks with the European Union on normalizing relations. READ () »

Hollande's popularity sinks as new PM's rises
Photo: AFP

Hollande's popularity sinks as new PM's rises

Popular approval for French President Francois Hollande has hit a new low of 18 percent, far below the 58 percent for his new Prime Minister Manuel Valls, an opinion poll showed Sunday. READ () »

French free to call Marine Le Pen a 'fascist'
Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter Marine Le Pen, who insists the National Front are not "extreme right". Photo: Bertrand Langlois/AFP

French free to call Marine Le Pen a 'fascist'

Marine Le Pen’s hard work in trying to soften the image of her National Front party was dealt a blow this week when a court rejected her bid to prevent opponents from calling her a “fascist”. READ () »

French billionaire 'hit with vote buying charges'
French billionaire Serge Dassault, foreground, faces vote rigging charges. Photo: Thomas Samson

French billionaire 'hit with vote buying charges'

The billionaire French businessman Serge Dassault was charged on Thursday with vote buying and campaign finance violations in connection with a scheme to influence elections in the Parisian suburb where he was once mayor, sources said. READ () »

President bars mobiles from cabinet meetings
In an effort to stay focused, the French president has banned mobile phones from government cabinet meetings. Photo: AFP

President bars mobiles from cabinet meetings

French president Francois Hollande is often accused of not taking decisive action but he has proved those critics wrong this week, to an extent, by banning ministers from bringing mobile phones into cabinet meetings. READ () »

Press review
French press salutes new PM's 'change of tone'
New PM Manuel Valls's first speech to parliament was given a warm reception by the press on Wednesday. Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP

French press salutes new PM's 'change of tone'

New French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was given a vote of confidence in the French parliament on Tuesday after a key-note speech in which he laid out his plans to rescue the economy. His discourse was also welcomed by most of the French press and analysts. READ () »

French PM pledges cuts in taxes and labour costs
French PM Manuel Valls promised a raft of cuts in labour costs and taxes on Wednesday. Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP

French PM pledges cuts in taxes and labour costs

France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls unveiled a sweeping package of reforms and cuts on Tuesday intended to rekindle the country’s flagging economy. He later passed a vote of confidence from lawmakers in the National Assembly. READ () »

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