The French-American Foundation Weekly Brief

The French-American Foundation Weekly Brief


At least 1.2 million French workers and students took to the street on Tuesday, October 12th, to protest the French government’s continued efforts to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62, according to the Associated Press. A third to half of flights out of Paris’s airports were cancelled on Tuesday while much of the nation’s infrastructure was affected by the protests. French Minister of Labor Erich Woerth said that the government would hold steadfast to the effort to reform the retirement age to balance government funds, the Nouvel Observateur reported. President Nicolas Sarkozy said that no additional concessions could possibly be made in the debate on retirement in France, according to Le Parisien.

A meeting of deputies from the UMP, President Nicolas Sarkozy’s political party, turned its attention to wealth and asset taxes on Tuesday, October 12th, Bloomberg reported. In an effort to align its tax system with that of Germany, the UMP will conduct a report on the possibility of eliminating the taxes. Sarkozy said that the wealth tax – the Impôt de Solidarité sur la Fortune, created in 1981 by socialist President François Mitterand taxing those with a net wealth greater than 790,000 euros – has driven many wealthy French citizens to move abroad. Reuters said that the discussions included the creation of a 50-percent limit on income tax. The project, which has been deemed a complete reform of France’s fiscal procedures, must wait until the next parliamentary budgetary debate, Le Figaro said.

In an interview with Christiane Amanpour  for ABC New’s “This Week”, Christine Lagarde, France’s finance minister, commented on recent economic hardships and her approach to finance saying” that male politicians are more influenced by libido, testosterone, and ego, as seen in a video on the Huffington Post Lagarde, considered a potential choice to be France’s next Prime Minister, made no specific reference to the politics of France, as outlined by the Telegraph Lagarde, past CEO of international law firm Baker & McKenzie, was ranked 43rd in Forbes ( Magazine’s list of the most powerful women in the world. L’Essentiel examines the 2010 list, released on Oct. 6, which ousted German Chancellor Angela Merkel as most powerful woman (falling to the No. 4 spot) to make way for Michelle Obama.

French police arrested Rwandan Callixte Mbarushimana in his Paris apartment on Monday, October 11th. Mbarushimana is believed to be a leader of the FDLR, a Rwandan rebel group that has been credited with the rape and murder of thousands of people in the Kivu Region of Congo, according to the New York Times. Mbarushimana was allegedly responsible for a campaign to convince governments that the FDLR is a legitimate political group, hoping to gain power in Rwanda by demonstrating its power through violence in Congo. The Hague has issued five charges of crimes against humanity and six charges of war crimes against Mbarushimana, La Croix reported. Rwanda’s Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama said the arrest was a move in the right direction in an interview with RFI’s All Africa. An article in the Christian Science Monitor said the arrest would do little to stop the rebel group on the ground in Congo.


Share to:  Facebook  Twitter   LinkedIn   Email

Previous Article Museum-Quality Candle
Next Article Ciboure: L’Ephémère

Related Articles