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Marianne watches over the Paris unity rally. EPA

Fragile France must avoid further division after Paris attacks

France has had a long and troubled relationship with its Muslim populations. French armies faced down Muslim leaders during the expansion of the country’s empire in Africa in the 19th century. And in the…
I can’t even look at you right now, Gérard. EPA/Gerard Cerles

French senate’s choice of leader is a blow for returning Sarkozy

On September 28, 179 new members were elected to the 348 seats in the French senate. Gérard Larcher, a member of the centre-right UMP party, was chosen as the senate président, or speaker. Even though…
‘Memorial diplomacy’, on display in June’s D-Day commemorations, is a mode of symbolic soft power politics which uses sites of memory and commemorative events to boost relations. AAP

The WWI centenary in France and the diplomacy of shared memory

When French president François Hollande rose to deliver the keynote address for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings earlier this year, he set in motion an unprecedented five-year cycle of commemoration…
Hearing voices. Francois Hollande watches a Mirage 2000-5 taxi out of its hangar. Philippe Wojazer/EPA

The European Left’s economic policies risk looking feeble

Why does the economic policy pursued or proposed by the Left in Europe often seem so pathetic? The clearest example of this lies just across the channel. France is subject to the same fiscal straitjacket…
Rumours of an affair have raised Hollande’s dander. AP Photo/Francois Mori

Memo to Francois Hollande: no sex please, we’re French

Liberté, égalité, infidélité. The three stout pillars of the French constitution. Mitterrand, Chirac, Sarkozy, and now François Hollande: it’s a grand tradition – and if you tot their conquests up they…
‘Why don’t you borrow my cell, Angela, it’s secure…’ Cyrus Farivar

Merkelphone scandal shocks Europe but spies are unmoved

Revelations about the extent of the American National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) global communications surveillance have raised considerable media and political attention. The fact that the NSA not only…
Friendship fries all round. Pete Souza

Syria the anvil on which new US-French entente is forged

While Barack Obama was getting the cold shoulder from Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg late last week, the mood was a great deal more cordial at the Quai d'Orsay in Paris as US secretary of state, John…
Following the EU summit in Brussels this week, it seems eurobonds are back on the agenda. But will it be what it needed to save the Eurozone? AAP

Will (Euro)bonding help solve the euro crisis?

The special EU summit held in Brussels on Wednesday revamped the discussion on Eurobonds (i.e. the issuance of common government bonds to pool the Eurozone debt liability) as a possible option to address…
Austerity’s political cheer squad: but is the game over? G8 countries have committed to growth by setting sights on employment.

Why do our world leaders cling to the dismal politics of economic austerity?

The lingering commitment to austerity of leading Western politicians in the face of impending economic tragedy is beyond belief. The dismal science is a sobriquet often wrongly applied to economics, but…
German chancellor Angela Merkel and France’s new President Francois Hollande meet to discuss Europe’s economic woes. EPA/Rainer Jensen

Hollande and Merkel: breaking up is hard to do

Europe is in economic dire straits and the two most powerful economies on the continent are, at least on paper, led by individuals with considerable differences. The previous French President Nicolas Sarkozy…

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