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France's Hollande would lose election vs. Sarkozy, Le Pen: poll

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande would be beaten at the polls by both his center-right predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy and far-right rival Marine Le Pen if he ran for re-election this week, an opinion survey showed on Tuesday. Hollande's popularity has plummeted to record lows since he came to power two years ago, with voters increasingly frustrated about his failure to kickstart economic growth and bring down an unemployment rate stuck above 10 percent.

Hollande, Obama share 'concern' over Ukraine violence

Presidents Francois Hollande of France and Barack Obama of the US share the same "concern" over the violence witnessed in east Ukraine over the past few days, the French presidency said in a statement Monday. The two leaders voiced their worry in a telephone conversation in which Hollande expressed hope that a Geneva meeting on Thursday between representatives from Ukraine, Russia, the United States and Europe "will start a dialogue" to defuse the situation.

Hollande, Obama share 'concern' over Ukraine violence

Presidents Francois Hollande of France and Barack Obama of the US share the same "concern" over the violence witnessed in east Ukraine over the past few days, the French presidency said in a statement Monday. The two leaders voiced their worry in a telephone conversation in which Hollande expressed hope that a Geneva meeting on Thursday between representatives from Ukraine, Russia, the United States and Europe "will start a dialogue" to defuse the situation.

With one tweet, Hollande's ex puts pressure on Mexico trip

The French leader's jilted ex-girlfriend has stepped back into the limelight with a tweet urging Paris to help a woman who says her Mexican ex-husband abducted their children, just as Francois Hollande visits Mexico. Valerie Trierweiler, a glamorous journalist, had been keeping a low profile since she was dumped by the president earlier this year following revelations he had been having an affair with actress Julie Gayet.

With one tweet, Hollande's ex puts pressure on Mexico trip

The French leader's jilted ex-girlfriend has stepped back into the limelight with a tweet urging Paris to help a woman who says her Mexican ex-husband abducted their children, just as Francois Hollande visits Mexico. Valerie Trierweiler, a glamorous journalist, had been keeping a low profile since she was dumped by the president earlier this year following revelations he had been having an affair with actress Julie Gayet.

France's Hollande names European expert his chief of staff

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande appointed a close friend and former European affairs minister to the strategic post of his chief of staff on Wednesday and reshuffled his private office to tighten the country's relations with Brussels. The nomination of Jean-Pierre Jouyet as secretary-general of the presidency was also designed to ensure better coordination with the government of new Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Hollande told the daily Le Monde.

Hollande takes chance on ex-partner Royal in new French cabinet

By Brian Love PARIS (Reuters) - Segolene Royal has returned politically to the side of her former partner, French President Francois Hollande, joining his Socialist government on Wednesday seven years after her own failed run at the presidency. For Royal, who had four children with Hollande, her appointment to the sensitive energy and environment portfolios in a cabinet shakeup marks a dramatic political comeback.

Royal's return a new twist in France's political soap opera

Segolene Royal's appointment to a new French government is the latest chapter in an extraordinary saga entwining affairs of state with affairs of the heart. Royal, 60, is the ex-partner of President Francois Hollande and the mother of his four children. She is also a longstanding heavyweight figure in the Socialist Party, for whom she fought, unsuccessfully, the 2007 presidential election.

France's Hollande names new PM, pledges tax cuts after poll rout

By Mark John and Emmanuel Jarry PARIS (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande named centrist Interior Minister Manuel Valls as his new prime minister on Monday, replacing Jean-Marc Ayrault who quit after ruling Socialists were trounced in local French elections. Hollande vowed to pursue cuts in labor charges for business but also promised tax cuts to boost consumer spending, insisting that EU partners take his reform efforts into account in judging whether France had respected commitments to Brussels.

France's Hollande to address nation at 1800 GMT after poll debacle

French President Francois Hollande will address the nation at 1800 GMT, the presidency said Monday, after his Socialist Party suffered stinging humiliation in local polls widely expected to trigger a government reshuffle. The unpopular leader will make his address on television, the presidency said, without providing further details. ha-swi/mbx/ach/jmm
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