France News of the Week by Le Figaro in English: December 16, 2011

France News of the Week by Le Figaro in English: December 16, 2011
  France News of the Week by our news partner, Le Figaro in English Socialist candidate Hollande and international community critique Euro zone reforms, Villepin announces candidacy, four die in a shooting spree in Belgium. Shooting Spree at Belgian Christmas Market A man went on a shooting spree at a Christmas market in Liège, Belgium, wounding 75 and killing three minors—including a baby—before killing himself. The courts confirmed that the body of a woman was discovered at the attacker’s home It was also revealed that the suspected killer, Noudine Amrani, was known by the Liège police. He had served several prison terms for growing marijuana and was on probation at the time of the shooting. His collection of 9,500 weapons had previously been impounded. Earlier the morning of the attack, Amrani had been called to court. His lawyer said that Amrani was convinced the justice system was out to get him. » Read more (in English) Villepin announces candidacy for French presidency 2012 Former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin is the newest candidate for French presidency. The majority UMP party is not happy with this announcement and has called for Villepin to leave the race. Supporters of Nicolas Sarkozy worry that Villepin could steal much-needed support from the current French president in his re-election campaign. Villepin’s candidacy may also cause problems for other candidates. It may be bad news for centrist candidate François Bayrou, who will no longer be able to capture both the centrist Right and centrist Left votes. And, according to Villepin, his candidacy isn’t the last surprise. For 2012, he told the French to expect “surprises, lots of surprises.” » Read more (in English) Socialist Candidate Hollande Says He’d Renegotiate EU Reforms Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande said that the EU reforms, decided on December 9 by 26 of 27 EU member states, are not the “right response” to the crisis of sovereign debts. His first step would be to improve market efficacy. Secondly, Hollande said that he would change financial bailout measures— reviewing Eurobonds (to pool European sovereign debt) and increasing the role of the European Central Bank in cases of crisis. He is not the only one to critique the newest reforms. In the eyes of American politicians and members of the press, the fundamental Euro zone problems won’t be resolved by austerity alone. American President Obama said that it “showed progress” but no more. The editorial boards of America’s top newspapers poked fun at the Europeans and their new “groundbreaking” summit, saying that it did not go far enough. » Read more about Hollande’s announcement (in English) » Read more about American reactions to treaty (in English) » Read more about the newest Euro zone treaty (in English)   Weekly France news roundups by our news partner, Le Figaro in English   Do you have news to share with our readers? Please send us your story ideas.   NEW: Subscribe for free to our weekly newsletters with subscriber-only stories. Update your travel books, DVDs & French imports: our current recommendations.   Thank you for using our link to…your purchases support our free site. Top 100 Readers’ Favorite Items. (Please wait for widget to load) Click on image for more info about these favorites.  
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