France

France's pension reform draft up for debate at National Assembly amid public anger

PARIS, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- French lawmakers on Monday began debating the government's draft bill on pension reform, which had brought crowds into the streets and disruptions to transport services in December and January.

Defending a reform "whose ambition is great, even immense," the newly-appointed Solidarity and Health Minister Olivier Veran argued that an universal system "is the pillar of social protection."

"Today is the time for responsibility towards the French through a discussion that will take the time it needs," he addressed the National Assembly.

Brexit: France warns UK of bitter trade negotiations

MUNICH (Germany), Feb 17 (NNN-AGENCIES) — France has warned Britain to expect a bruising battle with the EU in post-Brexit trade negotiations.

French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian predicted the two sides would “rip each other apart” as they strove for advantage in the negotiations.

He also said it would be tough for the UK to achieve its aim of agreeing a free trade deal by the end of the year.

The UK government said it wanted a deal based on “friendly co-operation between sovereign equals”.

Russia will 'keep trying to destabilise' Western democracies: Macron

Munich, Feb 15 (AFP/PTI) French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday warned that Russia would continue to try to "destabilise" Western democracies through election interference, social media manipulation and other acts of cyber warfare.

"I think that Russia will keep trying to destabilise, either through private actors, directly through its agencies, or through proxies," Macron said at the Munich Security Conference, describing Moscow as "extremely aggressive" in this area.

U.S. Decision To Raise Tariffs On EU Planes Escalates Trade Tensions

PARIS, Feb 16 (NNN-AGENCIES) – European aircraft producer, Airbus, said that, the United States government’s decision to increase tariffs on aircraft imported from the European Union (EU), further escalates trade tensions between the U.S. and the EU.

The decision of the Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), “further escalates trade tensions between the U.S. and the EU, thereby creating more instability for U.S. airlines, that are already suffering from a shortage of aircraft,” said the European plane maker in a statement.

France 'impatient' over lack of German drive to reform EU: Macron

16 February 2020; AFP: President Emmanuel Macron said Saturday France was growing "impatient" with the lack of German response to its push to strengthen the European Union after Brexit.

Asked at the Munich Security Conference if he was frustrated by Chancellor Angela Merkel's silence on his proposed reforms, Macron said: "I'm not frustrated, I'm impatient."

Europe can win global battle for industrial data, says EU industry chief

PARIS (Reuters) - Europe may have lost the battle to create digital champions capable of taking on U.S. and Chinese companies harvesting personal data, but it can win the war of industrial data, Europe’s industry policy chief said on Saturday.

Vast troves of data from how fast we drive our cars to how much time a robot needs to churn out products will open a new front in the battle for digital dominance, said Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner in charge of the bloc’s single market.

Griveaux, ally of France's Macron, withdraws from Paris mayoral race

PARIS (Reuters) - Benjamin Griveaux, French President Emmanuel Macron’s preferred candidate for Mayor of Paris, said on Friday he had decided to withdraw his candidacy following what he said were “ignoble attacks” on his private life.

“I have decided to withdraw my candidacy from the municipal election,” Griveaux said in a televised address.

French media said Griveaux made the decision after the publication on the internet of sexual material concerning him.

Airbus reports 2019 net loss of 1.36 bn euros

13 February 2020; AFP: Airbus on Thursday reported a net loss of 1.36 billion euros in 2019 after being hit by a 3.6-billion-euro fine over a bribery scandal and extra development costs for the A400M transport aircraft.

The firm said operating profits rose to 6.9 billion euros ($7.5 billion), adding that it expected to deliver about 880 commercial planes in 2020 against 863 in 2019.

EU's Dombrovskis: strategic European view on 5G is needed

PARIS (Reuters) - Europe as a whole needs to have a strategic view regarding 5G telecoms networks, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said on Friday at a meeting with French finance minister Bruno Le Maire.

On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr stressed the threat posed by Huawei Technologies and said the United States and its allies should consider investing in Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson to counter the Chinese company’s dominance in next generation 5G telecoms technology.

Macron: France ready to partner with Europe on nuclear deterrence

PARIS (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that France wanted to open a strategic dialogue with its European partners about the role of French nuclear deterrence policy in European security.

The overture to Europeans chimes with Macron’s insistence that Europe should reinforce its strategic autonomy in the face of growing global threats and stop relying solely on the United States and the transatlantic alliance for its defense.

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