French prime minister Manuel Valls delivers a government statement on Greece at the National Assembly in Paris. France would do all it could to keep Greece in the euro zone, he said on Wednesday. Photograph: Jacky Naegelen/Reuters

French prime minister Manuel Valls fervently opposes the expulsion of Greece from the euro zone and says that rescheduling or writing down Greek debt (...)

‘Forty years on, this very French, eclectic gathering, lubricated by copious wine and fromages to die for, provided some telling snapshots of the country’s, and particularly its left’s, uncertain, confused, and depressed mood and the langueur of its politics.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Paris in the springtime. Around the tables in the country garden on this balmy evening, pals, old schoolfriends, and family celebrated last weekend on(...)

Nicolas Sarkozy arrives at UMP party headquarters in Paris. The 212,000 members of the party will vote on the party’s statute and new name. Photograph: Stephane de Sakutin/Afp/Getty Images

Militants of Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative UMP will officially change their party’s name to “Les Républicains” – the Republicans – on Saturday. With (...)

The return of Nicolas Sarkozy

The predicament of the French right is not unlike that of the US Republican Party. Choosing someone to lead the party to electoral victory requires pa(...)

Marine Le Pen, France’s National Front  leader, delivers a speech at their congress in Lyon. Ms Le Pen, the sole candidate, won 100 per cent of the vote. Photograph: Robert Pratta/Reuters

Two leading contenders for the presidency of France have been elected to head their respective political parties. Former president Nicolas Sarkozy won(...)

 Nicolas Sarkozy with Rachida Dati at the Élysée Palace in Paris in 2007. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Like her political mentor Nicolas Sarkozy, Rachida Dati is a tough survivor with a chip on her shoulder, a fighter whose scrappiness sometimes work(...)

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy: his most faithful lieutenants have disavowed his stand on gay marriage. Photograph: Yoan Valat/EPA

Nicolas Sarkozy needs a dictator’s score in the November 29th election for the leadership of the conservative UMP – something like 80 per cent – if h(...)

 Alain Juppé after an extraordinary meeting of the opposition UMP last year. The party’s nominee – likely Juppé, Nicolas Sarkozy or François Fillon – is almost certain to win the presidency in 2017. Photograph: Getty Images

France’s main opposition party, the conservative UMP, is €74 million in debt. Investigating magistrates searched its offices on October 29th for evide(...)

A return from Elba
  • Europe
  • September 27, 2014, 01:00

It is a measure of the extraordinary levels of unpopularity manifest in polls for France’s President François Hollande – the most unpopular preside(...)

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy leaves a Paris restaurant last Friday, the day he announced on his Facebook page that he is a candidate for the leadership of the conservative UMP party, which will elect its new president on November 29th. Photograph: Reuters/Charles Platiau

When the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was defeated by François Hollande on May 6th, 2012, he promised to leave French political life. In(...)