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(...)

A police car passes in front of the headquarters of France’s centre-right UMP political party in Paris.  Photograph: Charles Platiau

The implosion of French political life precipitated by the victory of the far right-wing National Front (FN) in Sunday’s European elections continued (...)

If Marine Le Pen leads her National Front party to victory, she improves her chances of making it to the 2017 presidential run-off. Photograph: Reuters

France will elect 74 MEPs on Sunday week. The government has not organised a civic information campaign, as it usually does for elections. Nearly two-(...)

Rwandan president Paul Kagame: pointed to ‘the direct role of Belgium and France in the political preparation of the genocide, and the participation of the latter in its actual execution’. Photograph: Evan Schneider/UN via Getty Images)

France has reacted with fury to Rwandan president Paul Kagame’s renewed accusations of direct French involvement in the 1994 genocide, on the e(...)

Raising taxes: President François Hollande. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Of the many insults levelled at France’s tax-and-spend policies, it is the cruellest. The phrase “sick man at the heart of Europe” was coined for the (...)

France’s president Francois Hollande (C) stands on the steps of the Elysee Palace in Paris on Tuesday. Mr Hollande had assumed airstrikes against Syria would be under way before today’s parliamentary debate on the issue. Photograph:  Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

A parliamentary vote on French military intervention in Syria may be the only way for French president François Hollande to defuse the political crisi(...)

France’s defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrives at the Hotel Matignon offices to attend a meeting with ministers and members of parliament in Paris September yesterday. France aims to build a coalition of countries to back military action against the Syrian government in response to a chemical weapons attack in Damascus, France’s prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said yesterday. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

The French government sought to bolster the case for military action against Syria last night, releasing a declassified summary of French intelligence(...)

French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault: “We believe in Europe, but we are not the yes men of Europe,” he said. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Relations between Paris and José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, continued to deteriorate yesterday when prime minister Jea(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel addressing the audience at the annual German Savings Banks Association meeting in Dresden last Thurday. A leaked French socialist party commission document referred to the “selfish intransigence of Chancellor Merkel, who thinks only of German depositors, Berlin’s trade balance and her electoral future”. Photograph: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

After nine hours of debate, a French socialist party commission has agreed to excise an aggressive phrase regarding “the selfish intransigence (...)