Nicolas Sarkozy

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French prime minister Edouard Philippe (R) shakes hands with French right-wing Les Republicains  party president Laurent Wauquiez, ahead of the debate on  Thursday. Photograph: Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt

The second generation of rival French conservatives is personified by the hard-right leader of Les Républicains (LR), Laurent Wauquiez, and the modera(...)

French president Emmanuel Macron with Michele Audin, daughter of late Maurice Audin, as he leaves the home in Bagnolet of Josette Audin, widow of Audin, on Thursday. Photograph: Thomas  SamsoN/AFP/Getty Images

When President Emmanuel Macron recognised the responsibility of the French state for the torture and murder of the communist mathematician and anti-co(...)

A protester throws a container during clashes with police  in Paris on Thursday. Photograph:  Zakaria Abdelkafi/AFP/Getty Images

A far-left union bid to turn a protest on Thursday over a shakeup of the state railways into a bigger show of resistance to President Emmanuel Macron(...)

Investigators uncovered the alleged corruption by chance while probing allegations that Muammar Gadafy, the late Libyan dictator, had paid €50 million to Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign.  Photograph: Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images

Nicolas Sarkozy’s legal woes deepened on Thursday after judges decided to send the former French president for trial over allegations of corruption an(...)

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy  leaves his house in Paris on Wednesday. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was on Wednesday night mis en examen or formally placed under investigation on charges of “passive corruption,(...)

Funding allegations: Muammar Gadafy with Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007. Photograph: Gamma-Rapho via Getty

The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was taken into police custody on Tuesday for questioning about alleged Libyan financing of his 2007 presid(...)

Johnny Hallyday on stage at the Bercy venue in Paris, 2006. His  biological children  have launched a court action  ahead of a hearing on Thursday. Photograph: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

Young widow shafts spouses and children from deceased husband’s previous beds, keeping the inheritance for herself and her offspring. It’s a classic (...)

Silvio Berlusconi, former Italian prime minister and founder of Forza Italia, on an Italian TV show in  January. Photograph: Getty Images

With his perfectly dyed dark hair and his ivory-white teeth glistening in the lights of the television studio, Silvio Berlusconi – the octogenarian co(...)

The chief foreign beneficiary of Donald Trump’s insularity was Vladimir Putin, who has used his new strength in the Middle East as a springboard to bring Russia back to the geopolitical top table.  Photograph: Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP/Getty Images
Demons unleashed

Across the western world in 2017, the defining ideological divide was not between left and right, but open versus closed. It was that cleavage – natio(...)

Austria: Populists in power

For the second time in 20 years, the far-right Freedom party (FPÖ) is to be in government in Austria. Yet the comparatively muted response to the coal(...)

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