January 14, 2012 |
Standard & Poor's stripped France of its coveted AAA credit rating and downgraded eight other Eurozone countries in a sign the continent's debt crisis has a way to go before being resolved. The action, announced after U.S. markets closed Friday, was somewhat expected since S&P warned in December that it might slash the ratings. Investors already had priced in the downgrades, for the most part — major global stock indexes suffered only moderate declines, and French bond yields went largely unaffected.
October 21, 2011 |
French President Nicolas Sarkozy proved unable to be in two places at once and live up to his nickname "SuperSarko the Omnipresident," missing the birth of his daughter to fly to Germany for talks on the Eurozone crisis with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But upon his return to France, he spoke Thursday of the "very profound joy" felt by him and his wife, Italian-born First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, who confirmed that the child had been named Giulia, the Italian form of Julia. "We have been lucky enough to find great happiness.
September 15, 2011 |
British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid a historic visit Thursday to the Libyan capital, praising the nation's revolution, urging fugitive former leader Moammar Kadafi to surrender and sending a not-so-subtle message to Syria that room for autocratic rule was shrinking in the region. Both nations played a leading role in the withering NATO air campaign that was essential in toppling Kadafi's rule after more than four decades in power. The two leaders were the first foreign heads of state to visit Libya since Kadafi was ousted from the capital last month and went on the run. "This does go beyond Libya; this is a moment when the Arab spring can become an Arab summer," Cameron told a news conference with Sarkozy and leaders of Libya's transitional government.
June 24, 2011 |
Following America's lead, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced Thursday that his nation would begin to gradually withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. Sarkozy did not specify the number of troops to be brought home but said French forces would start handing over areas they control to the Afghan military. He made his announcement shortly after speaking with President Obama by telephone. In a national address Wednesday, Obama announced that the United States would withdraw 10,000 of its more than 100,000 troops from Afghanistan this year, and another 23,000 by September 2012.
May 27, 2011 |
World leaders agreed Friday to provide financial support to the newly forming governments of Tunisia and Egypt, adopting President Obama's plan to help build lasting democracies in those countries. As they wrapped up their annual summit here, leaders of the Group of 8 industrialized nations directed the International Monetary Fund to provide loans and other financial support. Although they did not commit to specific pledges of financial assistance individually, the leaders suggested they would do so either in direct loans or debt forgiveness or through contributions to international banks and funds.
April 17, 2011 |
French President Nicolas Sarkozy shocked the world by leading the push for a United Nations resolution to use force against Moammar Kadafi in his battle with rebels, and then unleashing French jets to launch the first airstrikes against the Libyan leader's forces. Perhaps more shocking, a celebrity French philosopher has been given much of the credit for sparking the chain of events. A dandied-up French slant on Hemingway, in his bold activism, literary prolificacy and habit of baring a tan chest in unbuttoned white shirts, Bernard-Henri Levy never goes unnoticed.