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France

Yearbook 2011

France. According to Countryaah official site, the popular uprising in Tunisia became troublesome for several French politicians who worked closely with the regime. Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie resigned in February following criticism for, among other things. a solar trip with President Ben Ali's private jet, in the midst of the ongoing revolt. Defense Minister Alain Juppé became new Foreign Minister. As the so-called Arab Spring spread to Libya, President Nicolas Sarkozy took the lead in foreign support for resistance to Muammar al-Khadaffi. He advocated the NATO effort and in March, France first came to recognize the Transitional Council as Libya's legitimate representative.

2011 France

2011 FranceAfter nearly 40 years as leader of the right-wing National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen left in January to his daughter, Marine Le Pen. In the municipal elections in March, her party received almost as much electoral support as the crippling UMP (Union for a People's Movement). The Socialist Party became the largest and was considered to be well ahead of the 2012 presidential election. He was charged with rape on a hotel steward and was forced to resign from his top job as head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He spent over a month in house arrest, but in August, prosecutors dropped the case, since the hotel cleaner's credibility was questioned. In France, however, the support for Strauss-Kahn had sounded after several testimonies of sexual abuse and harassment. A preliminary investigation into a rape attempt in 2003 was closed in October, but Strauss-Kahn was calculated from the policy.

The Senate elections in September gave the left a majority in Parliament's upper house for the first time since the fifth republic was opened in 1958. The victory was seen as a sign of widespread dissatisfaction with President Sarkozy.

In October, the Socialist Party held primary elections, the first so far in France, to elect its candidate in the upcoming presidential election. All interested voters, regardless of party sympathies, were invited to participate, which attracted great attention. Former party leader François Hollande won in the second round over incumbent party leader Martine Aubry.

The instability in the euro zone caused growing concern as the year progressed. French banks were hard pressed by Greece's debt crisis due to large holdings of Greek government securities. In August, the government presented a savings package of EUR 12 billion, including an extra tax for the wealthiest. The major banks Crédit Agricole and Société Générale had their credit ratings lowered in September. The threat of a write-down on the state's creditworthiness also contributed to Sarkozy proposing a further cut of up to EUR 8 billion at the end of October.

In September, two women became the first to be fined under the new so-called canning law that came into force in April. The women questioned the ban on wearing a comprehensive veil in public places and stated that they planned to appeal the verdict up to the European Court of Justice.

In October, Sarkozy became a father when his wife Carla Bruni gave birth to a daughter. It was the first time a sitting president had a child.

In December, former President Jacques Chirac was sentenced to conditional prison for corruption and abuse of power during his tenure as mayor of Paris in the 1990s.

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