France’s Hollande Tells Ministers To End Roma Row

Students’ connection with France growing stronger

Credit: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer PARIS | Wed Oct 2, 2013 8:05am EDT PARIS (Reuters) – President Francois Hollande told two of his top ministers on Wednesday they should end a public row over France’s policy towards its Roma population if they wanted to stay in his government. Interior Minister Manuel Valls last week said most of some 20,000 Roma housed in makeshift camps around French cities could never be integrated into French society and so should be “taken back to the border” for transfer back to Romania and Bulgaria. Housing Minister Cecile Duflot, a leader of the ecologist Greens coalition partners to the ruling Socialists, denounced Valls for betraying the core human rights values that France prided itself on, and demanded that Hollande reprimand him. Seeking to heal a widening rift between centrists and left-wingers in his coalition over the issue, Hollande took both Duflot and Valls to task at his weekly cabinet meeting. “I insist that all ministers pay full mind to their mission, their behavior, how they express themselves and of course, how they act,” Hollande told the meeting, according to presidential aides. “Being a member of a government does not mean you cannot have your point of view but it does mean you have to strictly apply the rules I have just set out,” he said, adding: “the debate should be inside the government not in public”. The dispute not only exposed tensions within Hollande’s 17-month-old coalition but raised new questions over the authority of the president, whose poll ratings have fallen to 23 percent amid dissatisfaction over his record on the economy and jobs. Hollande said he was also asking Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who is suffering from low popularity ratings too, to ensure better coordination in the government. The far-right National Front has signaled it plans to make the Roma issue a central campaign theme for next March’s municipal elections. It is hopeful it can tap a protest vote against Hollande to score gains in town halls across France. Valls’ tough talk on law and order has made him Hollande’s most popular government minister. A poll released at the weekend showed three-quarters of French agreed with his comments on the Roma. Hollande’s government has sought to distance itself from a hard-line policy under conservative former President Nicolas Sarkozy, who explicitly accused Roma of links to crime and launched a program of deportations. Yet since the beginning of the year some 13,000 Roma have been evicted from illegal camps and welfare groups say the failure of schemes to re-house their inhabitants means they find themselves on the streets or simply set up new camps elsewhere. Moreover France this week said it was currently opposed to Romania and Bulgaria joining the European Union’s passport-free Schengen zone when current restrictions on the movement of Romanian and Bulgarian citizens end in January 2014.

Hollande Giving Workers Say in M&A Deepens Fortress-France Image

Credit: Reuters/Albert Gea PARIS | Thu Oct 3, 2013 3:08pm BST PARIS (Reuters) – Centre back Raphael Varane and striker Loic Remy were called up on Thursday for France’s final soccer World Cup qualifier against Finland this month. Coach Didier Deschamps also included Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho and Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye in the 23-man list. The 20-year-old Varane returned to action with Real Madrid in Wednesday’s Champions League 4-0 victory at Copenhagen after months out with a knee injury. His first two international appearances in March, when he started the World Cup qualifiers at home against Georgia and Spain, proved enough to convince Deschamps to recall him. “It’s true that he has not played a lot yet but regarding what he did with us, it was logical to me to call him up,” Deschamps told a news conference. Sakho, who left French champions Paris St Germain because he was the fourth choice there, is also returning after earning four consecutive starts with English Premier League side Liverpool. Remy, who has scored three goals in his last two league games with Newcastle, is also coming back as Deschamps continues to look for the best attacking options. Karim Benzema, who has not scored with Les Bleus since June last year, was benched in Belarus last month but replacement Olivier Giroud did not prove much more effective despite the 4-2 victory. “Loic Remy has the scoring touch and is able to fill in several attacking positions. He also has the pace that gives us different possibilities,” Deschamps said. France host Australia in a friendly on October 11 and take on Finland for their final 2014 World Cup qualifier four days later. They are second in their Group I, tied on 14 points with leaders Spain, and will secure a spot in next month’s playoff if they do not lose to Finland.

Orange Chief Executive Officer Stephane Richard had sought to sell a majority stake in DailyMotion to expand the brand and finance research. Industry Minister Montebourg summoned executives of the two companies to the finance ministry in April, giving them a dressing down and accusing the Orange executive of selling one of Frances crown jewels, said a person with direct knowledge of the discussion. The deal was abandoned. The new rules would add a level of complexity to a process that foreign buyers already deem cumbersome. Constraining Legislation Under the new rules, the workers committee of a target company will be able to name an accountant to assess a bid and would have a month to render its non-bidding view, which would be required before the board of the target company publishes its official response to a takeover offer. The works council could ask a judge to intervene if it feels it didnt get satisfactory responses to its queries, potentially delaying any deal. The reforms will make everything much more complex, particularly when the works council intervenes, Martel said. The law would also force a company with more than 1,000 employees that wants to close down a site to look for a buyer for three months. If it fails to do so or turns down a serious offer, a judge may impose a fine of up to 20 times the minimum wage for each job loss, or a maximum of 2 percent of annual sales. Our labor legislation is particularly constraining and is scaring off a lot of people, while foreign investment could help our economy, Olivier de Vilmorin, an M&A lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in Paris, said in an interview. The proposed bill isnt likely to make France more attractive to investors. To contact the reporters on this story: Jacqueline Simmons in Paris at ; Francois de Beaupuy in Paris at ; Marie Mawad in Paris at . To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root at ; President Francois Hollande Philippe Wojazer/AFP via Getty Images President Francois Hollande speaks with employees during his visit of the ArcelorMittal steel factory in Florange on Sept.

France call up Varane and Remy for World Cup qualifier

Management courses were popular among Indian students, they added. Through this tour, the officials of the Embassy of France in India and Campus France offered students and their parents the opportunity to meet some 20 top French business and engineering institutes. The admission tour was scheduled in four cities including Pune. The Bangalore and Chennai leg of the tour was held in September while the Chandigarh leg will be held on October 5. Caroline Goeny Mentre , heading the scientific and university cooperation at the Embassy of France in India told TOI on Thursday, “In 2000, there were only about 100 students from India studying in France. About five years ago, we created a niche for ourselves in India as far as engineering and management education was concerned. In 2012, 2,600 students from India received admissions into French schools and universities for 700 courses. The rise is encouraging.” Goeny-Mentre said the master’s degree in management in finance, international relations and marketing were the most popular among Indian students. “Besides, we also offer 300 scholarships amounting to Rs 7.1 crore in a year to Indian students in various disciplines which are purely merit based and at the masters level,” she said. To attract more Indian students to France, the embassy in May 2013, eased conditions for obtaining work visas. This allowed a large number of students graduating from French business and engineering schools to extend their stay for work in France.

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