France News: Sarkozy Holds 9-11 Memorial, Galliano Guilty, EU Economics, Chirac Trial, Strauss-Kahn

By Karen Fawcett

U.S. Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin & France President Nicolas Sarkozy at Paris 9-11 Memorial. Photo: ©APSarkozy holds Paris 9-11 memorial

France President Nicolas Sarkozy commemorated 9-11 at the U.S. Embassy in Paris on Friday. The French President said, "On this day of September 11th, every French person felt hit. The barbarians chose New York as the epicenter, but it could have been Paris."

U.S. Ambassador Charles Rivkin said in an interview with the Associated Press that the U.S.-French relations have improved since September 11th, 2001, and "I don't think it could get better."

 

G-7 leaders meet to discuss economy crisis

According to Business Day, finance heads and bankers from the world’s most powerful nations met in Marseille on Friday and Saturday to discuss the economic crisis. The euro zone has been dramatically affected. The optimal way to manage currencies is a critical topic. France and Germany are particularly exposed to EU loan defaults, including those of Greece, Italy, Ireland and Portugal.

G-7 Finance Ministers in Marseille. Photo: ReutersU.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner stated, “Unless the debt crisis is resolved soon and is accompanied by significant structural and fiscal reforms, Europe faces poor growth prospects." Avoiding a recession and reassuring the financial markets are two pressing challenges according to the French publication Le Point.

France was the first country to approve measures aimed at increasing the flexibility of the euro zone rescue fund and providing Greece with a second tranche of aid.

The Financial Times reported that members of the senate, France’s upper house of parliament, gave their approval on Thursday to increase the European Financial Stability Facility’s scope.

"Countries must act now, and act boldly, to steer their economies through this dangerous new phase of the recovery," said Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund in a quote published in Investment Week.

Reuters has reported that Germany and France have sent a letter to the European Commission pressing for a financial transfer tax.

John Galliano. Photo: ©Reuters-Gonzalo FuentesJohn Galliano guilty of racial abuse, symbolic cash damages

British fashion designer John Galliano was convicted of making "public anti-Semitic and racist remarks" in a Paris bar in February 2011 and October 2010.

Following the incidents, Dior terminated Galliano. He didn’t appear in court in Paris and was fined €6,000 and ordered to pay a symbolic €1 in damages to his victims plus pay the legal costs of five anti-racist organizations, who were represented at his trial in June. To read more, access The Independent UK.

Chirac trial will proceed without his presence in courtFormer President J. Chirac. Photo: Getty-Independent

The trial of former French President Jacques Chirac on corruption charges will proceed without Mr. Chirac having to be present, a court decided Monday, citing the poor state of Mr. Chirac’s mental health, according to the New York Times.

Mr. Chirac, who is 78 years old, has been diagnosed as suffering from anosognosia, that causes a substantial memory loss.

Anosognosia is often seen in Alzheimer’s patients. Mr. Chirac’s lawyers contend that in his case, this may be an outcome related to a 2005 stroke.

Mixed responses to Dominique Strauss-Kahn's return to Paris

Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife Anne Sinclair returned to Paris to a quasi-hero’s welcome. By some that is. Many feel that Strauss-Kahn, once the Socialist Party’s best hope for winning next year’s presidential election, still has a role to play in public life. He’s considered to be a talented politician and one of the few credible economic thinkers on the French left.

As finance minister from 1997 to 1999, he paved the way for France’s adoption of the euro by cutting the budget deficit and reducing debt. He restored the IMF to relevance by building consensus on reform and helping Europe to overcome its divisions in the first Greek crisis of 2010.

On the other hand, the Financial Times reports that many feminists and others are inflamed that the former head of the IMF has not made amends.

Court orders man to pay ex-wife damages for lack of sexual relations

A judge in Nice cited French civil code article 215 when he fined a 51-year-old man nearly €10,000 for not fulfilling marital obligations with the woman who is now his ex-wife, per The Telegraph. The judge in southern France’s highest court in Aix-en-Provence ruled: “A sexual relationship between husband and wife is the expression of affection they have for each other, and in this case it was absent. By getting married, couples agree to sharing their life and this clearly implies they will have sex with each other.”

This is not all the French news to report but these are some of the highlights. Stay tuned.

© Paris New Media, LLC

Karen@BonjourParis.com

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