Мerkel Looks East for Austerity Allies in Hollande Talks

By Tony Czuczka & Patrick Donahue

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reached out to the ex-communist east as she pushes plans for a more competitive Europe, saying the euro area won’t become a “closed club.” READ MORE

Baptism by Fire of Francois Hollande

By Anton Ramov

The year of 2013 has started with an acute escalation of the situation in Mali. After a military coup in March 2012 the North of the country was captured by Toureg-separatists from the National Liberation Movement of Azawad (NLMA). Having used disorganization and weakness of governmental troops, the rebels proclaimed an independent state of Azawad along the territory, comparable in sizes with France. Already in summer 2012 contradictions between moderate separatists and radical Islamists among rebelled Toureg escalated. As a result the power was transferred to the Islamists from the groupings of  Ansar al-Din (“Faith defenders”) and Al-Qaeda of Islamic Magrheb. READ MORE

Presidential Summit Drives Kazakhstani-French Relations Forward

By Richard Weitz

During his recent visit to France on November 21–23, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev met with his counterpart Francois Hollande for the first time since Hollande became French president in May 2012. The successful encounter showed that Hollande wants to continue the high level of cooperation between the two countries that his predecessor, Nicholas Sarkozy, had initiated (Tengri News, November 22). READ MORE

French President Hollande visits Poland amid EU budget discussion

By Thomas Whittle

French President Francois Hollande was officially greeted by Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski here on Friday, during the discussion of the 2014-2020 European Union (EU) budget. READ MORE

Hollande slumps in polls ... and it could get worse

By Tony Cross

After four months in power President François Hollande has suffered a massive drop in popularity, his government is split over the eurozone fiscal pact and companies continue to lay workers off. This week is unlikely to see a turnaround — new unemployment figures will be announced on Wednesday and the cabinet will discuss a widely dreaded budget on Friday. READ MORE

France's Strategy


By George Friedman

New political leaders do not invent new national strategies. Rather, they adapt enduring national strategies to the moment. On Tuesday, Francois Hollande will be inaugurated as France's president, and soon after taking the oath of office, he will visit German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. At this moment, the talks are expected to be about austerity and the European Union, but the underlying issue remains constant: France's struggle for a dominant role in European affairs at a time of German ascendance. READ MORE

French election 'good for Poland'


An advisor to Poland’s president has said that the victory of Francois Hollande in the French presidential elections is a good choice “for France, Poland and Europe”. READ MORE

Merkel will welcome Hollande 'with open arms'

By Marcel Fürstenau

While Germany's opposition hopes the French Socialist victory will reflect poorly on European policies on the debt crisis and on Berlin, Angela Merkel insists on a continuation of the current course. READ MORE

Sarkozy and Hollande set out to woo far-right Front National Le Pen voters


As campaigning continues ahead of the 6 May run-off for French president both candidates set out on Monday to court the more than six million people who voted for the far-right Front National party of Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s first round. READ MORE