France's Enigmatic François Hollande: The Man Who Always Smiles

France's Enigmatic François Hollande: The Man Who Always Smiles

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 01, 2012

All eyes in Europe are on François Hollande, the Socialist candidate who could become France's next president on Sunday. The reserved technocrat has become more confident and presidential during the campaign, and makes up for his shortcomings as an orator by showing genuine empathy with people. But even his friends say he is hard to fathom. By Mathieu von Rohr more...

The Debt Drug: How Long Will Hollande's Party Go On?

The Debt Drug: How Long Will Hollande's Party Go On?

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 27, 2012

François Hollande is predicted to win France's presidential election, but his victory could endanger the euro zone's carefully negotiated fiscal pact. He also wants to water down the European Central Bank's statutes, forcing it to lend more to promote economic growth. But his plans would do little more than borrow time -- and they could be very dangerous for Germany. An Analysis By Wolfgang Kaden more... Comment ]

Ratings Agency Downgrade: Merkel Blasts Hollande as Spain Worries Increase

Ratings Agency Downgrade: Merkel Blasts Hollande as Spain Worries Increase

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 27, 2012

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear on Thursday that she was not prepared to renegotiate the European Union fiscal pact as demanded by French presidential candidate François Hollande. Her comments come as ratings agency Standard and Poor's downgraded Spain two notches. more...

The World from Berlin: 'Berlin Is Running Out of Allies in Euro Crisis'

The World from Berlin: 'Berlin Is Running Out of Allies in Euro Crisis'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 24, 2012

The collapse of the Dutch government, the prospect of Socialist François Hollande as next French president and the surging popularity of far-right parties shows that budget discipline is out of fashion in Europe. Chancellor Angela Merkel is looking increasingly lonely in her fight to save the euro through painful austerity measures, write German commentators. more...

Interview with Luxembourg Foreign Minister: Franco-German Border Plan 'Stinks to High Heaven'

Interview with Luxembourg Foreign Minister: Franco-German Border Plan 'Stinks to High Heaven'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 23, 2012

In an interview with SPIEGEL, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn attacks a Franco-German plan to allow Schengen-zone countries to temporarily re-introduce border controls. The move is a populist ploy by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to secure his re-election, says Asselborn. more...

Presidential Election: French Voters Show Their Anger with Sarkozy

Presidential Election: French Voters Show Their Anger with Sarkozy

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 23, 2012

Socialist challenger Francois Hollande has beaten incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in the first round of the French presidential election. The result is a sign of how frustrated the French are with the state of their country, and how angry they are with Sarkozy. Hollande now has to appeal to supporters of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen if he wants to win the second round. A Commentary by Mathieu von Rohr more... Comment ]

French-German Relations: What a Hollande Victory Would Mean for Merkel

French-German Relations: What a Hollande Victory Would Mean for Merkel

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 19, 2012

German Chancellor Merkel has made it clear that she would like to see French President Nicolas Sarkozy win a second term. Indeed, if his challenger François Hollande emerges victorious in the country's upcoming election, she could face isolation in Europe. But a Sarkozy re-election might be problematic, too. By Veit Medick and Severin Weiland more...

Big Promises and Bigger Illusions: Personalities Trump Policies in French Presidential Campaign

Big Promises and Bigger Illusions: Personalities Trump Policies in French Presidential Campaign

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 17, 2012

French voters go to the polls for the first round of the presidential election on Sunday. So far, it's been a strange campaign in which personalities have played a bigger role than the country's troubled economy. The French media have focused primarily on the fate of President Nicolas Sarkozy -- a fate which remains uncertain. By Mathieu von Rohr in Paris more... Comment ]

Veering Right in the Final Sprint: Sarkozy Courts Populism in Run-Up to Election

Veering Right in the Final Sprint: Sarkozy Courts Populism in Run-Up to Election

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 10, 2012

As the French election campaign enters its last two weeks, President Nicolas Sarkozy is courting right-wing extremist voters. In his neck-and-neck race against Socialist Party candidate François Hollande, they could decide the outcome. By Stefan Simons in Paris more... Comment ]

First Contacts with Hollande Camp: Merkel Braces for Possible Sarkozy Election Defeat

First Contacts with Hollande Camp: Merkel Braces for Possible Sarkozy Election Defeat

SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 30, 2012

Angela Merkel initially refused to receive French presidential candidate François Hollande when he offered a meeting recently. But as his victory against Nicolas Sarkozy seems more likely, the German Chancellery has made its first contacts with the Socialist Party politician's camp. After all, Berlin and Paris must stick together. By Florian Gathmann and Stefan Simons more...