Return to home2000 Jan 1, In
southwestern France Robert Lund reported that his wife, Evelyn (52),
was missing from their home. He told investigators he believed she
had an accident after drinking heavily and setting off to visit
friends. Her body was found inside her car in Lake Bancalie in 2002.
Lund was sentenced to 12 years in jail in 2007 for the involuntary
homicide of his wife. Lund insisted he was innocent as his third
trial in the case opened in 2011. On Dec 16, 2011, Lund was
sentenced to 12 years in prison.
(AP, 12/12/11)(AFP, 12/16/11)
2000 Jan 13, In France a 50
member surgical team performed the world's first double-hand and
forearm transplant at Edouard-Herriot Hospital in a 17-hour
operation led by Dr. Jean-Michel Dubernard.
(SFC, 1/15/00, p.A3)
2000 Feb 1, In France the new
35-hour work week took legal effect. Workers that included truckers
struck across the country for a number of demands that included
higher pay. The truckers were exempted from the reduced work week.
(SFC, 2/2/00, p.B2)
2000 Feb 5, Claude Autant-Lara,
film director, died at age 98. His over 30 films included "Le Diable
au Corps" (Devil in the Flesh), "Le Rouge et le Noir" (The Red and
the Black), based on the novel by Stendhal, and "La Traversee de
Paris" (Four Bags Full).
(SFC, 2/8/00, p.A23)
2000 Feb 11, Roger Vadim, film
director, died in Paris at age 72. His 5 wives included Brigitte
Bardot, Annette Stroyberg, Catherine Deneuve, Jane Fonda, Catherine
Schneider and Marie-Christine Barrault.
(SFC, 2/12/00, p.A21)(AP, 2/11/01)
2000 Apr 19, In the Brittany
region of France a bomb exploded in a McDonald’s restaurant in Dinan
and one worker was killed.
(SFC, 4/20/00, p.A18)
2000 Apr, The book “Journal de
1994, Campagne de France," by Renaud Camus, was withdrawn from
bookstores due to anti-Semitic remarks. It returned to stores in
July with 10 of the inflammatory pages blank.
(WSJ, 8/7/00, p.A13)
2000 May 19, In France an
11-day strike by armored truck guards left the country short of
(SFC, 5/20/00, p.A9)
2000 May 20, Jean-Pierre
Rampal, classical flutist, died in Paris at age 78.
(SFEC, 5/21/00, p.B11)
2000 May 23, In France the
15-day strike by armored truck security guards ended after they
agreed to a risk premium of $138 per month.
(SFC, 5/24/00, p.C4)
2000 Jun 6, Frederic Dard,
novelist, died at age 78. His 300 novels included 140 in the “San
Antonio" detective series.
(SFC, 6/9/00, p.D5)
2000 Jun 15, Jules Roy,
Algeria-born Air Force pilot and author, died at age 92. His books
included “Les Chevaux du Soleil" (Horses in the Sun), “La Vallee
Heureuse" (Contented Valley) and “La Bataille dans les Rizieres"
(The Battle in the Rice Paddies).
(SFC, 6/16/00, p.A34)
2000 Jun 30, Germaine Montero,
singer, actress and poet, died at age 90.
(SFC, 7/1/00, p.C2)
2000 Jul 10, DASA (minus MTU)
merged with Aerospatiale-Matra of France and Construcciones
Aeronáuticas SA (CASA) of Spain to form the European Aeronautic
Defence and Space Company (EADS). DASA was founded as Deutsche
Aerospace AG on May 19, 1989 by the merger of Daimler-Benz's
aerospace interests (MTU, Dornier and two divisions of AEG). In July
1989 the two AEG divisions were themselves merged within Deutsche
Aerospace to form Telefunken Systemtechnik (TST). In December 1989
Daimler-Benz acquired Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) and merged it
2000 Jul 25, In France a NY
bound Concorde jet crashed in Gonesse after takeoff and all 109
people aboard were killed along with 4 people on the ground.
Passengers included 96 Germans, 2 Danes and an Austrian. Debris from
a blown tire was later believed to have caused an engine fire. A 5th
body was found in the rubble of the Hotelissimo. It was the
first-ever crash of the supersonic jet. A final probe in 2002
attributed runway junk as the cause of the crash. A French accident
inquiry concluded in December 2004 that the disaster was partly
caused by the strip of metal that fell on the runway from the
Continental plane that took off just before the supersonic jet. In
2010 Continental was ordered to pay a fine of 200,000 euros for the
crash and to pay Concorde's operator Air France a million euros in
damages. On Nov 28, 2012, a French appeals court overturned
manslaughter convictions against Continental Airlines and a mechanic
for the Concorde crash.
(SFC, 7/26/00, p.A1)(SFC, 7/27/00, p.A12)(SFC,
7/29/00, p.A12)(AP, 7/25/01)(SFC, 1/17/02, p.A8)(AFP, 12/6/10)(AP,
2000 Aug 29, Interior Minister
Jean-Pierre Chevenement resigned over a proposed peace plan for
Corsica. The plan offered limited rights to pass laws beginning in
2004 for the 250,000 inhabitants.
(SFC, 8/30/00, p.A12)
2000 Aug 31, The government
announced a package of tax reductions worth $16.5 billion over 3
(SFC, 9/1/00, p.D2)
2000 Sep 4, Farmers along with
and truckers and taxi drivers protested high fuel costs with
demonstrations at 80 facilities.
(SFC, 9/5/00, p.A12)
2000 Sep 7, Taxi drivers began
“Operation Escargot," driving into cities at a snails pace, to
protest gasoline prices.
(SFC, 9/8/00, p.A14)
2000 Sep 9, Union leaders
called for an end to the 6-day fuel protests.
(SFEC, 9/10/00, p.A18)
2000 Sep 22, France allowed a
chartered aircraft with humanitarian personnel to fly to
(SFC, 9/23/00, p.A8)
2000 Sep 24, In France voters
approved a reduction in the president’s term of office to 5 years
(SFC, 9/25/00, p.A12)
2000 Oct, Rev. Rene Bissey was
convicted for raping and abusing 11 minors in the mid 1990s. He was
sentenced to 18 years in prison. In 2001 Bishop Pierre Pican was
convicted for keeping quiet about Rev. Bissey and received a 3-month
(SFC, 9/5/01, p.A8)
2000 Nov 22, Theodore Monod,
environmentalist, died at age 98. He was an expert on the Sahara
Desert and authored many books including: “Meharees," “The
Hippopotamus and the Philosopher," “Bathyfolages," “Le Desert," and
“memoirs of a Naturalist Traveler."
(SFC, 11/23/00, p.D9)
2000 Dec 1, Michel Roussin,
former right-hand man of Pres. Jacques Chirac when he was mayor of
Paris, was arrested for a kickback scheme in school construction
(SFC, 12/5/00, p.A15)
2000 Dec 7, Some 4,000
protestors clashed with police at the opening of the EU summit in
(SFC, 12/8/00, p.A20)
2000 Dec, Emile Louis (d.2013 at 79), a retired
French bus driver and convicted sex offender, was arrested for
kidnapping several mentally impaired women who disappeared from
Auxierre in the late 1970s. He was convicted in 2004 for killing the
7 mentally impaired young women.
(SFC, 12/20/00, p.A18)(AFP, 10/21/13)
2000 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the Mexican tequila producer Viuda de Romero.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
2001 Jan 5, In 2007 it was
reported that a French intelligence document dated to this day
warned that al-Qaida was at work on a hijacking plot. The
information was passed on to the CIA. Documents on Osama bin Laden's
terror network were drawn up by the French spy service, the DGSE,
between July 2000 and October 2001.
2001 Jan 20, Dr. Charles
Merieux, virologist and founder of the Merieux Laboratory, died at
age 94. He helped produce the Salk vaccine cultivated in minced
monkey kidney tissue. He also produced a vaccine against a
meningitis strain that killed 4,000 people in Brazil in 1974.
(SFC, 1/27/01, p.A24)
2001 Jan 30, Thousands of
teachers, hospital workers and police marched across France to
demand pay increases. Some 17,000 marched in Paris.
(SFC, 1/31/01, p.A12)
2001 Jan 30, Actor Jean-Pierre
Aumont died at age 90. His 1976 autobiography was titled “Sun and
(SFC, 1/31/01, p.C2)
2001 Feb 2, Alfred Sirven,
former 2nd in command of Elf Aquitaine, was arrested in Manila
following 4 years on the lam. He was involved in a
multimillion-dollar corruption case against Roland Dumas, a former
French foreign minister.
(SFC, 2/3/01, p.A10)
2001 Feb 17, The
Cambodian-registered East Sea freighter with 912 ethnic Kurds ran
aground off the French Riviera. The crew of the ship fled following
the intentional grounding. Criminal gangs in Turkey and Iraq were
reported to be behind the smuggling.
(SSFC, 2/18/01, p.D1)(SFC, 2/19/01, p.A10)
2001 Feb 17, Charles Trenet,
singer and songwriter known as Le Fou Chantant (The Singing Fool),
died at age 87. His songs included “La Mer" (1946), which Bobby
Darin made famous in 1960 as “Beyond the Sea."
(SFC, 2/21/01, p.A18)
2001 Mar 2, Alois Brunner,
former deputy of Adolf Eichmann, was sentenced to life imprisonment
for war crimes against humanity. He was believed to be still alive
in Syria, where he fled in 1954.
(SFC, 3/3/01, p.A10)
2001 Mar 4, Jean Bazaine,
artist, died at age 96. He was know for his painting, mosaics and
(SFC, 3/6/01, p.B2)
2001 Mar 5, France banned
exports of animals at risk for hoof-and-mouth disease.
(SFC, 3/6/01, p.A11)
2001 Mar 13, US regulators
moved to ban all live animals and uncooked animal products from the
EU following the discovery of hoof-and-mouth disease in France.
(SFC, 3/14/01, p.A1)
2001 Mar 18, Mayoral elections
were held in Paris. Bertrand Delanoe, candidate of the Socialist,
Communists and 2-other left-wing parties, won over Philippe Seguin.
Socialists also won in Lyon. This ended a century of nearly unbroken
rule by the right.
(SFC, 3/8/01, p.A12)(SFC, 3/19/01, p.A8)(AP,
2001 Apr 13, Up to 15,000
people were evacuated from the region of Vimy due to fears of
explosions from a World War I bomb storage site.
(SFC, 4/14/01, p.A8)
2001 May 18, Loik Le
Floch-Prigent, former head of Elf Aquitane SA (1989-1994), told
newspapers that millions of dollars were paid in secret commissions
to African governments, Spain and Germany, with the approval of 5
(SFC, 5/19/01, p.A8)
2001 May 30, Roland Dumas, a
former foreign minister, was sentenced to 6 months in jail for
corruption. Alfred Sirven, 2nd in command at Elf, was sentenced to 4
years in jail along with a fine. Loik Le Floch-Prigent, former Elf
president was sentenced to 3 ½ years in jail; along with a fine.
Christine Deviers-Joncour was sentenced to 3 years in jail with half
(SFC, 5/31/01, p.A12)
2001 Jul 6, In France a tree
crashed on music spectators at the Chateau Pourtales near Strasbourg
and 10 people were killed.
(SFC, 7/7/01, p.B1)
2001 Jul 29, Lance Armstrong
won his 3rd straight Tour de France bicycle race.
(SFC, 7/30/01, p.A1)
2001 Aug 8, Jacques Kerchache
(b.1942), French explorer and collector of primitive art, died in
(Econ, 4/16/11, p.91)(http://tinyurl.com/3pyax8r)
2001 Aug 26, In the French Alps
a hot-air balloon caught fire after apparently hitting a high
voltage wire and 6 people were killed.
(WSJ, 8/27/01, p.A1)(AP, 2/26/13)
2001 Sep 3, In France COGEMA, a
state-owned uranium mining and fuel recycling firm led by Anne
Lauvergeon, became Areva in a merger with Framatome, a maker of
2001 Sep 21, In France a
suspected accidental explosion at a TotalFinaELF chemical fertilizer
plant in Toulouse killed 29 people and injured at least 650.
(SFC, 9/22/01, p.A20)(WSJ, 9/24/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 11, The highest
appellate court ruled that Pres. Chirac is immune from criminal
prosecution for corruption charges for his years as mayor of Paris,
but only while still in office.
(SFC, 12/30/01, p.D7)
2001 Oct 21, In Kazakstan a
3-person Russian-French crew blasted off for the Int’l. Space
Station in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. The crew included Claudie
Haignere, who in 1996 became the 1st Frenchwoman in space.
(SFC, 10/22/01, p.B2)
2001 Oct 29, In Tours, France,
a masked gunman, later identified as a state railway employee,
killed 4 people. He was arrested and a grudge was suspected.
(WSJ, 10/30/01, p.A1)
2001 Nov 26, Former French
intelligence chief General Paul Aussaressess testified that the
orders he issued to torture and kill prisoners during the Algerian
independence war were justifiable acts of duty.
2001 Nov 26, French and Belgian
police arrested 14 people suspected of organizing the Sep 9
assassination of Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Masood. Belgium
released 12 of its suspects the next day.
(WSJ, 11/27/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 11/28/01, p.A1,12)
2001 Nov 28, French gendarme
Gerard Larroude received 8 bullet wounds in the head and throat in
an attack by ETA separatists in Pau, but survived the attack. In
2008 Ibon Fernandez de Iradi was found guilty of trying to kill
Larroude and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Antonio Agustin
Figal Arranz, a suspected accomplice, was sentenced to 10 years in
2001 Dec 7, Jason-1, a
satellite for tracking rising sea levels, was launched as a joint US
and French effort. Its useful life ended in 2013.
(SFC, 7/4/13, p.D3)
2001 Dec 11, In the first
criminal indictment stemming from Sept. 11, a US grand jury in
Virginia charged Zacarias Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan
descent, with conspiring to murder thousands in the suicide
hijackings. Moussaoui pleaded guilty to conspiracy in 2005 and was
sentenced to life in prison.
(WSJ, 12/12/01, p.A1)(SFC, 12/12/01, p.A1)(AP,
2001 Dec 15, Pierre Henri
Bunel, a former French military intelligence officer accused of
passing on NATO war plans to Serbian intelligence in 1998, was found
guilty of treason and sentenced by a military/civilian tribunal
“Tribunal aux armees" (TPA) to five years in jail. In 2013 Serbia
awarded a top state medal to Bunel.
(www.wsws.org/en/articles/2001/12/bun-d21.html)(SFC, 9/6/13, p.A2)
2001 Dec 18, Gilbert Becaud,
French singer and songwriter known as “Mr. 100,000 Volts," died at
age 74. He was born as Francois Gilbert Silly in Toulon and his
songs included “What Now My Love" and “Let It Be Me."
(SFC, 12/22/01, p.A28)
2001 Dec 22, Passengers and
flight attendants subdued Richard Colvin Reid on AA Flight 63 from
Paris to Miami. He appeared to have explosive materials in his
shoes. The flight was diverted to Boston and the FBI confirmed that
his shoes were packed with explosives. French police identified the
man as Tariq Raja (28), a Sri Lankan traveling on a British
passport. The sneakers contained pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN)
and triacetone triperoxide (TATP). On Jan 30, 2003 Reid was
sentenced to life in prison. A 2nd plot involved Saajid Badat, who
backed out of similar plan on a different flight. In 2005 a British
judge sentenced Badat (25) to 13 years in prison.
(SSFC, 12/23/01, p.A1)(SFC, 12/24/01,
p.A1,6)(SFC, 1/31/03, p.A1)(SFC, 4/23/05, p.A4)
2001 Dec 26, In France some 550
Iraqi Kurds, Afghans, Iranians and other refugees from the Sangatte
Red Cross center near the 33-mile Channel Tunnel attempted to reach
asylum in Britain. All were captured by French police.
(SFC, 12/27/01, p.A4)(AP, 12/25/02)
2001 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the Polish vodka Wyborova, Czech bitters Jan Becher and Seagram’s
Martell cognac and Chivas scotch.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
2001 The crime rate in France
topped the US this year. Over 25,000 cars were burned in French
cities as violence increased primarily due to immigrant gangs from
sub-Saharan Africa, Romania and the former Yugoslavia.
(SSFC, 4/28/02, Par p.9)
2001 Traffic accidents in
France killed over 8,000 people this year. Speed cameras were
installed on roads beginning in 2003 and by 2005 the number of
deaths fell to just above 5,000.
(Econ, 10/21/06, p.61)
2002 Jan 1, New Euro bills
replaced the national currency.
(SFC, 12/4/97, p.C5)(SFC, 1/2/02, p.A8)
2002 Jan 11, Henri Verneuil,
film director, died at age 81.
(SFC, 1/11/02, p.A19)
2002 Feb 4, An 8-year
corruption investigation of Elf Aquitaine, privatized in 1994, ended
with 40 people implicated.
(SFC, 2/5/02, p.A6)
2002 Feb 18, France's Marina
Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat narrowly won the Olympic ice dancing
2002 Mar 15, Disney opened its
new $532.9 million movie-themed park adjacent to Disneyland Paris.
(WSJ, 3/12/02, p.B1)
2002 Mar 9, The Mont Blanc
tunnel reopened to connect Italy and France.
(SSFC, 3/17/02, p.C4)
2002 Mar 27, In France Richard
Durn (33), described as a tormented loner looking for a political
cause, opened fire at the end of a city council meeting in Nanterre,
a suburb of Paris, and killed 8 city council members. Durn jumped to
his death under police custody on Mar 28.
(SFC, 3/27/02, p.A7)(SFC, 3/28/02, p.A17)(AP,
2002 Mar 29, France reported
the successful cloning of rabbits using genetic material from adult
(SFC, 3/30/02, p.A3)
2002 Mar 31, An arson attacked
destroyed Marseille’s Or Aviv temple. It was the 3rd synagogue
attack in France over the Passover weekend.
(SFC, 4/2/02, p.A8)
2002 Apr 21, The 1st round of
presidential elections put Jean-Marie Le Pen, a right wing
extremist, into a runoff with Pres. Jacques Chirac. Le Pen took 17%
of the vote vs. 16% for PM Lionel Jospin.
(SFC, 4/22/02, p.A1)
2002 Apr 27, At least 200,000
protesters marched in cities around France in anger at the electoral
showing of Jean-Marie Le Pen.
(SSFC, 4/28/02, p.A12)
2002 May 5, In France Pres.
Chirac won a 2nd term in a landslide over extreme-right leader
Jean-Marie Le Pen. His center-right party won 365 seats.
(WSJ, 5/6/02, p.A1)(AP, 5/5/03)(Econ 6/10/17,
p.51)(Econ 6/10/17, p.51)
2002 May 5, Antoine Riboud
(1918-2002), founder of French food firm Danone (1973), died.
2002 May 6, French Pres. Chirac
appointed Jean-Pierre Raffarin (center right) as PM.
(SFC, 5/7/02, p.A12)(Econ, 2/12/05, p.50)
2002 May 8, In Pakistan a bomb
destroyed a shuttle bus in Karachi. 11 of 14 dead were French naval
engineers helping to build a submarine for Pakistan. Asif Zaheer and
Mohammad Rizwan, who allegedly belonged to Al-Qaeda-linked extremist
group Harkatul Mujahideen al-Aalmi, were found guilty in 2003 of
assisting the suicide attack which also killed 3 Pakistanis. In May,
2009, a Pakistan court acquitted the two men sentenced to death over
the bombing. Mohammad Sohail Habib, who also allegedly belonged to
Al-Qaeda-linked extremist group Harkatul Mujahideen al-Aalmi, was
sentenced to death in his absence in 2003 for assisting the suicide
attack. Sohail was arrested in 2005 but was acquitted after a
six-month re-trial in an anti-terrorism court ordered on appeal by
the high court. In October, 2009, a Pakistani court acquitted Soheil
for lack of evidence.
(SFC, 5/8/02, p.A17)(SFC, 5/8/02, p.A8)(WSJ,
5/9/02, p.A1)(AFP, 5/5/09)(AFP, 10/30/09)
2002 May 21, Niki de Saint
Phalle (71), French pop artist, died in San Diego. Her work included
the Stravinsky Fountain outside the Pompidou Center in Paris.
(SFC, 5/23/02, p.A23)
2002 May 23, The Israeli
Embassy in Paris burned beyond repair. A faulty circuit was
(SFC, 5/24/02, p.A16)
2002 Jun 9, Pres. Jacques
Chirac's mainstream right prevailed in a first round of elections
for France's 577-seat National Assembly.
2002 Jun 9, Albert Costa won
the French Open over fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero.
2002 Jun 16, France's leftist
parliament became the latest casualty in Europe's rightward shift
with a crushing legislative victory by the mainstream right that
gave President Jacques Chirac full control of parliament.
2002 Jun 19, Air traffic
controllers in France and other nations went on strike to protest a
plan to dramatically reorganize the use of Europe's skies.
2002 Jun 22, The official
inauguration of the $89 million, Auvergne region European Volcanic
Park, was scheduled. It included a building complex designed by Hans
Hollein of Austria.
(WSJ, 4/18/02, p.D7)
2002 Jun 27, A US Air Force
pilot was killed when his A10 “Warthog" crashed during a training
mission in eastern France.
(SFC, 6/28/02, p.A14)
2002 Jun 29, Francois Perier
(82), a prolific and acclaimed actor whose presence on the French
stage and screen spanned three generations, died.
2002 Jul 14, Maxime Brunerie, a
man described as an emotionally disturbed neo-Nazi, tried to
assassinate French President Jacques Chirac. He pulled a rifle from
a guitar case and fired off a shot before being wrestled to the
ground during a Bastille Day parade. Brunerie, sentenced to 10
years, was released from prison in 2009.
(AP, 7/14/02)(AP, 8/22/09)
2002 Jul 31, US court papers
alleged that Russia's Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov (53) used his influence
with members of the Russian and French skating federations to fix
the outcome of the pairs and ice dancing competitions at the Salt
Lake City Winter Olympics last February. Tokhtakhounov was arrested
in Italy. Italy’s highest court denounced an extradition bid and
(Reuters, 7/31/02)(SFC, 8/1/02,
2002 Sep 7, In Paris over 6,000
people marched through to demand residency permits for France's
illegal immigrants in the largest of a series of recent rallies.
2002 Sep 10, In southeastern
France authorities said flooding and heavy rain had claimed the
lives of 26 people. Rescuers were searching for dozens of others
2002 Sep 12, Pres. Bush
addressed the UN and laid out his case against Iraq’s Pres. Saddam
Hussein. Bush was expected to announce US plans to rejoin Unesco,
headquartered in Paris. France favored a demand for weapons
inspectors in Iraq along with force if Iraq resisted.
(WSJ, 9/12/02, p.A1,4)(SFC, 9/13/02, p.A1)
2002 Sep 14, In France Tim
Montgomery, American sprinter, set a 9.78 second record in the
100-meter dash at the IAAF Grand Prix in Paris. In 2004 he admitted
to using steroids and a growth hormone. In 2005 he was banned from
track for 2 years and his 2001-2005 records were expunged.
(SFC, 6/24/04, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/14/05, p.A1)
2002 Sep 18, A French appeals
court ordered wartime collaborator Maurice Papon freed, accepting
his lawyers' arguments that the 92-year-old is too sick to finish
his 10-year sentence for helping send Jews to Nazi death camps.
2002 Sep 25, Explosives
(pentrite) were discovered on a Moroccan jet after passengers left
the flight at an airport in eastern France. There was no detonator
attached to the 3 1/2 ounces of explosives discovered in the
passenger section of a Royal Air Maroc airplane after it landed at
the Metz-Nancy-Lorraine airport.
2002 Sep 25, US military C-130s
and US troops landed in Ivory Coast to rescue Americans. American
schoolchildren escaped a rebel-held Ivory Coast city that was under
siege as US special forces and French troops moved in to rescue
Westerners caught in the West African nation's bloody uprising.
(AP, 9/25/02)(AP, 9/25/07)
2002 Oct 1, The French
bolstered their forces in Ivory Coast, flying in reinforcements and
establishing a tactical command post for military action in its
embattled former colony.
2002 Oct 3, In France tens of
thousands of public workers marched through Paris to protest plans
to sell off parts of state-owned companies.
2002 Oct 4, In France Jamal
Derrar (22) poured gasoline over Sohane Benziane (17) and then
approached her with a cigarette lighter, setting her on fire. She
died later at a hospital with burns over 80 percent of her body. In
2006 Derrar was convicted for acts of torture and barbarity that led
to unintentional death. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
2002 Oct 6, A fire broke out on
the Limberg, a French oil tanker off the coast of Yemen, setting
barrels of oil ablaze and sparking an explosion killing one
Bulgarian crew member. The explosion was soon determined to be the
result of a terrorist attack. Insurance paid out $70 million for the
(AP, 10/6/02)(SFC, 10/11/02, p.A13)(AP,
10/6/03)(Econ, 4/22/06, p.73)
2002 Nov 6, In France a fire
broke out on an overnight express train, filling a sleeper car with
smoke and killing 12 passengers. Five Americans were among the dead,
including two children.
2002 Nov 25, In France striking
truckers blockaded roadways in about 20 locations, but police
intervened to dismantle several barricades that had slowed access to
airports and highways.
2002 Nov 26, A poll of 50,000
people, commissioned by Durex condom makers SSL International and
released in Malaysia, showed the French had sex an average 167 times
a year, pipping the Danes and the Dutch for the number one spot. It
was a bad year for sex in the United States, which came in eleventh
with an average of 138, after heading the rankings in 2001. Britons
scored an average of 149 times. At the bottom of the pile,
Singapore's 110 times was two less than Thailand's. Four in 10
people in India did not have sex until they were married and
Norwegians were most likely to have sex on the first date, the
survey showed. Norwegians, along with South Africans, were also more
likely than any other nationality to have a one-night stand. Those
in Taiwan were least likely; just 20 percent surveyed had a
2002 Nov 26, French air traffic
controllers walked off the job as part of a nationwide protest by
2002 Nov 26, The Astra-1K
satellite was launched atop a Russian Proton rocket from the
Baikonur cosmodrome in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. The
world's largest communications satellite, manufactured by France's
Alcatel Space corporation for Societe Europeene des Satellites of
Luxembourg, was lost after it went into the wrong orbit.
(AP, 11/26/02)(WSJ, 11/27/02, p.A1)
2002 Nov 27, French police
arrested a man in Lyon after he tried to hijack an Alitalia flight
carrying 57 passengers from Bologna to Paris.
2002 Dec 16, French
counterterrorism agents arrested 4 suspected Islamic militants in a
Paris suburb. The three Algerians and a Moroccan had an unidentified
liquid and an anti-contamination suit.
2002 Dec 21, French forces
opened fire on rebels in western Ivory Coast, trying to stop the
insurgents from pushing past them toward the commercial capital
2002 Dec 21, French television
journalist, Patrick Bourrat, was struck while crossing the path of
an incoming tank during US military exercises in Kuwait. Bourrat
died the next day.
2002 Alistaire Horne authored
“Seven Ages of Paris," a history of the city.
(SSFC, 12/1/02, p.M6)
2002 Richard Neupert authored
“A History of the French New Wave Cinema."
(SSFC, 12/22/02, p.M2)
2002 Ian Pears authored “The
Dream of Scipio," a historical novel set over 1,500 years in
(SSFC, 6/30/02, p.M1)
2002 French president Jacques
Chirac received three million euros ($4 million) from Ivory Coast's
Laurent Gbagbo to finance his electoral campaign. This was made
public in 2011 by Robert Bourgi, a lawyer with a network of African
contacts who advised Chirac before changing camps in 2005 to aid
French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Bourgi also named Senegal's
Abdoulaye Wade, Burkina Faso's Blaise Compaore, and
Congo-Brazzaville's Denis Sassou Nguesso and Gabon's Omar Bongo as
contributors. Bourgi later said he was mistaken concerning
(Senegal's president) Abdoulaye Wade and his son" Karim Wade.
(AFP, 9/12/11)(AP, 9/26/11)
2002 In France Paris Mayor
Bertand Delanoe inaugurated Paris Plages, filling sections of the
left and right banks of the Seine with sand and installing spray
misters, hammocks, parasols and other beach-style accoutrements. In
2006 Paris City Hall banned thong bikinis, topless sunbathing and
nudity at the summer sand-in-the-city event.
2002 France planed to abolish
the draft by the end of the year with a slimmed down force of some
357,000 volunteers. A 50,000-strong reserve force was part of the
(SFEC, 10/31/99, p.A28)
2002 France convicted George
Soros of insider trading. He was fined euro2.2 million for
purchasing shares in French bank Societe Generale in 1988, days
after being informed about a planned takeover bid for the bank.
2002 Arcelor Corp., a European
steelmaker, was created following the merger of France’s Usinor,
Spain’s Aceralia, and Luxembourg’s Arbed.
(Econ, 2/4/06, p.56)
2003 Jan 6, Rebels in western
Ivory Coast attacked French troops and French officials said 30
rebels were killed and nine soldiers wounded.
2003 Jan 17, France and Spain
opened the new 5.3-mile Somport tunnel through the western Pyrenees
2003 Jan 19, Francoise Giroud
(86), France’s 1st minister of women’s affairs died. She co-founded
one of France's top news magazines and became a powerful force in
French post-war journalism at a time when few women were in the
business. She published an autobiography in 1997.
(AP, 1/19/03)(SFC, 1/21/03, p.A18)
2003 Jan 22, France and Germany
joined forces to prevent any U.S.-led war on Iraq.
2003 Jan 27, A head-on train
collision between French and Italian passenger trains killed two
people. It appeared to be the result of human error.
2003 Jan 29, The body of
Abdelmalek Benbara (41), a member of the Algerian prime minister's
party reported missing Jan 17, was found in a car in Paris.
2003 Feb 1, Across France at
least 150,000 people, some braving snow, poured into the streets to
protest government plans to reform the country's generous, but
overburdened, pension system.
2003 Feb 4, France and the UK
concluded the Treaty of Le Touquet (formally known as the Treaty
between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of
the French Republic concerning the implementation of frontier
controls at sea ports of both countries on the Channel and North
Sea). The treaty put British border controls in Calais.
2003 Feb 16, French
President Jacques Chirac said in a published interview that the
massive US military deployment in the Persian Gulf has made it
possible to peacefully disarm Iraq.
2003 Feb 20, Maurice
Blanchot (95), French postmodern novelist, died. His novels included
“Thomas the Obscure" (1973).
(SFC, 3/3/03, p.B6)
2003 Feb 24, Bernard
Loiseau (52), a celebrated French chef whose Cote D'Or restaurant in
a small Burgundy town became a mecca for the world's gourmets, died
of apparent suicide. In 2005 Rudolph Chelminski authored “The
Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine."
(AP, 2/25/03)(SSFC, 6/12/05, p.B5)
2003 Feb 26, French
Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin warned that waging war against
Iraq now, would split the international community and “be perceived
as precipitous and illegitimate."
2003 Mar 5, The foreign
ministers of France, Germany and Russia said they will block any
attempt to get U.N. approval for war against Iraq.
2003 Mar 14, Jean-Luc Lagardere
(b.1928), French engineer and founder of the Lagardere Group, died.
In 1999 the group, among the largest of French enterprises, acquired
31.5% of Aerospatiale.
2003 Mar 27, France introduced
a new terrorism alert system, with 4 color-coded levels to make the
national warning plan more flexible and understandable.
2003 Apr 3, French air traffic
controllers, postal workers and other public employees brought much
of the country to a halt with a one-day strike over government plans
to overhaul the pension system.
2003 Apr 7, Cecile de Brunhoff
(99), the inspiration for Babar the elephant whose adventures
captivated generations of children, died in Paris. She first
invented the tale of a little elephant as a bedtime story for her
boys in 1931. They in turn told their father, painter Jean de
Brunhoff, who illustrated the story and filled in details.
2003 Apr 11, The leaders of
Russia, France and Germany gathered for a summit that was expected
to push for the United Nations to play the leading role after the
end of hostilities in Iraq.
2003 Apr 22, France proposed
that the UN suspend economic sanctions against Iraq, but continue to
operate the oil-for-food program.
(SFC, 4/23/03, A8)
2003 Apr 23, Paris police
arrested 28 airport workers for allegedly stealing digital cameras,
perfumes, jewelry, clothing and other goods from the bags of
2003 Apr 29, The leaders of
France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg, all critics of the U.S.-led
war on Iraq, agreed to beef up their military cooperation in an
effort to make Europe's defense less reliant on the US.
2003 May 15, French Foreign
Minister Dominique de Villepin said in an interview that France
wants "lies and calumny" published in both the U.S. and British
press to stop.
2003 May 31, Air France planned
to ground its last 5 Concorde airplanes.
(SFC, 4/11/03, p.B5)
2003 May 17, In G-8 talks at a
Normandy resort the United States secured a commitment from the
world's wealthiest nations and Russia not to demand that Iraq begin
paying off its huge debts before 2005. The Paris Club's 19 members,
which include the US, are alone believed to be owed an estimated $26
billion, not including interest accrued on the debt, most of which
dates from the 1970s.
2003 May 17, A German tour bus
overturned on a French highway in heavy rain, killing at least 28 of
the 74 people on board.
2003 May 19, In France more
than 300,000 protesters marched in anger over government pension
reforms and striking teachers prevented students from taking part of
their high-school graduation exams.
2003 May 25, In France at least
300,000 workers marched through the streets of Paris to protest
government plans to reform the pension system.
2003 May 31, Air France planned
to ground its last 5 Concorde airplanes. The Air France Concorde,
the world's fastest and most luxurious passenger jet, flew from New
York to Paris for the last time.
(SFC, 4/11/03, p.B5)(AP, 5/30/03)(SSFC, 6/1/03,
2003 Jun 1, President Bush
arrived in France from St. Petersburg and had a smile and firm
handshake for this year's Group of Eight nations summit host, French
Pres. Jacques Chirac.
(AP, 6/1/03)(SFC, 6/2/03, p.A1)
2003 Jun 1, Thousands of
protesters blocked highways and bridges, set fire to barricades and
drew volleys of tear gas and rubber pellets from anti-riot police
near the Group of Eight summit in the French town of Evian. Leaders
pledged billions of dollars to fight AIDS and hunger on the opening
day of their summit.
2003 Jun 2, In Evian, France,
world leaders projected confidence that they will turn around their
weak economies and pledged joint cooperation on a host of global
issues from terrorism to the need for a coordinated effort to
2003 Jun 3, The G-8 in Evian,
France, issued closing statements. These included: confidence in the
global economic future; they put North Korea and Iran on notice that
member countries will not stand by and let them acquire nuclear
weapons; they committed to further improve cooperation with African
nations to lift the world's poorest continent out of civil war,
disease and poverty; and adopted a plan to help halve the number of
people without access to clean water and sanitation by 2015.
2003 Jun 6, French strikers
disrupted train and bus service and sanitation workers dumped
garbage in the street in the 4th day of a nationwide protest against
government plans to reform pensions.
2003 Jun 14, French troops
leading an international force engaged in a firefight with gunmen
for the first time in their mission to stabilize the northeastern
Congolese town of Bunia.
2003 Jun 19, In France more
Iranians set themselves on fire to protest a crackdown on an
Iraq-based anti-Tehran group. Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the
People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, was among 150 people
detained in a sweep of their European headquarters in suburban Paris
by hundreds of masked police this month. Most of those detained were
let go. In 2011 French investigators dropped terror charges against
24 members of the group.
(WSJ, 6/20/03, p.A1)(AP, 5/12/11)
2003 Jul 6, Corsicans voted in
a historic referendum to give local officials more say in running
the Mediterranean island, an attempt to end years of attacks by
separatists fighting French rule.
2003 Jul 20, In France 2
explosions rocked central Nice, slightly injuring at least 16 people
and damaging several government buildings.
2003 Jul 22, In Paris an
electrical fire broke out near the top of the Eiffel Tower, forcing
thousands of alarmed visitors to evacuate.
2003 Jul 24, French lawmakers
overwhelmingly passed a pension reform bill despite weeks of
protests by people angry about having to work longer to get full
retirement benefits. PM Rafarrin managed to push through a pension
reform against union resistance with the support of CFDP, the French
Defense and Protection Company.
(AP, 7/24/03)(Econ, 4/8/06, p.49)
2003 Jul 24, The French Senate
passed a law banning the sale of cigarettes to minors under 16 and
raises the price per pack for the second time this year.
2003 Jul 27, Lance Armstrong
rode to his 5th straight Tour de France victory in a ceremonial
final stage in Paris.
(SSFC, 7/27/03, p.A1)
2003 Jul 29, A heat wave and a
drought gauged a multibillion-dollar hole into Europe's economy,
crippling shipping, shriveling crops and driving up the cost of
2003 Jul 29, Forest fires swept
through parts of the ritzy French Riviera for a second day,
devastating scenic woods and forcing thousands to be evacuated. At
least four people have been killed.
2003 Aug 1, Marie Trintignant
(41) died after several days on a respirator in France. She was
initially hospitalized in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, on July
27 after French rock star Bertrand Cantat (39) allegedly beat her at
the hotel where they were staying with her mother and one of her
sons. Trintignant, had been in Lithuania since June filming a joint
French-Lithuanian television movie, "Colette," about the French
female writer. Bertrand Cantat was later sentenced to 8 years in
prison for manslaughter. He was released for good behavior in
October 2007 after serving four years.
2003 Aug 14, The French health
ministry estimated that about 3,000 people had died in France of
heat-related causes since abnormally high temperatures swept across
the country about two weeks ago.
2003 Aug 18, Lucien Abenhaim, a
senior French health official resigned after the health minister
admitted that up to 5,000 people, many of them elderly and alone,
might have died in the recent heat wave.
2003 Aug 19, It was reported
that France had provided Alstom SA a $3.9 billion lifeline to save
it from bankruptcy. The bailout was made against EU rules.
(WSJ, 8/19/03, p.A1)
2003 Aug 22, France announced a
$525 million aid package for farmers whose animals died by the
millions and whose crops withered in a heat wave estimated to have
killed 10,000 people.
2003 Aug 21, France raised the
death toll from the recent heat wave to as many as 10,000.
(SFC, 8/22/03, p.A9)
2003 Aug 25, In Ivory Coast 2
French soldiers, part of a peacekeeping force, were killed.
2003 Aug 29, France raised the
death toll from the August heat wave to as many as 11,435.
(SFC, 8/30/03, p.A7)
2003 Aug 29, The board of Air
France approved a deal to combine with Dutch KLM under a holding
company to form the world's #3 airline.
(WSJ, 1/2/04, p.R12)
2003 Sep 25, In a new French
deck of cards Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gets the honor as
ace of spades. Pres. Bush is the king of diamonds and Osama bin
Laden the joker. Thierry Meyssan, the man behind the French deck,
headed the Voltaire Network, a left-wing association that put the
cards on its Internet site.
2003 Sep 25, In France INSERM,
the National Institute of Health and Medical Research, determined
that 14,802 people had died in August due to the heat wave.
2003 Sep 26, Robert Palmer
(54), a rock singer known for his sharp suits and hits including
"Addicted to Love," died in Paris of a heart attack.
2003 Sep 27, Europe's first
mission to the moon blasted off aboard a European Ariane rocket from
2003 Oct 11, The French
government and its main opposition joined in supporting school
officials who expelled two sisters for refusing to remove
traditional Islamic headscarves in class.
2003 Oct 20, France raised
taxes on tobacco products. Cigarette prices for a pack jumped from
an average $4.60 to $5.40.
(SFC, 10/21/03, p.A3)
2003 Nov 7, France and Russia
signed an accord that is intended to pave the way for the eventual
launch of Russian rockets from a French launch pad in South America.
2003 Nov 15, In St. Nazaire,
France, a gangway to the Queen Mary 2, the world's largest passenger
ship, collapsed as people were boarding killing 15 people and
injuring 29 others. One of the injured died in 2005. The victims
were family members visiting workers involved in construction of the
nearly finished, 21-story-tall ocean liner. In 2008 a French court
ordered Chantiers de l'Atlantique, builder of the ship, and Endel,
builder of the walkway, to pay $13.8 million in damages for their
roles in the deadly accident.
(AP, 11/15/03)(AP, 11/16/03)(AP, 2/12/08)
2003 Nov 16, In Afghanistan a
French UN worker was shot and killed by a man on a motorcycle who
opened fire on her car.
2003 Nov 24, British PM Tony
Blair and French President Jacques Chirac confronted the sensitive
issue of European defense and in a show of unity announced plans for
a small rapid-reaction force of EU peacekeepers.
2003 Dec 1, French diplomats
and other Foreign Ministry staff in 126 countries walked off the job
in a one-day strike to protest planned budget cuts.
2003 Dec 2, Surging floodwaters
killed three men and swept a woman off a bridge in storms that
lashed southern France.
2003 Dec 6, Paul Louis Halley
(b.1934) French founder of Promodes (later Carrefour SA), died in a
light plane crash.
2003 Dec 9, French police
arrested Gorka Palacios Alday, the alleged military leader of the
banned Basque separatist group ETA, along with three accomplices.
2003 Dec 11, A French panel
recommended a national ban on Islamic head scarves, Jewish skullcaps
and large crucifixes at public schools.
(WSJ, 12/12/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 16, U.S. special envoy
James A. Baker III said France, Germany and the US agreed to seek
reductions in Iraq's foreign debt within the Paris Club of creditor
(AP, 12/16/03)(SFC, 12/17/03, p.A18)
2003 Dec 17, In France Pres.
Jacques Chirac announced his decision to pass a law banning Islamic
head scarves and other conspicuous religious symbols in public
2003 France set up the French
Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM). Dalil Boubakeur was appointed
president following negotiations with interior minister Nicolas
(Econ, 10/30/04, p.58)
2004 Jan 5, In Iraq 2 French
contractors, working on electricity projects, were killed in a
drive-by shooting near Fallujah.
(WSJ, 4/1/04, p.A10)
2004 Jan 15, The entire 5-man
crew of the French trawler Bugaled Breizh drowned when it capsized
and sank 14 miles (23 km) off Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall. In 2016
France's top judicial court definitively confirmed a decision to
close the case saying there was no evidence to support the claim
that a submarine was involved.
2004 Jan 16, Starbucks opened
its 1st coffee shop in France.
(Econ, 1/17/04, p.67)
2004 Jan 20, French transport
workers went on a 1-day train strike.
2004 Jan 26, China's President
Hu Jintao arrived in France, with European ministers considering
Beijing's request that they lift an arms embargo imposed after the
killing of Tiananmen Square protesters in 1989.
2004 Jan 30, Alain Juppe,
former French PM (1995-1997), was found guilty in a party financing
scandal and declared ineligible for public office for 10 years.
2004 Jan 30, Iliad, a French
broadband firm founded by Xavier Niel, made a successful IPO. Niel
was briefly jailed a few months after its IPO, when it was
discovered that one of his sex shops was a front for prostituion.
Niel was fully exonerated, but was fined for receiving money from
(Econ, 9/12/09, p.74)
2004 Feb 10, French legislators
voted 494-36 to ban religious emblems such as Muslim head scarves
from state schools.
(WSJ, 2/11/04, p.A1)
2004 Feb 10, French prosecutors
launched a money-laundering probe into the alleged transfers of
$11.5 million dollars to accounts held by the wife of Palestinian
leader Yasser Arafat.
(AP, 2/11/04)(WSJ, 2/11/04, p.A1)
2004 Feb 14, In France
thousands of people marched to protest a law banning the Islamic
coverings and other religious apparel in public schools.
2004 Feb 27, French Foreign
Minister Dominique de Villepin held talks with leaders of Haiti's
government on how to end a three-week rebellion.
2004 Feb 28, It was reported
that 80% of Americans claim to believe in God, compared with 62% of
the French and 52% of Swedes.
(Econ, 2/28/04, p.34)
2004 Mar 3, French authorities
said a previously unknown terror group is threatening to blow up
French railway tracks unless it is paid millions of dollars.
2004 Mar 6, Thousands of women
marched through Paris to press for equal rights for women and show
support for a law to ban Islamic head scarves in public schools.
2004 Mar 10, France's
government worked to calm a revolt by scientists angry over funding
cuts, even as trade unions called for more protests.
2004 Mar 14, In Haiti French
troops took over patrols in a slum where U.S. Marines killed at
least two people.
2004 Mar 21, French voters
delivered a rebuke to PM Jean-Pierre Raffarin's reform plans in the
1st round of regional elections. The elections, held every six
years, are for regional leaders responsible for some infrastructure
projects, job training, school construction and other tasks.
2004 Mar 21, Ludmila Tcherina
(79), French ballerina and Oscar-winning actress, The Tales of
Hoffman (1950), died.
2004 Mar 28, France's left-wing
opposition bulldozed its way across the country in second-round
midterm regional elections, putting pressure on President Jacques
Chirac to revamp his Cabinet and perhaps even ditch his prime
minister due to widely unpopular economic reforms and rising
(AP, 3/28/04)(AP, 3/29/04)
2004 Mar 29, A Lithuanian court
found French rock star Bertrand Cantat (40) guilty of man-slaughter
for the 2003 beating death of his movie-star girlfriend, Marie
Trintignant (41), and sentenced him to 8 years in prison.
2004 Mar 30, French PM
Jean-Pierre Raffarin was spared the ax despite a massive local
election defeat, but ordered to form a new government to push ahead
with unpopular social and economic reforms.
2004 Apr 2, Police in France
captured the elusive former leader of the Basque ETA rebel group as
well as the separatist group's logistics chief.
2004 Apr 8, In France striking
power workers switched off street lights and cut electricity to
homes to protest plans to partially privatize public utilities. Even
the famed Chateau de Versailles lost power.
2004 Apr 23, France closed its
last coal mine.
2004 May 1, Jean-Jacques
Laffont (57), an award-winning French economist and one of the
leading figures in the study of information theory, died in southern
France. His books included "Incentives in Public Decision Making"
2004 May 13, France and Germany
declared an intention to formulate a joint industrial policy aimed
at creating a framework for mergers and joint ventures.
(Econ, 5/22/04, p.55)
2004 May 18, In France Myriam
Delay, an unemployed mother, stunned a courtroom in the northern
French town of Outreau saying she lied in accusing the 13 people of
pedophilia, one of whom committed suicide behind bars. A week later
she again reversed her testimony: "I was there and I saw
everything... We ruined children's lives." 10 of 17 defendants were
convicted in July. 6 of the 10 convicted were acquitted in 2005.
(AP, 5/20/04)(AP, 5/25/04)(AP, 12/01/05)
2004 May 23, In France a
section of the futuristic, cylindrical passenger terminal at Paris'
Charles de Gaulle airport collapsed, killing 4 people and injuring
2004 May 28, French engineers
brought the two central ends of the Millau road viaduct in southwest
France together, completing the span of the highest bridge in the
world. The bridge spans the valley of the Tarn river to carry a
motorway from Clermont-Ferrand to Beziers and establishing a major
north-south axis parallel to the Rhone valley. The $378 million
bridge is expected to open Jan 2005.
(AFP, 5/29/04)(Econ, 1/8/05, p.71)
2004 Jun 1, Michel Dansel,
French intellectual, held a mock funeral ceremony for the verb. His
new 233-page book, “Le Train de Nulle Part" (The Train to Nowhere),
was written without verbs.
(WSJ, 7/16/04, p.A1)
2004 Jun 2, Romania’s Pres. Ion
Iliescu unveiled the new Logan sedan, a joint venture between
Renault and Romania’s Dacia. Starting prices were around $6,100. In
2007 nearly 80,000 Logans were sold in western Europe.
(SFC, 6/3/04, C5)(Econ, 5/31/08, SR p.7)
2004 Jun 5, France's first gay
marriage was performed in the southwest city of Bordeaux. On July 27
it was officially declared void by a court but the two homosexual
men involved immediately said they would appeal the ruling.
2004 Jun 5, French engineering
giant Alstom said a consortium it was leading had signed an
88-million-euro ($107 mil) contract for work on three railway lines
in the suburbs of Algiers.
2004 Jun 16, French power
workers cut electricity to the Eiffel Tower and President Jacques
Chirac's residence in western Paris to protest the government's
plans to partially privatize state utilities in an effort to raise
2004 Jun 22, A bus in western
France overturned, killing at least 11 people and seriously injuring
up to three others.
2004 Jun, In Alsace, France,
Pierre Bodein, nicknamed "Pierrot le fou," or "Crazy Pierre," raped,
killed and mutilated two young victims, Jeanne-Marie Kegelin (11)
and Julie Scharsch (14). He also murdered and mutilated Edwige
Vallee (38), and attempted to kidnap two other girls. In 2007 Bodein
was convicted of viciously murdering two girls and a woman and
sentenced to life in prison.
2004 Jul 17, French Defence
Minister Michele Alliot-Marie proposed a defense partnership between
3 North African countries, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia -- and four
southern European countries, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain,
preferably at defense minister level.
2004 Jul 22, French crooner
Sacha Distel (71), whose seductive good looks won him legions of
female fans around the world, died.
2004 Jul, A fake list of public
figures, who allegedly held accounts at a Luxembourg-based clearing
house (Clearstream Banking S.A.) linked to kickbacks on the 1991
sale of French frigates to Taiwan, was leaked to a French judge.
This came to be known as the 2nd Clearstream affair. In 2001
Clearstream was accused of money laundering and tax evasion.
2004 Jul, A court in
Saint-Omer, northern France, convicted 10 out of 17 defendants on
pedophilia charges relating to the abuse of 18 children between 1995
and 2000. 6 of the 10 convicted were acquitted in 2005.
2004 Aug 3, Henri
Cartier-Bresson (b.1908), French photographer of the decisive
moment, died. In 2005 Pierre Assouline authored “Henri
Cartier-Bresson: A Biography."
(WSJ, 8/5/04, p.A1)(Econ, 8/7/04, p.67)(Econ,
2004 Aug 5, In eastern France a
predawn fire swept through an equestrian school, killing seven
teenagers and possibly two adults.
2004 Aug 14, A visibly weak
Pope John Paul II joined thousands of other ailing pilgrims at a
cliffside shrine in Lourdes, France, telling them he shares in their
physical suffering and assuring them the burden is part of God's
2004 Aug 19, Amelie Delegrange
(22), from Hanvoile, north of Paris, was battered to death in the
southwest London neighborhood of Twickenham Green after a night out
in a wine bar. In 2006 Levi Bellfield, former nightclub bouncer,
faced trial for her murder and the February, 2003, murder of student
Marsha McDonnell (19). Bellfield was convicted on February 25, 2008
of the two murders. The following day, he was sentenced to life
imprisonment with a recommendation that he should never be released.
2004 Aug 29, Muslim leaders in
France condemned the kidnapping of two French journalists in Iraq
and said the government should not capitulate to militant demands to
revoke a law that bans the wearing of Islamic head scarves in
2004 Sep 22, France signaled it
will slash its public overspending next year to come into line with
EU rules in a 2005 budget published today and forecast economic
growth of 2.5 percent.
2004 Sep 24, French author
Francoise Sagan (69), who shot to fame with her first novel "Bonjour
Tristesse" at the age of 18 and courted controversy throughout her
life, died. She was a longstanding friend of late President Francois
Mitterrand and was convicted of taking drugs and for tax evasion.
2004 Sep 26, In Saudi Arabia
French national Laurent Barbot, a technical assistant for French
electronics group Thales, was shot and killed in Jeddah. Chadian
militants Isa Barkaj and Isaac Shakila were later convicted of
shooting. Both were executed in 2015.
(AP, 9/26/04) (AP, 8/20/15)
2004 Sep 24, French author
Francoise Sagan (69), who shot to fame with her first novel "Bonjour
Tristesse" (1954) at the age of 18 and courted controversy
throughout her life, died. She was a longstanding friend of late
President Francois Mitterrand and was convicted of taking drugs and
for tax evasion.
(Reuters, 9/24/04)(SSFC, 9/26/04, p.B5)
2004 Sep, French auto maker
Renault rolled out the no-frills Logan. The midsize sedan was
launched at a cost of $7,254 (€5,700) in emerging markets like
Poland. Western buyers soon clamored for the car. In June, 2005,
Renault began delivering the roomy, unpretentious five-seater to
France, Germany, and Spain.
(AP, 6/25/05)(WSJ, 10/4/06, p.B18)
2004 Oct 2, Two US ships
carrying 300 pounds of plutonium were scheduled to dock in
Cherbourg, France. A French nuclear factory planned to transform it
into fuel assemblies and return it next year to Charleston, SC.
(SFC, 10/1/04, p.A15)
2004 Oct 8, Jacques Derrida
(74), one of France's best-known philosophers and the founder of the
deconstructionist school, died of cancer in Paris.
(SSFC, 10/10/04, p.A14)(Econ, 10/23/04, p.89)
2004 Oct 9, French President
Jacques Chirac declared that France was a natural trade partner to
China and, amid a flurry of air, rail and energy deals.
2004 Oct 16, Pierre Salinger
(79), who served as press secretary to US presidents Kennedy and
Johnson, died of a heart attack near his home in Le Thon, France.
2004 Oct 19, In France 2 Muslim
girls who refused to remove their head scarves in class were
expelled from their schools, and two more risked the same fate.
2004 Oct 21, French health
officials announced that a donor whose blood was used to transfuse
10 people and to manufacture medicines has been identified as
France's eighth known victim of the human equivalent of mad cow
2004 Oct 25, Hundreds of angry
French farmers mounted blockades around the country to hold up fuel
shipments in protest at soaring diesel and gasoline prices and to
press their demands for government aid.
2004 Nov 6, Ivory Coast
warplanes bombed French peacekeepers, killing 8 French soldiers and
wounding 23, and French forces responded by shooting down government
2004 Nov 7, Machete-waving mobs
looted and burned in Ivory Coast's largest cities, laying siege to a
French military base and searching house to house for French
families after a day of sudden clashes between forces of France and
its former colony. France seized strategic control of Abidjan and
deployed new forces to stop the rampage.
(AP, 11/7/04)(SFC, 11/8/04, p.A3)
2004 Nov 10, France and the UN
began evacuating thousands of French and other expatriates in Ivory
2004 Nov 12, It was reported
that the French government plans to merge Airbus parent EADS with
Thales, the country's largest defense company, to create a new
European giant to rival Boeing Co.
2004 Nov 15, The Bank of France
cut its 2004 economic growth forecast, placing further pressure on
the government's budget plans as high oil prices and a weak dollar
weigh on France's outlook.
2004 Nov 15, France concluded
its evacuation efforts in Ivory Coast, where 5,000 Westerners fled a
renewed civil war.
(WSJ, 11/16/04, p.A1)
2004 Nov 24, President Jacques
Chirac arrived in Libya in the first ever visit by a French head of
2004 Nov 25, French President
Jacques Chirac set aside years of acrimony over the bombing of a
French passenger jet in the 1980s and declared a "new chapter" in
relations with Libya.
2004 Nov 28, French Finance
Minister Nicolas Sarkozy took over the Union for a Popular Movement
(UMP), the ruling conservative party at a glitzy American-style
congress. This put him on course to launch a presidential bid and
possibly challenge Jacques Chirac in 2007.
(AP, 11/28/04)(Econ, 11/27/04, p.14)
2004 Nov 29, President Jacques
Chirac's office said French Agriculture Minister Herve Gaymard is to
succeed Nicolas Sarkozy as Finance Minister.
2004 Dec 1, A French appeals
court reduced the suspended prison sentence for former Prime
Minister Alain Juppe in a party financing scandal from 18 to 14
months, and barred him from elected office for 1 year instead of 10.
2004 Dec 3, In France
Liberation's founding CEO Serge July announced the start of
exclusive negotiations with Banker Edouard de Rothschild over a $27
million capital increase that would let the banker acquire 37
percent of the popular daily.
2004 Dec 9, The French
government sold an 18.4 percent stake in Air France-KLM, the world's
largest airline, to help reduce the state debt.
2004 Dec 10, In Paris a skating
rink opened on an observation deck of the Eiffel Tower, 188 feet
above the streets.
(SFC, 12/11/04, p.A2)
2004 Dec 14, In southern France
a roadway bridge, hailed as the tallest in the world, was officially
2004 Dec 16, In France 10
accused Islamic militants were convicted and sentenced to prison
terms ranging from one to 10 years for their roles in a millennium
plot to blow up a Christmas market in the eastern city of Strasbourg
on New Year's Eve 2000.
2004 Dec 26, In eastern France
a gas explosion tore through a five-storey apartment building in
Mulhouse, killing 15 people and injuring another 14.
2004 Corinne Maier authored the
French pamphlet “Bounjour Paresse" (Hello Laziness). It was
sub-titled The Art and the Importance of Doing the Least Possible in
the Workplace, and became a bestseller in France.
2004 John J. Miller and Mark
Molesky authored “Our Oldest Enemy," an examination of France’s
relations with the US over the last few hundred years.
(WSJ, 10/14/04, p.D7)
2004 Le Figaro, France’s
leading center-right newspaper, was acquired by Dassault, a big
defense company, which also acquired some 70 other titles.
(Econ, 8/7/04, p.44)
2004 In France the APE agency
was founded to oversee the jumble of state holdings that followed a
wave of privatizations in the 1990s. It reported to the ministries
of finance and industry.
(Econ, 11/3/12, p.63)
2004 The French public health
fund deficit was expected to top $15.7 billion.
(Econ, 7/31/04, p.43)
2004 French retailer Carrefour
SA agreed to buy 13 supermarkets in Poland.
(WSJ, 4/15/08, p.B2)
2005 Jan 1, France was forecast
for 2.4% annual GDP growth with a population at 60.6 million and GDP
per head at $36,630.
(Econ, 1/8/05, p.88)
2005 Jan 12, Maud Fontenoy, a
French woman (26), set out in a row boat on a 4,900-mile solo voyage
to Polynesia, hoping to trace Thor Heyerdahl's epic 1947 Pacific
crossing aboard the balsa raft Kon-Tiki.
2005 Jan 18, In France Airbus
unveiled the 840-passenger A380, the world's biggest passenger jet,
in a glitzy ceremony in which the leaders of France, Britain,
Germany and Spain hailed Europe's victory over the US as the new
king of the commercial skies.
2005 Jan 19, Strikes over job
cuts and pay disrupted French rail service and hospitals.
2005 Jan 25, Paris' new
memorial to the Holocaust was inaugurated, with President Chirac
bowing before the wall inscribed with the names of 76,000 Jews sent
to Nazi death camps from France.
2005 Jan 31, France Telecom,
Europe's second-largest telecommunications operator, announced plans
to cut 8,000 jobs in 2005, mostly in France.
2005 Feb 2, French Pres.
Jacques Chirac planned to visit Senegal for the first time in a
decade, hoping to boost ties with a former West African colony at a
time when the US is raising its military profile in the region.
2005 Feb 2, The EU told Italy,
France and Germany, to do more to bring their budgets in balance as
required by the rules of Europe's single currency.
2005 Feb 8, Herve Gaymard,
France's finance minister, announced new measures designed to boost
confidence, stimulate growth and tackle the "scandalously high" 9.9%
2005 Feb 9, The French National
Assembly approved a reform of the controversial 35-hour working
week. The Socialist measure had been introduced to cut unemployment
but is now blamed by the right for doing exactly the reverse.
2005 Feb 15, The Falcon 7X, a
business jet designed and built by the French aviation company
Dassault, was displayed for the first time. It was the first plane
to be digitally modeled in 3-dimensions and required no prototype.
(Econ, 6/18/05, p.78)(http://tinyurl.com/lxlgt2)
2005 Feb 22, The EU intends to
end its ban on arms sales to China, French Pres. Jacques Chirac said
after talks with Pres. Bush, who highlighted Washington's security
2005 Feb 23, French film star
Simone Simon (b.1910) died in Paris.
2005 Feb 25, French Finance
Minister Herve Gaymard quit over his handling of a scandal about his
state-paid luxury flat that rocked a conservative government as it
forces unpopular cost-cutting measures on a restive nation.
2005 Feb 28, Thierry Breton
arrived for work as France's 4th finance minister in less than a
year, ready to pick up the unfinished business of restoring the
French economy to good health.
2005 Feb, France passed a law
to put an upbeat spin on a painful era, making it mandatory to
enshrine in textbooks the country's "positive role" in its far-flung
colonies. Education Minister Gilles de Robien said in October that
textbooks would not be changed. But the law's detractors want it
stricken from the books, something the minister says only parliament
2005 Mar 1, French journalist
Florence Aubenas, looking pale and distraught, appealed for help on
a video in her first since she went missing in Iraq on Jan. 5.
2005 Mar 1, In Geneva, Switz.,
Edouard Stern, French financier and former Lazard banker, was found
dead in his home. Swiss police later arrested Cecile Brossard (36),
his French lover, who confessed to the sex-related killing of banker
Edouard Stern. During her trial in 2009 she said that she lost
control after Stern called her a whore. On June 18, 2009, Brossard
was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison.
(WSJ, 3/3/05, p.A1)(AP, 3/16/05)(WSJ, 4/14/05,
p.A1)(SFC, 6/15/09, p.A2)(AP, 6/18/09)
2005 Mar 2, France's newly
appointed Finance Minister Thierry Breton pledged to keep a tight
lid on public spending in an effort to rein in the budget deficit.
2005 Mar 3, Alexis von
Rosenberg (82), Baron de Rede, published his memoir: “Alexis: the
Memoirs of the Baron de Rede." Baron de Rede, the godfather of Paris
society, died a few months later.
(SFC, 3/16/05, p.G10)
2005 Mar 3, In France a trial
got under way in which 66 people were accused of participating in a
2005 Mar 10, Tens of thousands
of French workers marched on Paris and strikes crippled public
transport, embarrassing the government as Olympic officials visited
to assess the city's bid to host the 2012 Games.
2005 Mar 15, A French court
gave the maximum 10-year prison sentence to Djamel Beghal
(39), the ringleader of an alleged plot to send a suicide
bomber into the US Embassy in Paris. The court also sentenced 5
other defendants in the case to 1-9 year prison terms. Beghal
testified that his confession of a plan to send a suicide bomber
into the U.S. Embassy was obtained under torture after his July 2001
arrest in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He was extradited to France
two months later and retracted that confession.
2005 Mar 19, It was reported
that Agence France-Presse has sued Google Inc. for copyright
infringement, alleging that the Internet search engine included AFP
headlines, news summaries and photographs published without
2005 Mar 23, France presented a
U.N. resolution allowing for the prosecution of Sudanese war crimes
suspects at the International Criminal Court, forcing the US to
choose between accepting a body it opposes or casting a politically
2005 Mar 24, A French appeals
court upheld the conviction of George Soros (74) for insider
trading. Soros, whose Quantum Fund is worth about $8.3 billion,
emigrated to the US in 1956 and set up Soros Fund Management in
1973. He later made a fortune on foreign exchange markets and was
criticized in some quarters for speculating on, and arguably
encouraging, the collapse of Asian currencies in the late 1990s.
2005 Apr 4, Chevron announced
plans to purchase Unocal Corp. for $18.4 billion. Chevron’s eventual
acquisition of Unocal included a stake in the Yadana project in
Myanmar, in which Unocal invested in the 1990s along with France’s
Total, Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise and the petroleum Authority of
Thailand. Total with a 31% stake operated the project. The Yadana
project brought in an estimated $969 million to the government
undercutting international sanctions to isolate the regime.
(SFC, 4/5/05, p.A1)(SFC, 10/4/07, p.A10)(SFC,
2005 Apr 15, In France a fire
swept through a Paris hotel used by the city to house needy African
families. 22 people were killed, half of them children.
2005 Apr 27, The world's
largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, completed a maiden flight
in France that took it over the Pyrenees mountains.
2005 Apr, The decomposing body
of Anthony Ashley-Cooper, the Earl of Shaftesbury, was found in a
ravine in the French Riviera, five months after he disappeared from
his home in Cannes. In 2007 his mistress testified that he had been
strangled to death by Mohamed M'Barek, the brother of his wife,
2005 May 11, French police
swooped down by helicopter to the luxury Riviera villa of
self-exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, seizing documents and
2005 May 16, Many French
workers ignored the new national "Day of Solidarity," an extra work
day in place of the annual Pentecost holiday, that was part of the
government's response to a 2003 heat wave that killed 15,000 people.
Under a new law workers give up a holiday, while their employers pay
into a government fund to improve health care for the aged and
(AP, 5/15/05)(WSJ, 5/17/05, p.A10)
2005 May 20, Paul Ricoeur (92),
a French philosopher whose broad interests included biblical
interpretation and the study of human perception, died.
2005 May 23, French
anti-terrorist officers captured three suspected members of the
Basque separatist group ETA in an early morning sweep in southeast
2005 May 26, In southwestern
France protesting winemakers set fire to train cars, pelted them
with rocks and blocked rail traffic on their way home from
demonstrations in Nimes.
2005 May 29, French voters
rejected the EU's first constitution, dealing a potentially fatal
blow to the charter. In 2007 it was repackaged as the Lisbon treaty.
(AP, 5/30/05)(Econ, 10/10/09, p.28)
2005 May 30, President Jacques
Chirac began a widely expected government shakeup to save face at
home as European Union officials worked to control damage after
French voters rejected the EU's first constitution.
2005 May 31, French President
Jacques Chirac appointed Dominique de Villepin, a loyalist who was
France's voice against the Iraq war, as prime minister.
2005 Jun 2, The US and France
reached a tentative deal to boost the size of the UN peacekeeping
mission in Ivory Coast by nearly 2,000 troops and police to help
enforce a shaky peace deal. Meanwhile thousands fled a region where
a village was burned and 55 people killed by unidentified gunmen.
(AP, 6/3/05)(WSJ, 6/3/05, p.A1)
2005 Jun 5, An accident inside
the Frejus Alpine tunnel between France and Italy killed at least
two people. A truck loaded with tires and another carrying glue
caught fire along with four other vehicles.
2005 Jun 8, French PM Dominique
de Villepin easily won a parliamentary vote of confidence after
announcing a job creation plan worth $5.5 billion.
2005 Jun 11, French journalist
Florence Aubenas and her Iraqi assistant were freed and in good
health after nearly five months in captivity in Iraq.
2005 Jun 13, The Paris Air Show
(Econ, 6/11/05, p.60)
2005 Jun 19, A new, domestic
French low-cost airline, Air Turquoise, took to the skies, opening
budget routes from the northeast city of Reims to Bordeaux,
Marseille and Nice.
2005 Jun 23, The French
government launched the partial privatization of utility company Gaz
de France through an initial public offering of shares worth up to
4.9 billion euros ($5.9 billion).
2005 Jun 27, French
investigators raided the home and offices of finance minister
Thierry Breton. It was part of a criminal probe sparked by
complaints filed by Rhodia investors Hughes de Lasteyrie du Saillant
and Edouard Stern. [see Mar 1]
(WSJ, 6/30/05, p.C1)
2005 Jun 27, France, Germany,
Brazil and Chile called for a tax on airline tickets to help finance
the global fight against poverty.
2005 Jun 28, An international
consortium chose France as the site for the experimental
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), a $13
billion fusion power project that developers hope will one day
generate endless, cheap energy by reproducing the sun's power source
and wean the world off fossil fuels.
(AP, 6/28/05)(Econ, 7/2/05, p.71)
2005 Jul 8, Shares of Gas de
France (GDF), a 20% stake in the state monopoly, began to trade
following the plans of PM Dominique de Villepin. The IPO was
expected to fetch up to $6 billion. A sale of shares in Electricite
de France was set for October.
(Econ, 7/25/05, p.56)
2005 Jul 12, French company
Technip SA said it has been awarded an $800 million contract by
Chevron Corp. to develop its largest Nigerian oil project.
2005 Jul 24, Lance Armstrong
closed out his amazing career with a 7th consecutive Tour de France
2005 Jul 26, Pernod Ricard SA
said it has completed its takeover of British rival Allied Domecq
PLC to become the world's second-largest wines and spirits maker.
2005 Jul 27, A French court
convicted 62 defendants in a mass pedophilia trial and sentenced
some of them to up to 28 years in prison for their roles in a
network that systematically raped and prostituted children in
2005 Jul 27, France Telecom
bought an 80% stake in Amena, Spain’s 3rd largest mobile telephone
(Econ, 7/30/05, p.54)
2005 Jul 30, Wim Duisenberg
(b.1935), Dutch-born first chief of the European Central Bank who
helped create the euro currency, was found dead at a home in Faucon,
2005 Aug 2, France, Britain and
Germany hardened their tone toward Iran, warning that Tehran risked
triggering an international crisis and could face U.N. sanctions if
it follows through with a threat to resume its nuclear program.
2005 Aug 2, An Air France jet
skidded off a Toronto runway and burst into flames, prompting 309
passengers and crew to slide down escape chutes. In Dec, 2009, a
Canadian judge approved a C$12 million ($11.4 million) class-action
settlement with 184 passengers of the Air France jet.
(AP, 8/3/05)(Reuters, 12/31/09)
2005 Aug 9, Suez, a French
water and power company, announced a $14 billion purchase of 49.9%
of the shares of Electrabel, a Belgian electricity firm.
(Econ, 8/13/05, p.52)
2005 Aug 9, Francois Dalle
(87), former chief executive of L'Oreal (1957-1984) and credited
with transforming the French cosmetics company into a global giant,
died in Geneva.
2005 Aug 16, In Taize, France,
Brother Roger, the 90-year-old founder of an ecumenical religious
community dedicated to peace and reconciliation, was knifed to death
by an apparently deranged Romanian woman at an evening prayer
service attended by 2,500 people. Brother Roger founded the Taize
religious community in 1940 emphasizing the need for all Christians
to come together in peace, love and reconciliation.
(AP, 8/17/05)(WSJ, 8/18/05, p.A1)
2005 Aug 26, Fire raced through
a crowded Paris apartment building housing African immigrants,
trapping residents in their sleep and killing 17 people, most of
them believed to be children.
2005 Aug 28, The French civil
aviation authority made public for the 1st time a list on its
Internet site of airlines banned to land due to safety reasons. They
included: Air Koryo of North Korea; Air St. Thomas of the U.S.
Virgin Islands; International Air Services of Liberia; Thailand's
Phuket Airlines; and Linhas Aereas de Mocambique and Transairways,
both from Mozambique.
2005 Aug 29, In France
firefighters said 7 people, including 4 children, died in an
apartment fire in Paris.
2005 Sep 2, French police
evicted about 140 mainly African squatters, some sobbing or
screaming, from two dilapidated buildings in Paris as authorities
began a sweep of dwellings deemed fire hazards following two deadly
2005 Sep 4, In France fire
ripped through a high-rise apartment building south of Paris,
killing 16 people, two of them children. 4 people were detained in
connection with the suspected arson attack. 3 teenage girls
confessed to starting the fire.
(AP, 9/4/05)(AP, 9/5/05)
2005 Sep 9, The body that
controls French winemaking said makers of Bordeaux wines have been
told to reduce their output this year by about 12% because of
overproduction and falling prices.
2005 Sep 12, President Jacques
Chirac, following a weeklong hospital stay, met with India's PM
2005 Sep 16, The French civil
aviation authority DGAC said it has banned flights by Cameroon
Airlines for an indefinite period, citing safety concerns.
2005 Sep 17, A French special
forces soldier was killed and one was seriously wounded when their
vehicle struck a mine while patrolling in southern Afghanistan.
2005 Sep 19, French police
probing a ring which allegedly recruited Muslim fighters for the
anti-US insurgency in Iraq arrested six men in the Paris area.
2005 Sep 22, France announced
financial incentives for parents to have a 3rd child, hoping to
boost its fertility rate by helping people to better juggle the
demands of work and family life.
2005 Sep 28, French police
commandos swooped onto the deck of a ferry seized by striking
unionized sailors in the Mediterranean Sea, recapturing the vessel
and steering it back toward France. Butler Capital Partners, the
private investment firm picked by the government to take over ferry
operator SNCM, said 350-400 jobs might be lost in the privatization.
2005 Sep, Tariq Krim (32),
French entrepreneur, launched Netvibes. It provided users the
ability to oversee their favorite blogs from a single page.
(Econ, 2/3/07, p.68)
2005 Oct 1, Riot police
forcibly expelled striking union workers who had blockaded ports in
Corsica and southeastern France for days to protest against the
planned privatization of a state-run ferry operator.
2005 Oct 3, In France a
widespread transit strike expected to touch on nearly all modes of
public transportation began late at night in protest of the
center-right government's economic and labor policies.
2005 Oct 4, French President
Jacques Chirac said that Turkey would need to undergo a "major
cultural revolution" before entering the EU, and he reiterated that
France would hold a referendum on admitting Ankara to the bloc.
2005 Oct 4, It was reported
that French Attorney Jean-Marc Goldnadel had launched
classaction.fr, a French Web site that lets users sign up to
lawsuits online for as little as 12 euros ($14.50). President
Jacques Chirac had announced the introduction of class action suits
earlier in the year.
2005 Oct 5, Americans Robert H.
Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock and Yves Chauvin of France won the
Nobel Prize in chemistry for discoveries that let industry create
drugs and advanced plastics in a more efficient and environmentally
2005 Oct 8, In France
journalists reporting on the conflict in Iraq, a humanitarian crisis
in Sudan, the plight of children in Uganda's insurrection and a
deadly school hostage siege in Russia were honored with the annual
Bayeux Prize for War Correspondents.
2005 Oct 20, A French couple
who poisoned their five children and then tried to commit suicide in
a desperate bid to escape towering debt was sentenced to prison
terms by a court outside Paris.
2005 Oct 24, An official said
more than a dozen climbers from France and Nepal were swept away in
an avalanche on a Himalayan mountain and believed killed. The
mountaineers were reported missing last week after heavy snowfall
hit the Himalayas.
2005 Oct 27, In France
teenagers Bouna Traore (15) and Zyed Benna (17) died by
electrocution after they scaled the wall of an electrical relay
station and touched a transformer in the Paris suburb of
Clichy-sous-Bois. Local youths blamed the police for the deaths and
exploded in anger. The boys allegedly thought they were being chased
by police, but authorities denied that was the case. In 2010 two
French police officers faced trial accused of failing to save the
lives of two teens. On May 18, 2015, officers Sebastien Gaillemin
and Stephanie Klein, accused of "non-assistance to individuals in
danger," were cleared of the charges.
(AP, 10/31/05)(AP, 10/22/10)(AFP, 5/18/15)
2005 Oct 28, Raymond Hains
(b.1926), French Nouveau Realiste artist, died in Paris. In 1960 he
joined with other artists to found the Nouveau Realistes, whose
emergence came to be seen as the beginning of French Pop Art.
(SFC, 11/15/05, p.B5)
2005 Oct 29, Hundreds of French
youths fought with police and set cars ablaze in a Paris suburb in a
second night of rioting which media said was triggered when two
teenagers were electrocuted while fleeing police.
2005 Oct 30, Police clashed
with angry youths in a Paris suburb for the fourth straight night,
with accusations over a police teargas grenade thrown into a mosque
set to exacerbate the situation further.
2005 Oct 31, French rower
Emmanuel Coindre ended a landmark 129-day solo voyage across the
Pacific Ocean between Japan and the United States, setting a new
record, according to his team.
2005 Nov 1, French police fired
tear gas and rioters hurled Molotov cocktails as violence hit a poor
Paris suburb for the fifth straight night in unrest that officials
said had also spread to neighboring towns.
2005 Nov 3, Rioting youths shot
at police and firefighters after burning car dealerships and public
buses and hurling rocks at commuter trains. France's government
faced growing pressure to curb the violence, fueled by anger over
poor conditions in suburban Paris housing projects.
2005 Nov 4, Small, mobile
groups of youths hit Paris' riot-shaken suburbs with waves of arson
attacks, torching hundreds of cars, as unrest entered its 2nd week
and spread to other towns.
2005 Nov 5, In France
marauding youths torched nearly 900 vehicles, stoned paramedics and
burned a nursery school in a ninth night of violence that spread
from Paris suburbs to towns around France. Authorities arrested more
than 250 people overnight.
2005 Nov 6, French President
Jacques Chirac called a security meeting of his top ministers after
urban rioting spread, with arsonists striking from the Mediterranean
to the German border and into central Paris for the first time. On
the 10th night of mayhem, some 1,300 vehicles were torched across
France overnight and 349 people were arrested.
(AP, 11/6/05)(AFP, 11/6/05)
2005 Nov 7, Rioting by French
youths spread to 300 towns overnight, and a 61-year-old man hurt in
the violence died of his wounds, the first fatality in 11 days of
2005 Nov 8, President Jacques
Chirac declared a state of emergency, paving the way for curfews to
be imposed on riot-hit cities and towns in an extraordinary measure
to halt France's worst civil unrest in decades after 12 nights of
2005 Nov 9, France's storm of
rioting lost strength with a drop of nearly half in the number of
car burnings. But looters and vandals still defied a state of
emergency with attacks on stores, a newspaper warehouse and a subway
2005 Nov 10, Violence in France
fell sharply overnight after the government toughened its stance by
imposing emergency measures and ordering deportations of foreigners
involved in riots that have raged for two weeks. The national police
said 8 French police officers had been suspended for their suspected
role in the beating of a young man in a Paris suburb.
2005 Nov 11, Forces tightened
security in central Paris, stationing riot police and bomb squads
along the Champs-Elysees as more than two weeks of arson and
vandalism persisted near the French capital.
2005 Nov 12, Some 3,000 police
fanned out around Paris to prevent any attempts to attack
high-profile targets such as the Eiffel Tower after a 16th straight
night of unrest and arson.
2005 Nov 13, In France police
took 212 people into custody overnight. Rioters pelted police with
stones in the historic heart of Lyon, and youths rammed a burning
car into a center for retirees in southern France in a 17th night of
urban violence. The French insurance industry estimated damages so
far at $235 million including $23 million for damage to cars.
(AP, 11/13/05)(SSFC, 11/13/05, p.A19)
2005 Nov 14, The French
government approved a bill to extend a state of emergency for 3
months, giving itself more policing tools to stop the country's
worst civil unrest since the 1960s. Some 271 cars were burned
(AP, 11/14/05)(SFC, 11/14/05, p.A10)
2005 Nov 15, Jose Bove, a
militant French farmer best known for ransacking a half-built
McDonald's, was sentenced to four months in prison for destroying a
field of genetically modified corn planted by an American seed
company in southern France.
2005 Nov 17, French police
declared the all-clear after three weeks of rioting which has left
the government stunned, bruised and casting around for explanations.
2005 Nov 17, France released
its annual Beaujolais Nouveau from the 2005 harvest. The annual
release is made every 3rd Thursday in November.
(SFC, 11/22/05, p.F2)
2005 Nov 21, France's PM
Villepin pledged to find more jobs for youths from poor suburbs,
where unrest continued to simmer and a high school guard suffered a
fatal heart attack trying to extinguish blazing cars.
2005 Nov 22, French President
Jacques Chirac called for negotiations to end a nationwide rail
strike that caused commuter chaos and posed a new threat to his
government, just days after urban riots abated.
2005 Nov 22, French union
leaders decided to recommend an end to a strike that disrupted
French train service, saying they were satisfied with concessions
offered by the national rail operator SNCF.
2005 Nov 23, France's Cabinet
approved a plan to put a tax on airline tickets starting next year
to finance efforts against poverty and disease in the developing
2005 Nov 27, Doctors in France
performed the world's first partial face transplant on a woman
disfigured by a dog bite; Isabelle Dinoire received the lips, nose
and chin of a brain-dead woman in a 15-hour operation.
2005 Nov 29, France's lower
house of parliament overwhelmingly approved a tough new
anti-terrorism bill that, among other measures, would increase the
use of video surveillance and allow police more time to question
2005 Nov 30, French doctors
performed the world’s 1st partial face transplant. They operated on
a woman (38) disfigured by a dog bite.
(SFC, 12/1/05, p.A1)
2005 Dec 2, African leaders and
French President Jacques Chirac converged on Mali for a two-day
summit expected to focus on Africa's conflict hotspots, immigration
and the problems of African youth.
2005 Dec 4, Chinese Premier Wen
Jiabao arrived in France for a four-day visit. The Chinese
government and the European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus
signed a cooperation agreement at a public ceremony in Toulouse that
may pave the way for the opening of an aircraft assembly plant in
2005 Dec 5, France's highest
administrative body ruled that Sikhs can wear their turbans in
drivers' license photos, overturning an earlier denial of a license
to a Sikh who refused to take off his turban for the photo.
2005 Dec 10, The Petit Palais,
a long forgotten gem among Paris museums, reopened after an $84
million renovation that has restored the full splendor of a
structure originally built for the 1900 World's Fair.
2005 Dec 10-2005 Dec 11,
Hundreds of French youths smashed shop windows, ignited trash cans
and pelted police with bottles through the night to protest against
a ban on a rave party they planned in the western city of Rennes.
2005 Dec 12, French
counterterrorism agents, some heavily armed and wearing black hoods,
raided homes and Internet cafes in a sweep against a suspected
Islamic network, arresting more than 20 suspects.
2005 Dec 14, The French
government said Eiffag SA, Vinci SA and Spain’s Abertis
Infraestructuras SA will buy its stakes in 3 toll-road companies
raising $17.7 billion to help cut France’s national debt.
(WSJ, 12/15/05, p.A16)
2005 Dec 15, French
counterterrorism agents arrested three people suspected of belonging
to a terror group with "indirect links" to al-Qaida in Iraq leader
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Agents seized guns, ammunition, dynamite and
other weapons in a probe of suspected Islamic militants who
officials said use robberies to fund terror groups.
2005 Dec 15, French and Italian
authorities said European police have broken up the biggest-ever
illegal immigration ring targeting Britain by arresting dozens of
suspects believed to have helped smuggle "thousands" of people into
2005 Dec 20, France's antitrust
regulator slapped a 14.4 million euros ($17.2 million) fine on Buena
Vista Home Entertainment Inc., a unit of Walt Disney Co., and three
French retailers for fixing home video prices between 1995 and 1998.
2005 Dec 22, France's
parliament approved an anti-terrorism bill that will boost the use
of video surveillance and allow police more time to question terror
2005 Dec 23, A French military
tribunal opened an investigation into allegations that French
peacekeepers facilitated attacks on ethnic minority Tutsis during
the 1994 genocide of more than half a million Rwandans.
2005 Dec 29, France reported a
second death from freezing temperatures as blizzards swept through
northern and central Europe, forcing flight cancellations at Prague
airport and cutting power lines and rail links in Scandinavia.
2005 Sir Alistair Horne,
British historian, authored “La Belle France," an sweeping overview
of French history.
(WSJ, 8/23/05, p.D8)
2005 Colin Jones authored
“Paris: The Biography of a City."
(Econ, 4/23/05, p.80)
2005 Frederic Mitterand
(b.1947), the nephew of former French Pres. Francois Mitterand,
authored his autobiographical novel “The Bad Life" (French: La
mauvaise vie), which became a best seller. In the book he details
his "delight" whilst visiting the male brothels of Bangkok, and
writes, "I got into the habit of paying for boys ... The profusion
of young, very attractive and immediately available boys put me in a
state of desire I no longer needed to restrain or hide."
2006 Jan 4, French Interior
Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said France will create a special police
force to ensure security for railway passengers after a band of
marauding youths robbed and sexually assaulted train travelers Jan 1
in southeast France.
2006 Jan 5, In France a
76-year-old performance artist was arrested after attacking Marcel
Duchamp's (1917) "Fountain," a porcelain urinal, with a hammer
at the Pompidou Center.
2006 Jan 6, An Indian Supreme
Court panel accused France of violating an international treaty on
hazardous waste movement by sending an asbestos-laden warship to be
scrapped in an Indian shipyard.
2006 Jan 14, Egypt and France
were locked in legal wrangling over a decommissioned aircraft
carrier containing asbestos, leaving the French warship stranded off
the Egyptian coast for the third day running.
2006 Jan 16, In Strasbourg,
France, demonstrators fought with police and smashed windows at the
European Parliament building during a protest over a proposal to
make port operations in the European Union more competitive.
2006 Jan 16, A US-registered
private jet crashed in the French Alps outside Bourdeau and 4 people
2006 Jan 19, Pres. Chirac said
France would be ready to use nuclear weapons against any state that
carried out a terrorist attack against it, reaffirming the need for
its nuclear deterrent.
2006 Jan 21, Ilan Halimi (23),
a mobile phone salesman in northeast Paris, was kidnapped. He was
found 3 weeks later naked, handcuffed and covered with burn marks
near railroad tracks in the Essonne region south of Paris. He died
en route to a hospital. On Feb 20 a judge placed six men and a woman
under investigation for the alleged plot to kidnap and kill on
religious, racial or ethnic motives. Gang leader Youssef Fofana was
later sentenced to life in prison for the murder.
(AP, 2/20/06)(Econ, 3/1/14, p.83)
2006 Jan 29, Avalanches swept
away skiers and at least one hiker in the French Alps, killing five
people over the weekend.
2006 Jan 31, French PM
Dominique de Villepin made a televised address urging French and
other European chief executives to be better organized to resist
attacks by foreign companies. The statement was made in response to
the takeover of Arcelor by Mittal Steel.
(Econ, 2/4/06, p.56)
2006 Feb 3, BNP Paribas,
France’s 2nd largest bank by assets, declared that it was buying a
48% stake in Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), Italy’s 6th largest
bank, and that it would bid for the rest.
(Econ, 2/11/06, p.70)
2006 Feb 13, Ilan Halimi (23),
a young Jewish man, died in a Paris suburb after being kidnapped on
Jan 21 and tortured for 24 days. The trial of a self-proclaimed
"gang of barbarians" accused of killing him went on trial in 2009.
Among the 27 defendants was the girl who is alleged to have been
used as bait to capture Halimi and young men accused of taking part
in the abduction and guarding the captive. Youssouf Fofana, the
leader of the "barbarians," fled to the Ivory Coast but was
extradited to France on March 4, 2006. On July 10, 2009, a Paris
court convicted Fofana (28) for the kidnapping, torture and murder
Halimi and sentenced him to life in prison. 24 others, including 8
women, also were found guilty in the kidnapping, torture and murder
of Ilan Halimi. On Dec 17, 2010, an appeals court upheld the
convictions of 16 people for their roles in Halimi’s murder.
(AP, 4/29/09)(AP, 7/11/09)(SFC, 12/18/10, p.A2)
2006 Feb 15, President Jacques
Chirac ordered the Clemenceau, a decommissioned aircraft carrier, to
return to France after a top administrative court suspended its
transfer to India.
2006 Feb 17, French President
Jacques Chirac has arrived for his first visit to Thailand as head
of state, with Paris hoping to secure lucrative contracts in one of
the most dynamic countries in the region.
2006 Feb 19, French President
Jacques Chirac arrived in India for a whistle-stop visit aimed at
bolstering trade and civilian nuclear cooperation with the emerging
2006 Feb 19, India and France
both confirmed their first outbreak of the deadly strain of bird flu
among fowl. Health officials and farm workers in western India began
slaughtering a half-million birds to check the spread of the
2006 Feb 19, India's private
Kingfisher Airlines signed a deal to purchase 15 French ATR 72-500
aircraft for 270 million dollars, with the option to buy another 20.
Kingfisher began operations in May and has a 7.6 percent share of
the domestic market.
2006 Feb 24, Japan suspended
all French poultry imports and threatened a similar ban on the
Netherlands following reported cases of H5N1 bird flu.
2006 Feb 24, French legal
authorities refused to extradite to Lebanon Zouheir Mohammad
Assediq, an ex-Syrian intelligence officer, to answer questions
about the murder of former Lebanese PM Rafiq el-Hariri.
2006 Feb 27, France began
vaccinating 300,000 domestic fowl against bird flu.
(WSJ, 2/28/06, p.A1)
2006 Mar 4, The French the
defense ministry said a French special forces officer was killed in
clashes with Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan. This was the
second French soldier to be killed in action in Afghanistan.
2006 Mar 4, Youssef Fofana, the
suspected leader of a gang accused of torturing to death a young
Jewish man near Paris, was extradited from the Ivory Coast to
2006 Mar 5, French President
Jacques Chirac on a trip to Saudi Arabia preached greater tolerance
and respect after the publication of satirical cartoons of the
Prophet Mohammad a month ago whipped up protests around the world.
2006 Mar 6, France's highest
administrative body ruled that Sikhs must remove their turbans for
driver's license photos, calling it a question of public security
and not a restriction on freedom of religion.
2006 Mar 7, In France
protesters opposed to a government plan to reduce joblessness by
making it easier to fire young workers rallied throughout the
country, disrupting airports, schools and the Paris Metro.
2006 Mar 8, French government
attempts to stop Internet users downloading music and movies
ratcheted up a notch when Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy blasted
the widespread practice as theft.
2006 Mar 9, The French
parliament, despite protests by students and unions, enacted a
much-contested law to reduce youth unemployment by using contract
2006 Mar 9, In France
Christophe Fauviau (46), a father who drugged his children's tennis
opponents leading to one player's death, was sentenced to 8 years in
2006 Mar 11, Police stormed
France's famed Sorbonne University to dislodge students occupying
the building in protest of a new national employment measure, hours
after the demonstrators hurled furniture and ladders from the
2006 Mar 15, In France a
suspected gangland-style car explosion killed one man and injured
another on a highway north of Paris.
2006 Mar 18, As many as 1.5
million people took to the streets of French cities in a show of
strength over a contested new labor law, the government's First
Employment Contract (CPE), as police deployed in force in Paris to
head off the risk of violence. An open-ended contract for under
26-year-olds that can be terminated within the first two years
without explanation, the CPE is supposed to encourage employers to
take on young staff by removing some of the financial risks
involved. Police made 170 arrests.
(AP, 3/18/06)(Econ, 3/25/06, p.53)
2006 Mar 21, Some 30% of French
people consider themselves at least somewhat racist, according to a
report submitted to the government, prompting concerns that racism
is becoming socially acceptable.
2006 Mar 22, Pierre Clostermann
(85), French fighter pilot and WW II hero, died. In 1948 he
published the story of his exploits under the title “Le Grand
Cirque." The English version was titled “The Big Show."
(Econ, 4/8/06, p.85)
2006 Mar 28, Some 1-3 million
protesters poured onto France's streets and absent workers hobbled
transport services in the first nationwide strike against a new
labor law for youths, increasing pressure on the embattled PM to
withdraw the contested measure.
(AP, 3/28/06)(Econ, 4/1/06, p.22)
2006 Mar 28, It was reported
that France produced 78% of its electricity from nuclear power.
(WSJ, 3/28/06, p.A1)
2006 Mar 31, French President
Jacques Chirac offered to soften a labor law that makes it easier to
fire young workers, but the student and labor leaders who have
organized nationwide strikes rejected his compromise and repeated
calls for the measure's repeal.
2006 Mar, A French school
ranking by Le Figaro, based on the 2005 school-leaving exam,
indicated that the all but one of the top 29 schools were private.
(Econ, 3/11/06, p.48)
2006 Apr 2, Alcatel SA and
Lucent Technologies Inc. said that the French telecom equipment
maker would acquire its US rival. The deal valued Lucent at about
$13.5 billion (11.1 billion euros) in a stock swap that would form a
major new global player. Headquarters would be in Paris and about
8,800 jobs would be cut.
(AP, 4/2/06)(Econ, 4/8/06, p.63)
2006 Apr 4, In France a
nationwide strike shut down the Eiffel Tower and snarled air and
rail travel for the second time in a week while students barricaded
themselves in schools to protest a jobs measure that has riven the
country and put the government in crisis mode.
2006 Apr 5, In France
demonstrators blocked roads, rail lines and mail delivery trucks in
a second straight day of protests to demand the repeal of a divisive
jobs law, while unions vowed they would not compromise in talks with
President Jacques Chirac's ruling party on the issue.
2006 Apr 6, Students protesting
a new labor law put more pressure on France's embattled government
by blocking roads, trains and a convoy of parts heading to the
factory that builds the world's largest airliner.
2006 Apr 10, French President
Jacques Chirac threw out part of a youth labor law that triggered
massive protests and strikes, bowing to intense pressure from
students and unions and dealing a blow to his loyal premier in a bid
to end the crisis.
2006 Apr 12, France's lower
house of parliament approved a compromise youth job plan to replace
a measure that triggered nationwide protests and plunged the country
2006 Apr 17, Jean Bernard
(b.1907), French doctor, died. His research on blood disease helped
to found the discipline of hematology.
2006 Apr 29, It was reported
that just over 8% of workers in France belonged to a trade union
compared with 12% in America and nearly 30% in Britain.
(Econ, 4/29/06, p.54)
2006 Apr, France released 2
Slovenian brown bears in the Pyranees and planned to add five more
to boost genetic diversity.
(Econ, 5/13/06, p.60)
2006 May 3, Britain and France
introduced a UN Security Council resolution demanding that Iran
abandon its uranium enrichment program, possibly setting the stage
for sanctions if Tehran does not comply.
2006 May 12, Spain's Banco
Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) agreed to the French bank BNP
Paribas' purchase of its 14.75-percent stake in Italy's Banca
Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), saying it will reap 567 million euros
(731 million dollars) in capital gains from the sale.
2006 May 13, More than 11,000
people marched through Paris to protest a bill that would stiffen
rules for immigrants in France and give authorities power to choose
who can enter.
2006 May 16, France's PM
Dominique de Villepin was in the firing line as parliament debated a
no confidence motion filed by the opposition over the Clearstream
dirty tricks scandal. Jean-Luis Gergorin, a senior executive at
EADS, was later identified as the anonymous informer who tried to
link important politicians to secret bank accounts in Luxembourg.
(AP, 5/16/06)(Econ, 5/27/06, p.63)
2006 May 29, French Agriculture
Minister Dominique Bussereau ruled out changes to the EU's system of
farm subsidies, saying he would prefer that the Doha trade talks
2006 May 31, In France youths
torched a dozen cars and hurled stones at police in a second night
of violence in the troubled Paris suburbs, raising memories of
rioting that rocked the nation last year.
2006 May 31, Greenpeace said
nuclear waste from a storage facility is seeping into groundwater in
the Champagne region of France and threatening vineyards that
produce the sparkling wine.
2006 Jun 1, The NYSE under John
Thain agreed to acquire Paris-based Euronext NV, Europe’s 2nd
largest stock exchange, for $10 billion.
(SFC, 6/2/06, p.A3)
2006 Jun 6, The Spanish
interior ministry said that 67 suspects had been arrested for
accessing child porn on the Internet over the past five days. The
international police operation arrested 38 in France, 10 in Spain, 9
in Slovakia, 7 in Belgium and 3 in the Netherlands.
2006 Jun 10, Justine
Henin-Hardenne won the French Open, beating Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4,
2006 Jun 13, European
Aeronautic Defense and Space (EADS), the parent company of Airbus,
announced that its new 555-seat airliner would be delayed up to 7
(Econ, 6/24/06, p.69)
2006 Jun 14, A French court
handed down prison terms ranging from six months to 10 years for 25
Islamic radicals convicted of planning to carry out attacks on the
Eiffel Tower and other targets in Paris. All but one had been
accused of helping Islamic fighters in Chechnya.
2006 Jun 14, France's highest
court upheld George Soros' conviction for insider trading in a case
dating back nearly 20 years, and the billionaire investor vowed to
fight the ruling at the European Court of Human Rights.
2006 Jun 20, In France Pres.
Chirac inaugurated the new, $293 million Musee du Quai Branly,
designed by Jean Nouvel.
(Econ, 6/17/06, p.88)
2006 Jun 20, In Spain and
France 12 people, including one of the founders of the Basque
separatists ETA, were arrested in pre-dawn raids in a crackdown on
illegal financing of the armed group.
2006 Jan 28, Maurice Lever
(b.1935), French writer, died in Paris of cancer. His work included
a biography of Marquis de Sade (1994), “Bloody Rumors" (1993), a
history of violent news stories, and “Scepter and Bauble" (1909), a
history of court jesters.
2006 Jul 1, Thousands of people
marched through Paris to protest plans to tighten restrictions on
immigration and step up deportations of immigrant families with
children who are in the country illegally.
2006 Jul 1, The 3-week Tour de
France began. 4 favorites, including Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich,
were barred with 5 others from the cycling competition after their
names popped up in a Spanish probe of a network that allegedly
supplied riders and other athletes with banned drugs and doping
(AP, 6/30/06)(SFC, 7/1/06, p.D1)
2006 Jul 2, EADS's French
co-chief executive Noel Forgeard and Airbus's German head Gustav
Humbert tendered their resignations over delays to deliveries of the
A380 superjumbo that has wiped billions of euros (dollars) off
EADS's share price. Louis Gallois became the new EADS co-CEO;
Christian Strieff was named the new president and CEO of Airbus.
(AFP, 7/2/06)(WSJ, 7/3/06, p.A2)
2006 Jul 4, A French court
convicted respected wine exporter Georges Duboeuf Wines of fraud
after one of its wineries mixed a variety of grapes in its
2006 Jul 5, A France court
convicted 38 people in a vast party financing scandal centered on
Paris City Hall from 1987 to 1993, when Jacques Chirac was mayor.
2006 Jul 5, France beat
Portugal 1-0 and will play Italy for Soccer’s World Cup on July 9.
(WSJ, 7/6/06, p.A1)
2006 Jul 9, Italy beat France
5-3 in a shootout following a 1-1 tie in the World Cup final.
Zinedine Zidane, captain of the French team, was sent off for
head-butting an Italian player.
(SFC, 7/10/06, p.A1)(Econ, 7/15/06, p.49)
2006 Jul 17, EAD’s Airbus,
reeling from a management shakeup that followed delays in its
flagship superjumbo jet program, unveiled a long-awaited revamp of
its mid-sized A350 at the Farnborough Air Show in England.
(AP, 7/17/06)(WSJ, 7/17/06, p.A3)
2006 Jul 19, Director Gerard
Oury (87), a cultural icon of France whose decades-old comedies
remain hits today, died at his Riviera home. His top hits include
the 1973 movie "Les Aventures de Rabbi Jacob" (The Mad Adventures of
2006 Jul 21, It was reported
that Saudi Arabia has ordered 76 artillery howitzers from the French
armaments manufacturer Giat Industries as defense minister Crown
Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz completed a two-day visit.
2006 Jul 23, US cyclist
Floyd Landis (31) won the 3-week, 2,267-mile Tour de France 57
seconds ahead of Oscar Pereiro of Spain. Reports on July 27 Landis
said had tested positive for the male sex hormone testosterone. In
2007 arbitrators upheld results that showed he had used synthetic
testosterone and that he must forfeit his title.
(SFC, 7/24/06, p.D1)(Reuters, 7/27/06)(WSJ,
2006 Jul 27, French health
officials said 64 people have died in a heat wave that has gripped
the country for nearly two weeks.
2006 Jul 27, Floyd Landis'
stunning Tour de France victory just four days earlier was thrown
into question when he tested positive for high levels of
testosterone during the race. Landis denied cheating.
2006 Jul 31, France's
agriculture minister condemned the destruction of two fields of
genetically modified corn by activists in southwestern France.
2006 Aug 2, A Paris commercial
court granted Eurotunnel protection from creditors, enabling the
operator of the Channel Tunnel to freeze payments on its debt
mountain of 9.0 billion euros (11.5 billion dollars).
2006 Aug 3, A French law that
allows regulators to force Apple Computer Inc. to make its iPod
player and iTunes online store compatible with rival offerings went
2006 Aug 3, French health
officials said the sweltering temperatures that gripped Europe last
month killed 112 people.
2006 Aug 5, The US and France
reached agreement on a UN Security Council resolution aimed at
ending the fighting between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah
2006 Aug 5, Floyd Landis was
fired by his team and the Tour de France no longer considered him
its champion after his second doping sample tested positive for
higher-than-allowable levels of testosterone. Landis maintained his
2006 Aug 15, French Interior
Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said nearly 30,000 illegal immigrants with
school-age children applied for French residency under a special
government offer, and about 6,000 will get it.
2006 Aug 17, President Jacques
Chirac announced that France will immediately double to 400 troops
its contingent in the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon.
2006 Aug 19, French soldiers
landed in Lebanon, the first reinforcements for an expanded UN
peacekeeping force tasked with keeping the truce in the
Israel-Hezbollah conflict. About 50 French troops, military
engineers, were to prepare for the arrival of 200 more soldiers
expected next week.
2006 Aug 20, In northern France
a fire broke out in a run-down apartment building that mainly housed
immigrants, killing five people and injuring 10.
2006 Aug 24, France said it was
ready to send an extra 1,600 troops to bolster a revamped U.N. force
for Lebanon, bringing the total French contingent to 2,000 and
making it easier to recruit other nations.
2006 Aug 31, Sexus Politicus,
by co-authors Christophe Dubois and Christophe Deloire, was
published in France. It revealed decades of philandering, adultery
and seduction at the heart of the French state, with politicians of
all colors apparently sharing the same passion for extra-marital
2006 Sep 4, In France the
Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger jet, took off with a full
load of passengers for the first time. Carrying 474 Airbus
employees, the 308-ton jet left from Toulouse, southern France, on
the first of four test flights.
2006 Sep 5, French oil and gas
field surveyor Geophysique said it will buy US rival Veritas for
$3.1 billion in cash and stock, establishing a major new global
player in the booming oil exploration industry.
2006 Sep 10, Armed Yemeni
tribesmen kidnapped four French tourists in the east of the country
to press for their relatives to be released from jail.
2006 Sep 14, Current and former
French officials specializing in terrorism said that an al-Qaida
alliance with the Algerian Salafist Group for Call and Combat, known
by its French initials GSPC, was cause for concern. Al-Qaida's No.
2, Ayman al-Zawahri, announced the "blessed union" in a video posted
this week on the Internet to mark the fifth anniversary of the Sept.
11 attacks in the United States.
2006 Sep 20, Henri Jayer (84),
a master of balanced pinot noir, died in Dijon, France. He was
viewed by many connoisseurs to be the finest Burgundy winemaker of
2006 Sep 22, France and Russia
signed deals in the transport and aviation sectors worth 10 billion
dollars following a summit between Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin and
his French counterpart Jacques Chirac.
2006 Sep 22, Yvan Keller (46),
arrested a week earlier in France’s eastern city of Mulhouse in
connection with a robbery, hanged himself while in custody. Mr.
Keller admitted to killing dozens of elderly women who lived alone,
all within 40 miles of Mulhouse, in the border region straddling
France, Switzerland and Germany, starting in 1989.
2006 Sep 23, Russian Pres.
Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Jacques Chirac joined
German Chancellor Angela Merkel for a three-way informal summit in a
chateau in Compiegne.
2006 Sep 27, France ended a
decades-old system of inequality by bringing lagging pensions of war
veterans from former colonies into line with those of their French
counterparts whose retirement payment is two-thirds higher. The
decision was not retroactive.
2006 Sep 27, A team of French
doctors said they successfully operated on a man in near
zero-gravity conditions on a flight looping in the air like a roller
coaster to mimic weightlessness.
2006 Sep 29, Segolene Royal,
who tops polls as the Socialist choice to run for French president
next spring, formally announced her candidacy.
2006 Sep 30, André Schwarz-Bart
(b.1928), French novelist of Polish-Jewish origins, died in
Guadeloupe. His books included the novel “The Last of the Just"
(1960), based on the Jewish teaching that the fate of the world lies
with 36 just men.
2006 Oct 3, A top Iranian
nuclear official proposed that France create a consortium to enrich
uranium in Iran, saying that could satisfy international demands for
outside oversight of Tehran's nuclear program.
2006 Oct 7, In France the press
advocacy group Reporters Without Borders and the northwest town of
Bayeux unveiled a memorial to some 2,000 journalists and other media
workers killed in the line of duty around the world since World War
2006 Oct 8, France said it
would ban smoking in public places as of Feb 1, 2007. The ban would
extend to restaurants, bars and clubs at the start of 2008.
(WSJ, 10/7/06, p.A1)
2006 Oct 9, Christian Streiff,
the head of Airbus, resigned after 99 days on the job due to clashed
over operational powers with the EADS board of directors. EADS named
Louis Gallois, a co-chief executive officer to replace him.
(SFC, 10/10/06, p.E3)
2006 Oct 11, In northeastern
France a passenger train collided with an oncoming freight train,
killing at least five people and injuring 16.
2006 Oct 12, French lawmakers
approved a bill making it a crime to deny that the 1915-1919 mass
killings of Armenians in Turkey amounted to genocide. It was thought
unlikely that Jacques Chirac’s government would forward the bill to
(AP, 10/12/06)(SFC, 10/13/06, p.A21)
2006 Oct 13, The French state
rail network said some 1,200 claims for compensation have been
leveled against the rail network for its role in helping transport
people to Nazi camps during World War II.
2006 Oct 13, The EU condemned a
French bill making it a crime to deny that the World War I-era
killing of Armenians in Turkey was genocide, calling it unhelpful at
a critical stage in the Muslim country's EU entry talks.
2006 Oct 14, French leader
Jacques Chirac told Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan he is sorry French
lawmakers approved a bill making it a crime to deny Armenians were
victims of genocide at the hands of Ottoman Turks.
2006 Oct 25, French President
Jacques Chirac and a delegation of French executives traveled to
China in hopes of expanding trade with one of the world's largest
2006 Oct 26, In France youths
forced passengers off three buses and set the vehicles on fire
overnight in suburban Paris, raising tensions ahead of the first
anniversary of the riots that engulfed France's rundown, heavily
2006 Oct 27, French President
Jacques Chirac called for closer ties with China in
telecommunications, nuclear power and other fields after Airbus's
decision to open a Chinese aircraft assembly line.
2006 Oct 27, Xavier Niel (39),
one of France's most high-profile Internet entrepreneurs, was handed
a suspended jail sentence for embezzling funds from a sex shop that
served as a front for prostitution. He was also fined 250,000 euros
($320,000) for embezzling money from the Roxane sex shop in the
eastern city of Strasbourg.
2006 Oct 27, In France 6 police
officers suffered minor injuries and 25 people were arrested in
scattered violence across the country on the first anniversary of
the start of nationwide riots.
2006 Oct 28, In France
marauding youths torched hundreds of vehicles overnight and into the
day. In Marseilles Mama Galledou (26) was on the bus with some 10
other passengers when it was forcibly boarded by at least three
teenagers wearing hoods. They doused the inside of the vehicle with
flammable liquid and set it on fire before running away. Galledou
was badly burnt and on the verge of death.
2006 Oct 31, France's Defense
Minister ordered that 105 secret intelligence reports be handed over
to a judge investigating allegations that Paris helped Rwanda's
former Hutu government massacre ethnic Tutsis in a 1994 genocide.
2006 Nov 2, In St. Maarten 4
French nationals were convicted of beating two gay American tourists
on Guadeloupe and were sentenced to between six months and six years
2006 Nov 3, French conductor
Paul Mauriat (81), whose arrangement of "Love is Blue" topped US
charts in the 1960s, died in Perpignan, France.
2006 Nov 4, Swathes of Austria,
Belgium, Croatia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and the
Netherlands and went dark for up to an hour in the late evening as
cold Germans rushing to switch on heaters sucked up electricity from
Europe's interconnected networks.
2006 Nov 7, French authorities
handed over to Spain Jose Javier Arizcuren Ruiz, a former leading
member of the armed Basque separatist group ETA, who police blame
for killing at least 15 people and planning several major attacks.
Ruiz, also known as "Kantauri," was arrested in Paris in 1999 and
served time in a French prison on charges of being a member of an
2006 Nov 7, A shipload of toxic
waste arrived in France for disposal. It was collected from the
Ivory Coast following illegal dumping last August.
(WSJ, 11/8/06, p.A1)
2006 Nov 7, In France
Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber (1924), who co-founded the French
newsweekly L'Express (1953) and encouraged Europe to emulate the
United States, died. In 1967 Servan-Schreiber published a popular
essay called "The American Challenge," which detailed the mechanisms
of an economic power struggle brewing between Europe and the US.
2006 Nov 13, France said it
will aid the Central African Republic's army with logistics and
aerial reconnaissance in its fight against rebels in the northeast
of the country.
2006 Nov 15, Turkey suspended
military relations with France in a dispute over whether the mass
killings of Armenians early in the last century amounted to
2006 Nov 16, In France Segolene
Royal (53) overwhelmingly won the backing of the main opposition
Socialist Party in her bid to become France's first female
2006 Nov 16, Spain, France and
Italy unveiled a five-point Middle East peace initiative, calling
Israeli-Palestinian violence intolerable and saying that Europe must
take a lead role in ending the conflict.
2006 Nov 20, French prosecutors
approved international arrest warrants for 9 Rwandan officials in
connection with the 1994 attack that killed Rwanda's president,
triggering the central African country's genocide. Magistrate
Jean-Louis Bruguiere also said there was evidence that "Paul Kagame
and members of his military staff devised the operation" to destroy
Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane.
2006 Nov 21, In Paris, France,
nations representing half the world's population signed a
long-awaited, $12.8 billion pact for a nuclear fusion reactor that
could revolutionize global energy use for future generations. The
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project by
the US, the EU, China, India, Russia, Japan and South Korea will
attempt to combat global warming by harnessing the fusion that runs
the sun, creating an alternative to polluting fossil fuels. The
project under the direction of Kaname Ikeda of Japan will be built
in Cadarache in the southern French region of Provence and is
expected to create about 10,000 jobs and take about eight years to
build. The project was first proposed by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985.
(AP, 11/21/06)(Econ, 11/25/06, p.61)
2006 Nov 23, Philippe Noiret
(b.1930), French comedian and film actor, died in Paris.
2006 Nov 23, A military
official said France has bolstered its presence in the Central
African Republic with 100 more troops following rebel attacks and
growing concern over the neighboring Darfur region of Sudan.
2006 Nov 22, Rwanda’s Pres.
Kagame dismissed French accusations as "rubbish," and instead said a
trial should be opened against France, which he accuses of abetting
the 100-day 1994 genocide in which minority Tutsis and moderate
Hutus were targeted by Hutu extremists.
2006 Nov 23, A military
official said France has bolstered its presence in the Central
African Republic with 100 more troops following rebel attacks and
growing concern over the neighboring Darfur region of Sudan.
2006 Nov 23, Thousands of
Rwandans took to the streets of Kigali to denounce France's alleged
complicity in the 1994 genocide and a French judge's call for the
prosecution of President Paul Kagame.
2006 Nov 24, France said it
will give Tanzania 46 million euros (60 million dollars) to fund
development projects in the east African nation over the next five
2006 Nov 24, Rwanda cut
diplomatic ties with France and gave France's ambassador to Rwanda
24 hours to leave the central African country. This was in response
to a French judge’s call for President Paul Kagame to stand trial
over the 1994 killing of a former leader, sparking the genocide of
2006 Nov 27, French developers
have selected a design by Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne, an
award-winning American architect, for a bold new building in Paris
nearly as tall as the Eiffel Tower, and powered partly by the wind.
Completion was set for 2012.
2006 Nov 27, In Paris
Eurotunnel, operator of the Channel tunnel, was rescued from looming
bankruptcy when key creditors approved a plan to slash debt
exceeding 9.0 billion euros (11.9 billion dollars).
2006 Nov 28, Government
soldiers in the Central African Republic were on the offensive, with
French military support, to seize back towns captured by rebels who
have steadily advanced from border territory.
2006 Dec 6, France went
head-to-head with CNN and the BBC with the launch of its
state-funded 24/7 news channel, part of President Jacques Chirac's
efforts to make his country's voice heard. The France 24 news
channel was a joint venture between TF1, a private firm, and the
state-owned France Televisions.
(AP, 12/6/06)(Econ, 12/2/06, p.63)
2006 Dec 6, Philippe
Douste-Blazy, the French foreign minister, said that Iran will face
UN sanctions for refusing to halt its nuclear program but that major
world powers remain divided over their extent.
2006 Dec 11, Two Rwandan
ex-soldiers told a panel probing alleged French complicity in the
1994 massacres that France armed and trained members of the
Interahamwe militia, a radical militia blamed for most of the
killings in Rwanda's 1994 genocide.
2006 Dec 12, In Rwanda an
ex-Interahamwe member said that he had participated in transporting
weapons from a French military plane in the former Zaire, now
Democratic Republic of Congo, to the north Rwanda province of
Gisenyi during the 1994 genocide. Witness #4 told a Rwandan
commission that French troops raped women fleeing militia gangs
during the African country's 1994 genocide.
(AFP, 12/12/06)(Reuters, 12/13/06)
2006 Dec 14, Australia and
France signed an agreement on military cooperation designed to
enhance their ability to work together.
2006 Dec 16, British PM Tony
Blair arrived in Egypt for Middle East peace talks, saying the next
few days and weeks would be critical in determining whether Israel
and the Palestinians can break their cycle of violence.
2006 Dec 23, Two road accidents
in France within hours of each other left four people dead in
central Paris and some 24 injured in a 60-vehicle pileup on a foggy
highway near Bordeaux.
2006 Nicolas Baverez (b.1961)
authored “New World, Old France," a follow-up to his 2003 book,
“France in Freefall," cataloguing the nihilism of the French.
(Econ, 2/4/06, p.46)
2006 Jonathan Laurence and
Justin Vaisse authored “Integrating Islam." They focused on French
efforts to integrate its Muslim population and expressed a
cautiously optimistic tone.
(WSJ, 10/26/06, p.D6)
2006 Antoine Zacharias
(b.1939), head of the VINCI Group, a French construction giant, was
forced out of his position and left with a generous severance
package. He sued the company for €81 million for allegedly
preventing him from exercising some stock options. In 2008 a court
ruled against him.
2006 Francois Pinault (b.1936),
French billionaire, obtained the ownership of Palazzo Grassi in
Venice to display his art collection.
2006 France had about 18,000
soldiers abroad. They included 3,500 in the Ivory Coast, 1,700
in Lebanon, 1,200 in Chad, 1,000 in the Congo, and 5,000 spread
between permanent bases in Djibouti, Senegal and Gabon.
(Econ, 12/16/06, p.49)
2006 France numbered some 3.7
million people living in poverty, defined as having a household
income of less than half of the median income. 2.4 million people
(Econ, 10/28/06, Survey p.5)
2007 Jan 2, In France prisoner
Nicolas Cocaign (b.1971) killed his cellmate killed Thierry Baudry.
In 2010 Cocaign, who was in jail for armed robbery and was awaiting
trial for attempted rape at the time, said he proceeded to eat part
of the lung raw before frying the rest with onions on a camping
stove and dining on the dish.
2007 Jan 5, Nicolas Cocaigne, a
French prisoner in Rouen, confessed to killing his cellmate and then
eating part of the man's body. Thierry Baudry's mutilated body was
found Jan 3 by a guard at the prison. A third cellmate who claimed
he slept though the attack was charged with complicity in homicide.
2007 Jan 7, A helicopter
crashed into the garden terrace of a restaurant in southeastern
France, killing three people on the ground and severely injuring a
2007 Jan 8, Fatah gunmen
released the deputy mayor of Nablus unharmed, two days after
kidnapping him. Fatah militants torched stores of Hamas supporters
in Ramallah and shot at the house of a top Hamas official. Agence
France-Presse expressed gratitude for the release of a photographer
who had been held hostage by Palestinian militants in the Gaza
2007 Jan 9, Mikhail Prokhorov
(41), chief executive of Russian mining giant OAO Norilsk Nickel,
was detained in France for questioning as part of a crackdown on a
suspected prostitution ring at an upscale ski resort.
2007 Jan 12, French authorities
freed Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire, following four days
of questioning in connection with an investigation into a suspected
prostitution ring at the swank Alpine ski resort of Courchevel.
2007 Jan 12, East Timor and
France signed non-aggression treaties with ASEAN member countries on
the sidelines of the annual ASEAN summit in the Philippine resort
city of Cebu. Both countries looked to strengthen ties with a bloc
representing a sixth of the world's people.
2007 Jan 14, France's interior
minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, formally clinched the ruling
conservatives' presidential nomination.
2007 Jan 22, Abbe Pierre
(b.1912), a French priest praised as a living legend for devoting
his life to helping the homeless, using prayer and provocation to
tackle misery, died in Paris. He founded the international Emmaus
Community for the poor. Abbe Pierre, born as Henry Groues,
served as a spokesman for France's conscience since the 1950s when
he persuaded parliament to pass a law, still on the books,
forbidding landlords to expel tenants during winter months.
(AP, 1/22/07)(Econ, 2/3/07, p.87)
2007 Jan 23, French doctors
said that they had performed the world’s third partial face
transplant on a man whose face was disfigured by severe tumors.
(SFC, 1/24/07, p.A2)
2007 Jan 24, Jean-Francois
Deniau (b.1928), a former French government minister, diplomat,
sailor and novelist, died. His novel "Un Hero Tres Discret" (A Very
Discreet Hero) told of an ordinary man who reinvented himself as a
hero of the World War II Resistance. The book was adapted into a
movie by director Jacques Audiard and given the English-language
title "A Self Made Hero."
2007 Jan 29, Paris City Hall
announced it has selected French outdoor advertising firm JCDecaux
SA to operate a new free bicycle service in the capital.
2007 Jan, Work began on the
Int’l. Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in Cadarache,
France. 34 nations collaborated to realize the ITER project's First
Plasma in November 2019. The project was born at the Geneva
Superpower Summit in November, 1985.
(Econ, 9/3/11, p.79)(www.iter.org/factsfigures)
2007 Feb 1, In France top
global warming experts huddled for a last day of talks with
bureaucrats from more than 100 countries on a closely watched global
warming report that could influence government and business policy
2007 Feb 1, In France a ban on
smoking in public spaces came into effect.
2007 Feb 2, A French court
convicted dozens of people in a baby-trafficking case involving the
sale of nearly two dozen Bulgarian infants over two years.
2007 Feb 2, Scientists from 113
countries issued a report saying they have little doubt global
warming is caused by man, and predicting that hotter temperatures
and rises in sea level will "continue for centuries" no matter how
much humans control their pollution. The 4th report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was published in
(AP, 2/2/07)(Econ, 2/10/07, p.86)
2007 Feb 6, In France nearly 60
nations pledged not to use children to wage war and to disarm and
rehabilitate underage soldiers. The Paris Commitments agreement was
seen as a strong moral step against the problem, though it carried
no legal weight. They also signed a treaty that bans governments
from holding people in secret detention, but the United States and
some of its key European allies were not among them.
2007 Feb 7, Michel Niaucel, a
French diplomat with the European Union in Ivory Coast, was shot to
death in his home overnight. Niaucel was in charge of West Africa
security operations for the EU.
2007 Feb 8, In France teachers,
tax collectors, railway workers and other public servants went on
strike to protest job losses and demand higher pay.
2007 Feb 9, A French appeals
court ruled that Pierre Pinoncelli (78), who attacked Marcel
Duchamp's famed porcelain urinal (fountain) with a hammer last year,
does not have to pay $260,000 in damages. Pinoncelli urinated on
"Fountain" during a 1993 exhibition in Nimes in southern France, and
cut off his own finger as an expression of solidarity with
Colombian-French politician Ingrid Betancourt, held hostage by
leftist guerrillas in Colombia since 2002.
2007 Feb 9, In France
Alcatel-Lucent SA said it plans to cut another 3,500 jobs after it
swung to a loss in the fourth quarter, the first for which the
telecom equipment maker reported combined earnings.
2007 Feb 11, In France
socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal unveiled a
long-awaited platform that promised to boost the minimum wage and
2007 Feb 15, A summit of
African leaders opened in Cannes on the French Riviera. The crisis
in Darfur and violence in Guinea overshadowed the summit, as well as
perennial issues of poverty, development and AIDS. France won
agreement from three involved African nations (Sudan, Chad and
Central African Republic) that they would not support armed rebel
movements on each other's territories.
(AP, 2/15/07)(AP, 2/15/07)
2007 Feb 16, French President
Jacques Chirac said US cotton subsidies were scandalous and immoral
because they hurt African farmers.
2007 Feb 17, President Jacques
Chirac awarded the Legion d'Honneur order to actor and director
Clint Eastwood (76), calling his latest films lessons in humanity.
Chirac said Eastwood's latest films "Flags of our Fathers" and
"Letters from Iwo Jima" showed the impasse that can follow from the
blind use of force.
2007 Feb 17, Maurice Papon
(96), a former French Cabinet minister, died. He was convicted of
complicity in crimes against humanity for his role in deporting Jews
during World War II and became a symbol of France’s collaboration
with the Nazis.
(AP, 2/17/07)(Econ, 2/24/07, p.99)
2007 Feb 26, Three Frenchmen
who lived in Saudi Arabia were killed by gunmen on the side of a
desert road leading to the holy city of Medina in an area restricted
to Muslims only. Soon after a 4th died from his wounds. An
investigation later revealed that Waleed bin Mutlaq al-Radadi, among
the kingdom's most wanted terrorists, was the mastermind and one of
the triggermen in the shooting. Al-Radadi was killed on April 6 in a
gunbattle with Saudi forces.
(AP, 2/26/07)(AP, 4/18/07)
2007 Feb 27, At least 2 Picasso
paintings ("Maya and the Doll" and "Portrait of Jacqueline"), worth
a total of nearly $66 million, were stolen overnight from the
artist's granddaughter's house in Paris. The paintings were
recovered August 7 and police took 3 people into custody.
(AP, 2/28/07)(AP, 8/8/07)
2007 Feb 27, In Brazil 3 French
nationals who ran a nonprofit group that helps poor children were
stabbed to death at their headquarters near Rio's Copacabana beach
and authorities arrested three suspects. The slayings that left one
of the victims decapitated were part of a botched scheme to protect
a Brazilian accountant, Tarsio Wilson Ramires (25), accused of
stealing money from the group.
2007 Feb 28, European airliner
maker Airbus told unions that it would dispose of six factories and
switch some work from France to Germany under a plan costing some
2007 Feb 28, French author
Dominique Lapierre opened the first of 15 schools planned in India
with money raised by auctioning an iconic dress worn by Audrey
Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
2007 Mar 1, In France, Germany
and Spain workers at Airbus revolted against massive cutbacks,
planning a strike next week in a warning to the company that its
recovery strategy is in for a long, tough haul.
2007 Mar 2, Henri Troyat (95),
French writer, died. He fled Russia's revolution as a child and went
on to become one of France's most prolific, popular and respected
2007 Mar 4, In the Central
African Republic French fighter jets destroyed several rebel
vehicles in retaliation for an attack on French troops.
2007 Mar 6, France and the
United Arab Emirates signed an agreement to open a branch of the
Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi, despite criticism that the French
government is peddling the country's artistic treasures.
2007 Mar 6, Jean Baudrillard
(b.1929), French philosopher and social theorist, died. He was best
known for his writings on gender relations and consumerism.
2007 Mar 7, In France a new law
took effect that makes it a crime for anyone, who is not a
professional journalist, to film real-world violence and distribute
the images on the Internet. Critics call it a clumsy effort by
authorities to battle "happy slapping," the youth fad of filming
violent acts, which most often they have provoked, and spreading the
images on the Web or between mobile phones.
2007 Mar 11, Jacques Chirac,
admired and scorned during 12 years as France's president, announced
he will not seek a third term in elections this spring, a widely
expected move given his low popularity, his age and a conservative
rival who has siphoned off his political base. His popularity had
shrunk to 29% as unemployment stood at 8.6%.
(AP, 3/11/07)(Econ, 3/17/07, p.27)
2007 Mar 13, France's highest
court rejected as unlawful the first marriage by a gay couple in
France, annulling the union of the two men.
2007 Mar 14, Lucie Aubrac
(b.1912), a hero of the French Resistance, died. She helped free her
husband from the Gestapo. In 2000, Aubrac published "The Resistance
Explained to my Grandchildren" about her experiences. She is also
the author of the 1984 book "They'll Leave Exhilarated." French
director Claude Berry made the hit 1997 movie "Lucie Aubrac,"
starring Carole Bouquet in the title role. Two other films,
Jean-Pierre Melville's 1969 "The Army of Shadows" and the 1991
"Boulevard of the Swallows" by Jose Yanne, were also based on
2007 Mar 15, A French court
convicted a doctor in the poisoning death of a terminally ill cancer
patient, in a trial that has raised the issue of euthanasia in
France's presidential race.
2007 Mar 17, In France tens of
thousands of people filled the streets of five cities to protest
plans to build the next generation of nuclear reactors.
2007 Mar 21, French President
Jacques Chirac endorsed the presidential bid of Interior Minister
Nicolas Sarkozy despite their long rivalry.
2007 Mar 22, France became the
first country to open its files on UFOs when the national space
agency unveiled a website documenting more than 1,600 sightings
spanning five decades.
2007 Mar 22, Brian Joubert
became the first Frenchman in 42 years to win the world title by
taking the men's event at the World Figure Skating Championships in
2007 Mar 26, Nicolas Sarkozy
resigned as French interior minister to focus on his presidential
bid, recalling his successes but also challenges, including violence
by poor young minorities.
2007 Mar 27, French riot police
firing tear gas and brandishing batons clashed with bands of youths
who shattered windows and looted shops at a major Paris train
station. Nine people were arrested.
2007 Mar 28, In France an
official at a Paris maternity hospital said Sister
Marie-Simon-Pierre is the French nun whose testimony of a mystery
cure from Parkinson's disease will likely be accepted as the miracle
the Vatican needs to beatify Pope John Paul II.
2007 Mar 30, A French architect
claimed to have uncovered the mystery about how Egypt's Great
Pyramid of Khufu was built. Jean-Pierre Houdin said advanced 3D
technology had shown the main ramp which was used to haul the
massive stones to the apex was contained 10-15 meters beneath the
outer skin, tracing a pyramid within a pyramid..
2007 Apr 3, A French train with
a 25,000-horsepower engine and special wheels broke the world speed
record for conventional rail trains, reaching 357.2 mph as it zipped
through the countryside to the applause of spectators. It surpassed
the record of 320.2 mph set in 1990 by another French train. It fell
short of beating the ultimate record set by Japan's magnetically
levitated train, which hit 361 mph in 2003.
2007 Apr 19, Rwanda filed a
case against France at the UN's highest court in The Hague over a
French request that President Paul Kagame be tried by the Rwanda war
2007 Apr 22, French voters
turned out in force to choose a new president in one of the
country's most suspense-filled elections in recent times. In the
first round conservative Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist rival
Segolene Royal received enough votes to advance to a runoff, which
(AP, 4/22/07)(AP, 4/22/08)
2007 Apr 23, In France Sarkozy
and Royal advanced to the second round of France's presidential
election, With nearly all votes counted, Sarkozy had 31.1%, followed
by Royal with 25.8% and Bayrou with 18.5%. Turnout was 84.6 percent,
the highest in more than 40 years and just shy of the record set in
2007 Apr 24, Rwandan media said
that a former Belgian army officer in the UN mission to Rwanda
(Minuar) has accused French soldiers of training extremist Hutus
responsible for the 1994 genocide.
2007 May 3, In France Claude
Mandil, head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), told a news
conference that there is no reason why Iran should not have nuclear
2007 May 6, French voters
turned out in force in a presidential election offering divergent
choices for the future, with conservative front-runner Nicolas
Sarkozy urging the French to work more and Socialist Segolene Royal
pledging to safeguard welfare protections. Nicolas Sarkozy (52), a
US-friendly conservative and an immigrant's son, defeated Socialist
Segolene Royal by 53% to 47% with about 85% voter turnout.
(AP, 5/6/07)(AP, 5/7/07)
2007 May 8, The leader of
France's defeated Socialists appealed for calm after a second night
of post-election violence left cars burned and store windows
2007 May 9, France’s interior
minister said violence hit for a third night following the election
of conservative Nicolas Sarkozy, with about 200 vehicles torched by
vandals and more than 80 people taken in for questioning nationwide.
2007 May 9, In France Nayef
al-Shaalan, a Saudi Prince, was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in
jail on charges of involvement in a cocaine smuggling gang.
2007 May 12, Eric Damfreville,
a French aid worker, returned to France after five weeks in Taliban
captivity in Afghanistan and made a plea for his captors to free
three Afghans seized with him.
2007 May 12, Waves reaching 36
feet high thrashed France's Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean,
leaving two fishermen missing and flooding homes and hotels.
2007 May 16, Nicolas Sarkozy
took office as France's president.
2007 May 17, French Pres.
Nicolas Sarkozy named Francois Fillon (53), a Gaullist former social
affairs minister, to be his prime minister.
(SFC, 5/18/07, p.A3)(Econ, 5/19/07, p.56)
2007 May 18, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy named his first Cabinet, radically revamping the
government, which included seven women among its 15 members. Bernard
Kouchner, former UN administrator for Kosovo and co-founder of the
Nobel Prize-winning aid group Doctors Without Borders, was named
2007 May 27, Christian Mungiu,
a Romanian director, won the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or for his
“3 Weeks and 2 Days," which looked at abortion during the communist
era. Michael Moore’s “Sicko," a film on the inequities of America’s
health system, also featured at Cannes.
(WSJ, 5/29/07, p.A1)(Econ, 5/26/07, p.32)
2007 Jun 1, A French naval
frigate conducting a surveillance mission off Malta discovered the
bodies of 18 people floating in the Mediterranean. Crew members on
"La Motte Picquet" noticed no boat nearby as the bodies, possibly of
illegal immigrants hoping to reach Europe, were pulled out of the
2007 Jun 2, In San Francisco,
Ca., Hugues de la Plaza (36), a French national, was found dead in
his apartment in Hayes Valley. Police labeled his stabbing death as
a possible homicide or suicide. In 2009 a French probe called his
death a homicide. The French probe concluded that de la Plaza was
stabbed in a surprise attack outside his apartment.
(SFC, 1/27/09, p.B1)(SFC, 2/27/09, p.B1)
2007 Jun 3, Pope Benedict XVI
named four new saints from France, Malta, the Netherlands and Poland
at a ceremony in St. Peter's Square. Among those honored was Sister
Marie Eugenie de Jesus Milleret, a French nun who in 1839 founded
the Religious of the Assumption to educate young girls; the Rev.
George Preca of Malta, who founded the Society of Christian Doctrine
in 1932 as a group of lay people who teach the faith to others; the
Rev. Szymon z Lipnicy of Poland, a Franciscan monk who comforted
Poles afflicted by the plague that broke out in Krakow from 1482-83
and died of it himself; and the Rev. Charles of St. Andrew (Dublin),
who was born Karel Van Sint Andries Houben in the Netherlands in
2007 Jun 10, France held
parliamentary elections. President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to revive
France's economy and its identity stood their first test, with
voters widely expected to give allies of their new conservative
leader a mandate for change. In round one of Sarkozy’s UMP party won
39.6 percent of the vote, while the opposition Socialists had 24.7
percent. The results gave the conservatives a strong advantage
heading into the decisive runoff next Sunday.
(AP, 6/10/07)(AP, 6/11/07)
2007 Jun 10, The first
high-speed rail link between France and Germany began scheduled
services, slashing travel times and marking a major step towards a
truly pan-European rapid transit network.
2007 Jun 12, Baron Guy de
Rothschild (b.1909), French banker, died. He managed his family's
French banking empire and saw it taken over first during the Nazi
occupation and then by a Socialist government 40 years later.
2007 Jun 14, A US panel said an
obesity treatment made by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis
was unsafe and should not be marketed in the United States.
2007 Jun 15, Areva, a French
nuclear energy group under the direction of Anne Lauvergeon,
announced a cash offer for UraMin, a Canadian start-up firm with
mining assets in Namibia, the Central African Republic, and South
Africa. The acquisition cost $2.5 billion. In late 2011 Areva took a
$2 million charge against the acquisition.
(Econ, 2/18/12, p.67)(http://tinyurl.com/822j7j9)
2007 Jun 16, Voting began in
some overseas French territories in the final round of parliamentary
elections expected to give conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy a
big majority for his reform plans.
2007 Jun 17, President Nicolas
Sarkozy looked set to win a powerful majority as the French voted in
runoff elections for parliament. Sarkozy won a comfortable majority
but not the crushing victory predicted in polls.
(AP, 6/17/07)(AP, 6/18/07)
2007 Jun 18, In France Airbus
racked up a series of big orders at the opening of the Paris Air
Show. Airbus announced that it had booked firm orders or letters of
intent to order for 339 aircraft, a record figure, for a value of
45.7 billion dollars (34.1 billion euros) at catalogue prices.
(AP, 6/18/07)(AFP, 6/19/07)
2007 Jul 2, Brahim Deby (27),
the son of Chad's president, was found dead with a head wound in the
basement of his apartment building in a Paris suburb. Authorities
treated the case as a murder investigation.
2007 Jul 5, France’s
Agriculture Ministry said 3 swans found dead in a pond in eastern
France have tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu.
2007 Jul 5, Regine Crespin
(80), the French opera great who took her personal magnetism and
soprano voice to the world's leading stages, died.
2007 Jul 6, In France some 50
masked attackers smashed cars and clashed with police in northeast
Paris. Three officers were injured.
2007 Jul 8, France’s President
Nicolas Sarkozy said he will not offer mass pardons to prisoners on
Bastille Day, keeping up his law-and-order reputation and breaking
2007 Jul 10, EU finance
ministers agreed to have Dominique Strauss-Kahn at top man at the
IMF to replace Rodrigo de Rato, who will resign in October.
2007 Jul 12, French legislators
approved a measure championed by President Nicolas Sarkozy that
would encourage people to work beyond the 35-hour workweek by
cutting taxes on overtime pay.
2007 Jul 12, France told Serbia
its EU bid depends on letting Kosovo break away.
(WSJ, 1/13/07, p.A1)
2007 Jul 13, French legislators
approved a measure lowering the cap on tax burdens to 50% of income,
despite resistance from leftists and even within the ruling
2007 Jul 13, A French gendarme
shot a superior officer dead in a Paris suburb before killing his
own twin children and finally turning the gun on himself.
2007 Jul 14, In southern France
Pascal Payet (43), who was serving a 30-year sentence for a holdup
on an armored truck that left a guard dead, escaped by helicopter
from the Grasse prison. Payet had escaped from the Luynes prison in
October 2001. In 2003, he helped organize the helicopter escape of
three fellow inmates from the same prison. In September Payet was
arrested along with 2 accomplices in Mataro, Spain.
(AP, 7/17/07)(AP, 9/22/07)
2007 Jul 15, JCDecaux launched
a bike rental system in Paris.
(Econ, 9/22/07, p.76)
2007 Jul 20, Two suspects in
the 1994 Rwandan genocide, a priest and a prefect, were arrested in
France on a warrant from an international court investigating the
massacres. Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, a Roman Catholic priest in
Normandy, and Laurent Bucyibaruta, a former prefect, were jailed
before possible extradition to Tanzania where the UN International
Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is based.
2007 Jul 22, A bus carrying
Polish pilgrims from a holy site in the French Alps plunged off a
steep mountain road, crashed into a river bed and burst into flames,
killing 26 people.
2007 Jul 25, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy headed for talks with Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi,
a day after the release of six foreign medics, in a signal of
normalized ties between Europe and Tripoli. France and Libya signed
a memorandum of understanding to build a Libyan nuclear reactor for
water desalination and clinched a raft of other deals.
(AP, 7/25/07)(AFP, 7/25/07)
2007 Jul 26, Juan Cruz Maiza,
the alleged head of ETA’s logistics, was arrested in France along
with two helpers.
(Econ, 8/4/07, p.44)
2007 Jul 27, French judges
filed preliminary charges against former PM Dominique de Villepin
for his suspected role in a smear campaign that targeted Nicolas
Sarkozy before he became president.
2007 Jul 29, Alberto Contador
of Spain won the doping-scarred Tour de France.
2007 Jul 29, French actor
Michel Serrault died in Honfleur, France, at age 79.
2007 Aug 1, Denmark, France and
Indonesia offered to contribute to a joint UN-African Union mission
for Darfur, a 26,000-strong force expected to be made up mostly of
peacekeepers from Africa with backup from Asian troops. Sudan
accepted a UN resolution approving a joint African Union-UN
peacekeeping force in Darfur.
(AP, 8/1/07)(AFP, 8/1/07)
2007 Aug 1, A French court
ruled that indictments for Wenceslas Munyeshyaka and another man,
Laurent Bucyibaruta, violated the presumption of innocence. Rwanda
had sought the extradition of the 2 men for their roles in the
country's 1994 genocide.
2007 Aug 5, A group of armed,
masked men burst into a museum in the southern French city of Nice
and made off with a painting by French master Claude Monet and two
others by Flemish artist Pieter Brueghel. The paintings were
recovered on June 4, 2008, in a sting operation that captured 3 men
(AP, 8/5/07)(AP, 6/5/08)(WSJ, 8/22/08, p.W1)
2007 Aug 5, French Cardinal
Jean-Marie Lustiger (80) died. He was a Jew who converted to
Catholicism and rose through church hierarchy to become one of the
most influential Roman Catholic figures in France.
(AP, 8/5/07)(Econ, 8/18/07, p.76)
2007 Aug 6, Baron Elie Robert
de Rothschild (90), who helped France's renowned Rothschild
winemaking and banking dynasty recover from the ravages of World War
II, died while vacationing at his Austrian hunting lodge.
2007 Aug 9, French bank BNP
Paribas announced big losses on subprime mortgage investments. This
marked the beginning of a global economic crisis.
(Econ, 8/4/12, p.63)
2007 Aug 11, President George
W. Bush welcomed France's Pres. Sarkozy to the Bush family's
oceanfront home in Maine for a private meeting, boat ride and picnic
2007 Aug 21, In Iraq French
Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner called on Europe to play a bigger
role in Iraq because "the Americans will not be able to get this
country out of difficulty alone." The postwar Iraqi tribunal trying
former Saddam Hussein aides opened its third proceeding, putting
former Defense Minister Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as "Chemical
Ali," and 14 other men on trial.
(AP, 8/21/07)(AP, 8/21/08)
2007 Aug 25, Raymond Barre
(b.1924), a tough-speaking former French prime minister (1976-1981)
and economist, died.
2007 Aug 27, Pres. Sarkozy
called for a clear timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops
from Iraq as he outlined an assertive role for France in other world
hotspots. Sarkozy urged EU nations to accept a greater share of
defense spending to cope with escalating global threats.
(AFP, 8/27/07)(Reuters, 8/27/07)
2007 Aug 27, The French
government said a tax official cheated the government out of 600,000
euros ($820,000) by creating a phantom identity as a university
professor and claiming a salary for some 15 years.
2007 Sep 20, Floyd Landis lost
his expensive and explosive case when two of three arbitrators
upheld the results of a test that showed the 2006 Tour de France
champion had used synthetic testosterone to fuel his spectacular
comeback victory. Landis forfeited his Tour title and was subject to
a two-year ban, retroactive to Jan. 30, 2007.
2007 Aug 29, Pierre Messmer
(b.1916), a member of the French Resistance who was the country's
prime minister from 1972 to 1974, died.
2007 Aug 30, Pres. Sarkozy
became the first ruling head of state to address the Medef, France’s
leading business organization. He laid out the second stage of his
economic reforms, including a wholesale review of tax and social
(Econ, 9/1/07, p.59)
2007 Sep 1, Police arrested
four suspected members of the armed Basque separatist group ETA in
south-west France, believed to be linked to the deadly Madrid
airport bomb in December.
2007 Sep 1, In Morocco
Renault-Nissan head Carlos Ghosn signed a deal to build an assembly
plant in Tangiers, with a planned investment of one billion euros
(1.36 billion dollars) and final capacity of 400,000 vehicles.
2007 Sep 3, President Nicolas
Sarkozy said France and Jordan want to work "hand-in-hand" to help
resolve crises in the Middle East, following talks with King
2007 Sep 3, The French
government tied up the long-delayed merger of Suez and state-owned
Gaz de France, giving the country another world energy champion in a
sector that Paris was eager to protect from foreigners.
2007 Sep 4, A Eurostar train
shattered the record for the quickest rail journey between Paris and
London, using a new high-speed track that shaved some 30 minutes off
the previous fastest time. The 306 mile (492 kilometer) journey from
the Gare du Nord in Paris to Saint Pancras took just two hours,
three minutes and 39 seconds from station to station.
2007 Sep 14, Jacques Martin
(b.1933), the French television personality once married to
now-first lady Cecilia Sarkozy, died. Martin shot to fame as the
host of a series of hit comedy shows on French television, including
the satirical "Le Petit Rapporteur," a spoof newscast that ran from
2007 Sep 16, Bernard Kouchner,
France's foreign minister, warned that the world should prepare for
war if Iran obtains nuclear weapons and said European leaders were
considering their own economic sanctions against the Islamic
2007 Sep 17, Ukrainian
officials signed a $505 million contract with a French-led
consortium for construction of a new shelter for the Chernobyl
reactor, the site of the word's worst nuclear accident.
2007 Sep 20, In a nationally
televised interview, Pres. Sarkozy went further, saying he wants
France to adopt immigration quotas by regions of the world and by
occupation. With three months left in the year, police have caught
at least 11,800 immigrants, less than half the 25,000 target,
ordered by Pres. Sarkozy, who has ordered officials to pick up the
2007 Sep 21, US Sec. of State
Condoleeza Rice said the US and France have agreed on increasing
diplomatic and economic pressure to force Iran to abandon its
(SFC, 9/21/07, p.A3)
2007 Sep 22, Marcel Marceau
(b.1923), the world's best-known mime artist, died in Paris, France.
For decades he moved audiences across the globe without uttering a
2007 Sep 24, French PM Francois
Fillon warned that the country's public finances were in a
"critical" state and need drastic action to reduce worrying
2007 Sep 26, The French
government unveiled its 2008 budget with a deficit forecast at €41.7
billion ($58.8 billion).
(Econ, 9/29/07, p.53)
2007 Sep 28, The IMF chose
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, France’s former Socialist finance minister,
as its new head, continuing the tradition of a European leading the
(WSJ, 9/29/07, p.A1)
2007 Oct 4, In northeast France
dozens of hooded youths attacked two police vehicles with metal
bars, set fire to more than a dozen parked cars and torched a
community center in Saint-Dizier.
2007 Oct 7, In Paris, France,
intruders, apparently drunk, broke into the Orsay Museum through a
back door and punched a hole in "Le Pont d'Argenteuil," a renowned
work by Impressionist painter Claude Monet.
2007 Oct 9, Two European
scientists won the 2007 Nobel Prize in physics for a discovery that
lets computers, iPods and other digital devices store reams of data
on ever-shrinking hard disks. France's Albert Fert and German Peter
Gruenberg independently described giant magnetoresistance in 1988,
then saw the electronics industry apply it in disks with incredible
amounts of storage.
2007 Oct 13, Bob Denard (78), a
French former mercenary who staged coups and led uprisings across
Africa and the Middle East, died in Paris.
(AFP, 10/14/07)(Econ, 10/20/07, p.119)
2007 Oct 18,
Strikers defying Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy's push to reform France
crippled the country's public transport system, forcing commuters to
drive, pedal or walk to work, or stay home. Some workers vowed to
continue the walkout, France’s biggest strike in 12 years. Sarkozy's
office said Pres. Sarkozy and his wife, Cecilia, are divorcing after
nearly 11 years of marriage by mutual consent.
(AP, 10/18/07)(WSJ, 10/19/07, p.A1)
2007 Oct 19,
Train service started back up throughout much of France but
many commuters in Paris biked, roller-bladed and even used
children's scooters as city transit workers kept up a second day of
strikes against proposed economic reforms.
2007 Oct 19, French media
reported that Celine Lesage was arrested after her partner
discovered the corpses of 6 infants in plastic garbage bags in the
basement of their apartment building in Valognes.
2007 Oct 20,
France handed Algeria details of where its forces laid some 3
million landmines on the country's eastern and western borders from
2007 Oct 22,
French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with Morocco's King
Mohammed XVI and signed a string of deals aimed at fostering closer
cooperation between the two countries and economic development
2007 Oct 23,
French lawmakers adopted a hotly contested bill that would
institute language exams and potential DNA testing for prospective
immigrants, making it more difficult for families to join loved ones
2007 Oct 24,
France's government agreed to reward drivers of cars that use
little gasoline, drastically slow road construction and renovate all
the country's public buildings to slash energy consumption.
2007 Oct 24, A French defense
ministry official said France will for the first time send dozens of
military trainers to the volatile south of Afghanistan.
2007 Oct 25, In Chad 9 French
citizens were arrested after a group tried to fly 103 African
children to France, saying it wanted to save them from the crisis in
neighboring Darfur. On Oct 29 six French nationals were charged with
kidnapping and a judge in the eastern city of Abeche also agreed to
allow prosecution charges of complicity against three French
(AP, 10/26/07)(AP, 10/30/07)
2007 Oct 27, Queues of
frustrated, angry passengers built up at main French airports as Air
France cancelled scores of flights on the third day of a strike by
2007 Oct 28, Authorities in
Chad charged six French charity workers with kidnapping after they
tried to put 103 children on a plane to France, claiming they were
orphans from Sudan's conflict-wracked Darfur region. The charity
workers were later convicted, jailed for several months, then
2007 Oct 31,
Authorities said French police had arrested 20 suspects as
part of a Europe-wide crackdown on child pornography over the
2007 Oct 31, Alcatel-Lucent,
the struggling French-US telecommunications equipment maker,
announced it would cut an additional 4,000 jobs by 2009 as it
unveiled a sharp third quarter net loss.
2007 Nov 1, Dominique
Strauss-Kahn, former French finance minister, took over as head of
the IMF. By convention the IMF chief is European.
(Econ, 11/3/07, p.88)
2007 Nov 4, In Chad 7
Europeans, among 17 detained for over a week in an alleged attempt
to kidnap 103 African children, were released. French President
Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Chad on a visit to discuss the fate of
Europeans facing charges for trying to fly 103 African children to
(AP, 11/4/07)(Reuters, 11/4/07)
2007 Nov 7, Pres. Bush met with
France’s Pres. Sarkozy, who addressed the US Congress and backed
Bush’s strategy to confront Iran.
(SFC, 11/8/07, p.A8)
2007 Nov 10, A top police
officer said the Champs Elysees, held up by France as the most
beautiful avenue in the world, has become blighted by prostitution,
racketeering and violence.
2007 Nov 11, In France Jessica
Davies (28), the niece of multi-millionaire junior defense minister
Quentin Davies, plunged a knife into Olivier Mugnier (24), a young
Frenchman she picked up in an Irish bar. Mugnier died in her Paris
suburb flat, an hour after police arrived. He had been stabbed twice
in the upper chest. Her trial opened on Dec 11, 2010.
2007 Nov 13, French rail
workers went on a nine-day strike over President Nicolas Sarkozy's
bid to strip away labor protections.
2007 Nov 14, In France striking
transportation workers cut train service and forced Parisians to
walk, bike or skate to work in a pivotal standoff with President
Nicolas Sarkozy over his bid to pare down labor protections.
2007 Nov 14, A French court
approved the handover to a UN court of Dominique Ntawukuriryayo
(65), a Rwandan 1994 genocide suspect accused of coordinating the
massacre of up to 25,000 people in one incident.
2007 Nov 15, Transport workers
shut down most rail traffic in France for a 2nd day, frustrating
passengers forced to postpone trips and Parisians who had to walk,
bike or skate to work.
2007 Nov 16, French transport
workers voted to keep a national strike going through the weekend
over President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to strip away generous
2007 Nov 17, France's biggest
rail union said a new offer of talks from employers did not go far
enough, as the country headed towards a fifth day of crippling
2007 Nov 19, In France a "large
majority" of rail workers voted to keep up the train strike.
2007 Nov 20, Travel woes piled
up in France with air traffic delays adding to a week of rail
strikes as many of the nation's 5 million civil servants held a
day-long walkout in the biggest test of President Nicolas Sarkozy's
appetite for reform.
2007 Nov 21, A French judge
filed preliminary charges against former President Jacques Chirac in
a probe of suspicions that people were given fake jobs while he was
mayor of Paris (1977-1995). Some 10,000 people, mainly tobacco
sellers, marched through Paris to protest a smoking ban in cafes as
of Jan 1. Coordinated acts of sabotage struck France's high-speed
trains, causing further delays to services already widely disrupted
by strikes, just as talks were opening to coax unions into ending
(AP, 11/21/07)(AP, 11/22/07)(Econ, 11/24/07,
2007 Nov 22, A nine-day
transport strike that has crippled the French rail network appeared
to be drawing to a close as many local union committees voted to
suspend their stoppage and give negotiations a chance.
2007 Nov 24, Full service was
restored on the Paris Metro and most French trains were running
after transport workers ended a crippling strike so that talks on
pension reform could run their course.
2007 Nov 25, In France youths
assaulted a police station, torched cars and vandalized stores in a
rampage that injured 21 police officers in Villiers-le-Bel, a
rundown Paris suburb. The violence was prompted when two teens were
killed in a motorbike crash with a police patrol car.
2007 Nov 26, France netted
deals in China for nuclear reactors and passenger jets worth a
combined $29.62 billion on the second day of a state visit by
President Nicolas Sarkozy.
2007 Nov 27, Police said
rampaging youths rioted for a second night in Paris' suburbs, firing
at officers and ramming burning cars into buildings. At least 77
officers were injured.
2007 Nov 27, French police
detained a 68-year-old retired "drag queen" performer on suspicion
of murdering 18 mainly gay men between 1980 and 2000.
2007 Nov 28, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to punish rioters who shot at police but
sought to ease tensions with an independent probe into the deaths of
two youths that triggered the unrest.
2007 Dec 1, ETA gunmen shot and
killed a Spanish policeman and seriously injured another in France,
the first killing by the Basque separatist group in almost a year.
2007 Dec 4, France and Algeria
agreed to cooperate on civilian nuclear technologies. French oil
group Total said it had signed a deal to invest about 1.5 billion
dollars in a new 3.0-billion-dollar (2.0 billion euros)
petrochemical plant in Algeria.
(AFP, 12/4/07)(AP, 12/4/07)
2007 Dec 5, French police
arrested two armed people in connection with a weekend shooting that
left two Spanish officers dead in what authorities described as the
first Basque-related killings in France in more than three decades.
2007 Dec 6, A French
anti-terrorist judge filed preliminary charges against Guillaume
Dasquie, an investigative journalist and author, accused of
publishing defense secrets.
2007 Dec 6, A parcel bomb
exploded at a lawyer's office in central Paris, killing a secretary
and seriously injuring an attorney, but a motive was not immediately
2007 Dec 7, Six French
nationals detained in Chad on suspicion of trying to illegally fly
103 children to Europe started a hunger strike, complaining their
case was being neglected.
2007 Dec 10, Libyan leader
Moamer Kadhafi arrived on his first visit to France in 34 years,
sparking protests from rights groups and criticism from the
government's own human rights minister. Gadhafi got straight to
business, cutting $14.7 billion in deals for arms and nuclear
reactors on his first official visit to the West since renouncing
terrorism and atomic weapons.
(AFP, 12/10/07)(AP, 12/11/07)
2007 Dec 12, Ashraf Juma Hajuj,
the Palestinian-born doctor held with five Bulgarian nurses in a
Libyan prison for over eight years, filed suit in Paris against
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi for torture. The six medics, who always
maintained their innocence, said they were subjected to torture,
including beatings, electric shocks, food and sleep deprivation, and
even sexual abuse, in order to confess to their alleged crime.
2007 Dec 22, Making the
first-ever trip to Afghanistan by a French president, Nicolas
Sarkozy met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss the
political and military situation in the war-torn country.
2007 Dec 22, French author
Julien Gracq (97), one of the last links with the pre-World War II
Surrealist movement, died.
2007 Dec 24, Gunmen shot dead
four French tourists in Mauritania in West Africa. Sidi Ould Sidna,
was charged with planning and executing the killings of the French
tourists. He was extradited by Guinea-Bissau in January but later
escaped from authorities. 2 other suspected terrorists were arrested
on April 30. In 2010 a court sentenced 3 young men to death for the
murder of the French tourists. The men pleaded not guilty and said
their confessions were extracted under torture.
(AP, 12/24/07)(AP, 4/30/08)(SFC, 5/26/10, p.A2)
2007 Dec 26, A Chadian court
convicted six French aid workers of trying to kidnap 103 African
children and sentenced them to eight years of forced labor. The
French Foreign Ministry in Paris said it would ask Chadian
authorities to transfer the six convicted to France. The countries
have a bilateral judicial agreement that could allow for such a
2007 Dec 28, In Chad 6 French
aid workers sentenced to eight years' forced labor for trying to
kidnap 103 children left for France, boarding a plane in handcuffs
as security officers looked on.
2007 Dec 30, President Nicolas
Sarkozy said France will have no more contact with Syria until
Damascus shows its willingness to let Lebanon end its current crisis
and appoint a new president.
2007 The English translation of
presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy’s “Testimony: France in the
Twenty-First Century," became available. It had been published in
France in 2006 as Temoignange."
(Econ, 3/3/07, p.86)
2007 Yasmina Reza authored
“L’Aube le soir ou la nui" (Dawn evening or night), an account of
her year shadowing Nicolas Sarkozy.
(Econ, 9/1/07, p.73)
2007 Olivier Roy, a French
scholar, authored “Secularism Confronts Islam."
(Econ, 8/11/07, p.75)
2007 Bernard Arnault, chairman
of luxury goods maker LVMH, and Colony Capital, an American private
equity firm, jointly bought a 9.8% stake in France’s Carrefour, the
world’s 2nd largest retailer.
(Econ, 10/18/08, p.74)
2008 Jan 1, Vandals torched 372
cars as France celebrated the New Year, down on the figure last year
after a night the police described as "relatively calm."
(AP, 1/1/08)(Reuters, 1/1/08)
2008 Jan 1, Smokers took to
lighting up on the sidewalks as a ban took effect across France ,
Germany and Lithuania, the latest European countries to say "no
smoking." Across France smokers took advantage of a one-day grace
period and savored their last cigarettes over morning coffee in
cafes as a ban against lighting up in bars and restaurants took
(AP, 1/1/08)(AFP, 1/1/08)
2008 Jan 2, France's most
drastic measure to curb smoking went into effect with a full ban on
lighting up in cafes, restaurants and discotheques.
2008 Jan 9, French legal
plaintiffs said police have arrested Marcel Bivugabagabo (53), a
former officer in the Rwandan army accused of taking part in the
1994 genocide. Bivugabagabo was commander of the Ruhengeri sector in
western Rwanda from April to July 1994.
2008 Jan 11, Belgium, France
and Poland pledged to provide the resources needed to launch a
European Union peacekeeping force for Chad and the Central African
2008 Jan 11, In France militant
French farmer Jose Bove and about 15 supporters called off their
hunger strike in its eighth day after the government ordered the
suspension of the use of genetically modified corn.
2008 Jan 13, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed plans to sign a nuclear cooperation
agreement with the United Arab Emirates amid reports French firms
could construct up to two nuclear reactors there.
2008 Jan 15, The French
government announced during a visit by Pres. Sarkozy that it will
set up a permanent military base of up to 500 troops in the United
2008 Jan 22, The French
government unveiled proposals to slash youth unemployment in the
high-immigrant suburbs that exploded into rioting in 2005, pledging
to create tens of thousands of new jobs.
2008 Jan 23, In France an
economic commission headed by Jacques Attali issued a report: 300
Decisions for Changing France," which had been requested by Pres.
(Econ, 1/26/08, p.51)
2008 Jan 24, French bank
Societe Generale (SocGen) announced a $3 billion write-down on its
exposure to mortgage related investments. Societe Generale also said
it has uncovered a $7.14 billion fraud, one of history's biggest, by
futures trader Jerome Kerviel (31). His scheme of fictitious
transactions was discovered as stock markets began to stumble in
recent days. In 2010 he authored “The Spiral: Memoirs of a Trader,"
in which he presented himself as the victim of an immoral financial
(Econ, 1/26/08, p.73)(AP, 1/24/08)(Econ, 5/8/10,
2008 Jan 25, In France tens of
thousands of civil servants demonstrated to protest job cuts and
press for higher salaries in what the government dismissed as a
"labor union ritual."
2008 Jan 25, India and France
said they would push their military ties beyond weapons sales and
open up nuclear power cooperation as soon as New Delhi is able to
enter the global atomic energy market.
2008 Jan 27, France's Societe
Generale said Jerome Kerviel, the young trader blamed for losses
that cost the bank more than $7 billion, hacked computers and used
"several techniques of fraud." Judicial officials said the man would
remain in custody a further 24 hours. The bank said Kerviel had
built up a position worth some $73.5 billion, which was eventually
closed or hedged by Jan 23 with a loss of $7.21 billion.
2008 Jan 28, A French court
sentenced six French charity workers to 8 years in prison, after
they were convicted in Chad of trying to kidnap 103 children they
said were orphans from Darfur.
2008 Jan 30, Thousands of
striking taxi drivers drove at a snail's pace around France as part
of a protest against government plans to open up their business to
2008 Jan, In France,
investigating magistrates seized 23 notebooks of Yves Bertrand,
former head of Renseignements Genereaux (RG), one of the country’s
domestic intelligence services, as part of an inquiry into the
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.60)
2008 Feb 1, Chad's army fought
to drive off rebels who pushed to within 100 km (60 miles) of the
capital N'Djamena and the clashes delayed the deployment of European
peacekeepers. A French Defense Ministry official said France has
sent about 150 supplementary troops to Chad as a "precautionary
measure" in response to a rebel offensive.
2008 Feb 2, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy married former model Carla Bruni at the Elysee
2008 Feb 6, In France 7 doctors
and pharmacists went on trial for the deaths of more than 100 young
people who died of a brain-destroying disease after being treated
with tainted human growth hormones.
2008 Feb 7, Chadian President
Idriss Deby Itno issued a "solemn call" for a European peacekeeping
force for Darfur refugees, to deploy as soon as possible. The
president also said he was "ready to pardon" six French aid workers
convicted in December of trying to kidnap more than 100 children
they said were orphans from Darfur.
(AP, 2/7/08)(AFP, 2/7/08)
2008 Feb 7, NATO defense
ministers held talks on Afghanistan in Lithuania. France agreed to
help Canada in fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.
2008 Feb 8, France’s President
Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to send thousands of extra police and more
than $700 million in aid to neglected, heavily immigrant
neighborhoods that exploded in riots in 2005 and 2006.
2008 Feb 9, The French
government suspended the use of genetically modified corn crops in
France while it awaits EU approval for a full ban.
2008 Feb 12, President Nicolas
Sarkozy said France is ready to transfer technology to Brazil so
that an attack submarine, helicopters and the Rafale fighter plane
can be built there.
2008 Feb 18, More than 1,000
police raided housing projects outside Paris, detaining over 30
people in a bid to find rioters who led an outburst of violence last
2008 Feb 18, Alain
Robbe-Grillet (85), avant-garde French author, died. He dispensed
with conventional storytelling as a pioneer of the postwar "new
2008 Feb 27, French ambassador
Bernard Bajolet said France has handed Algeria details of
radioactive leaks from nuclear tests in the Algerian desert in the
1960s and should have acted earlier to clean up the damage.
2008 Feb 28, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy, following talks with South African President Thabo
Mbeki in South Africa, announced a "renegotiation" of all French
military accords with African nations, arguing that France no longer
had a "policing" role to play on the continent. French power giant
Alstom announced a 1.36 billion euro (two-billion-dollar) contract
for the construction of a coal-fuelled power plant in South Africa
which is suffering from a severe electricity shortage.
2008 Feb 28, In Paris the body
of former top model Katoucha Niane (47) was found in the River
Seine. The former model and speaker against female circumcision went
missing in January. Her 2007 book, "Katoucha, In My Flesh,"
described her own experience with female circumcision at age 9.
(AP, 2/29/08)(AP, 3/7/08)
2008 Feb 29, France and
energy-hungry South Africa signed three economic accords, including
one for the construction of a 1.36-billion euro coal-fuelled power
plant by French energy giant Alstom.
2008 Feb, Renault SA invested
$1 billion for a 25% stake in Russian car maker OAO Avtovaz.
(WSJ, 3/21/08, p.A1)(Econ, 6/7/08, p.74)
2008 Mar 4, France pinned the
blame on Sudanese forces for a shooting near the border with Chad
that left one French soldier wounded and another missing and asked
Sudanese authorities for help in locating the missing soldier. Sgt.
Gilles Pollin’s remains were formally identified Mar 7 and flown to
Paris from Khartoum.
(AP, 3/4/08)(AP, 3/7/08)
2008 Mar 9, French voters went
to the polls for local elections predicted to deliver yet more bad
news to Nicolas Sarkozy, whose popularity has plummeted since his
triumphant presidential victory last year.
2008 Mar 15, Alitalia, Italy’s
state-owned national airline, accepted a takeover offer worth $217
made by air France-KLM, a French-Dutch airline group. The Italian
government accepted the offer on March 17.
(Econ, 3/22/08, p.73)
2008 Mar 16, In France the
Socialists took an estimated 49% of the vote, against 47.5% for the
Pres. Sarkozy’s UMP. Socialists now control 58% of towns with more
than 30,000 inhabitants, after winning 40 from the right including
2008 Mar 16, In France a pipe
ruptured while a tanker was being loaded at a Total refinery. Some
3,000 barrels of fuel oil leaked in and along the Loire River.
2008 Mar 19, Chantal Sebire
(52), who suffered from a painful facial tumor and had drawn
headlines across France with her quest for doctor-assisted suicide,
was found dead. On Mar 17 a court in the city of Dijon rejected her
request to be allowed to receive a lethal dose of barbiturates under
a doctor's supervision.
2008 Mar 21, President Nicolas
Sarkozy announced a modest cut in France's nuclear arsenal, to less
than 300 warheads, and urged China and the United States to commit
to no more weapons tests.
2008 Mar 26, French Pres.
Nicolas Sarkozy vowed to open a new chapter in ties with Britain as
he arrived for a state visit which he hopes will also help repair
his image as a statesman.
2008 Mar 27, Comorans staged
angry anti-French protests as France decided whether to give ousted
rebel leader Mohamed Bacar asylum after he fled to its Indian Ocean
territory of Mayotte.
2008 Mar 30, The Pritzker jury
announced French architect jean Nouvel (62) as the winner of the
2008 Pritzker Prize.
(WSJ, 3/31/08, p.A5)
2008 Mar 30, Pernod Ricard SA,
a French spirits company, agreed to pay the Swedish government 5.28
billion euros for Vin & Sprit, the maker of Absolut, outbidding
2008 Mar 31, Chad's state radio
announced that the president has pardoned six French aid workers
convicted of kidnapping 103 children.
2008 Apr 1, In France the
stockmarket watchdog Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF) filed a
formal complaint against the European Aeronautic Defense and Space
Company, the parent company of Airbus, and more than a dozen current
and former executives. It confirmed evidence of massive insider
trading in shares of EADS in late 2005 and early 2006 in the
knowledge that the A380 airbus program was in deep trouble.
(Econ, 6/21/08, p.80)(http://tinyurl.com/3kd8vh)
2008 Apr 2, France pledged to
send up to 1,000 troops to Afghanistan in a move that will avert a
Canadian threat to pull its contingent out of NATO's war in the
2008 Apr 2, Chad's main rebel
group urged former colonial ruler France to stop backing President
Idriss Deby Itno and cease flying over rebel positions in the
central African nation's restive east.
2008 Apr 3, French protesters
hurled bottles and stones at riot police who responded with tear gas
during a march by high school students in Paris over teacher job
2008 Apr 3, Alitalia edged
closer to bankruptcy protection after Air France-KLM abruptly broke
off talks to buy the struggling national airline and Alitalia's
chairman of seven months resigned in frustration.
2008 Apr 4, Pirate attackers
off Somalia’s coast stormed the 288-foot Le Ponant as it returned
without passengers from the Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean. French
officials hoped to avoid using force to free the 30 crew members.
2008 Apr 7, Security officials
extinguished the Olympic torch three times as protests against
China's human rights record turned a relay through Paris into a
chaotic series of stops and starts. France's former sports minister,
Jean-Francois Lamour, said that though the torch had been put out,
the Olympic flame itself still burned in the lantern where it is
kept overnight and on airplane flights.
2008 Apr 9, In Peru 5 French
tourists visiting the Nazca lines were killed when their small plane
crashed after becoming tangled in power lines.
2008 Apr 11, Foreign Minister
Bernard Kouchner said France will boost its contribution to NATO
forces fighting al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan to some
3,000 troops, around double the present level.
2008 Apr 11, French officials
said pirates have freed the 30 crew from Le Ponant, a French luxury
sailing ship, which was seized off Somalia on April 4, and had been
tailed by the French Navy. Helicopter-borne French troops seized 6
of the dozen hostage takers, after the hostages were freed, and
recovered sacks of money, apparently ransom paid by the ship’s
(AFP, 4/11/08)(SFC, 4/12/08, p.A9)
2008 Apr 15, French high school
students threw bottles and rocks on the fringes of a Paris
demonstration that drew thousands of protesters to a march against a
government plan to cut teaching jobs.
2008 Apr 18, In Morocco French
PM Francois Fillon announced the signing of economic tie-ups with
Morocco, alongside the sale of a naval warship to aid defense
2008 Apr 19, In France the
charred body of Sussanna Zetterberg (19), a Swedish teenager, was
discovered in woods outside Paris just hours after she left a
nightclub. A postmortem showed she had been stabbed.
2008 Apr 21, The Paris city
council bestowed the title of "honorary citizen" on the Dalai Lama.
2008 Apr 22, Alitalia flew into
the unknown after Air France-KLM withdrew its takeover offer,
leaving Italy's long-struggling flagship airline with little choice
but to contemplate bankruptcy or receivership. The outgoing
center-left government allowed a loan of €300 million to Alitalia.
(AP, 4/22/08)(Econ, 4/26/08, p.68)
2008 May 1, Rescuers found the
bodies of five French ski mountaineers who had been missing since
the day before when they were swept away by an avalanche during an
excursion on Punta Basei, a 10,000-foot peak in Italy's northwestern
2008 May 14, A French court
handed down jail sentences to seven men convicted of running a
network that recruited poor young Muslims in Paris to fight in the
2008 May 15, In France hundreds
of thousands of teachers and other public sector workers went on
strike to protest jobs cuts and other changes proposed by Pres.
(WSJ, 5/16/08, p.A8)
2008 May 20, Xavier Lopez Pena
(49), the suspected leader of the Basque separatist group ETA, was
detained along with three other suspected ETA members in a sweep on
an apartment in the French city of Bordeaux just before midnight.
2008 May 21, Hundreds of French
fishermen clashed with police in Paris and severely disrupted
cross-Channel traffic as they stepped up a 10-day-old protest
against soaring fuel costs.
2008 May 22, Tens of thousands
of French workers took to the streets as unions mounted a one-day
show of force against President Nicolas Sarkozy's government over
2008 May 25, The French film
“The Class" (Entre les Murs) won the Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film
Festival. It was based on m a book by Francois Begaudeau. Matteo
Garrone’s “Gomorrah," a study of the criminal underworld in Naples,
won the grand prize. Paolo Sorrentino’s “Il Divo," a portrait of
former Premier Giulio Andreotti, won the jury award.
(SFC, 5/26/08, p.F5)(Econ, 5/31/08, p.89)
2008 May 29, In France Pres.
Sarkozy’s government presented a draft bill that would effectively
scrap the 35-hour workweek.
(WSJ, 5/30/08, p.A9)
2008 May 30, Jordan and France
signed an agreement to help the Arab kingdom develop its nuclear
2008 Jun 1, Yves Saint Laurent
(b.1936, one of the most influential and enduring designers of the
20th century, died in Paris.
2008 Jun 2, In eastern France
at least five people were killed when a train crashed into a bus
carrying schoolchildren near Allinges.
2008 Jun 3, In France a Paris
court convicted Brigitte Bardot of provoking discrimination and
racial hatred for writing that Muslims are destroying France. She
was fined $23,325.
(SFC, 6/4/08, p.A4)
2008 Jun 6, Dr. Paul Tessier
(b.1917), pioneering French surgeon, died in Paris. He introduced
innovative techniques in facial surgery.
(WSJ, 6/28/08, p.A7)
2008 Jun 16, It was reported
that France will slash 54,000 defense jobs and boost funding for
space- and land-based military intelligence, according to a new
strategy aimed at adapting the country's forces to evolving threats.
2008 Jun 18, Classic French
filmmaker Jean Delannoy (100), who adapted novels by Victor Hugo and
Andre Gide and won the Cannes Film Festival's top prize in 1946,
2008 Jun 19, In France a man
suspected of stealing $15 million of historic treasures from
churches was arrested. The 30-year-old suspect was taken into
custody by police in Saint-Ouen, north of Paris, after he allegedly
asked an antiques dealer to sell an object stolen from a church in
2008 Jun 20, A rocket carrying
a US-French satellite for monitoring ocean surface height was
launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The data will
be used to monitor climate change effects on sea level.
(SFC, 6/21/08, p.A3)
2008 Jun 21, Paris Mayor
Bernard Delanoe blamed "organized gangs" for clashes overnight near
the Eiffel Tower between police and high school students celebrating
the end of their final exams. 29 people were arrested, and 22 kept
in custody, after the unrest in the Champ de Mars park.
2008 Jun 21, Four French
nationals, all Niger-based employees of the nuclear company Areva,
were abducted by rebels from the Movement for Justice in a part of
Niger known for its uranium mines. They were freed on June 25.
2008 Jun 23, In Jerusalem
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said there could be no Mideast
peace unless Israel drops its refusal to cede sovereignty over parts
of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinians, challenging one of
Israel's most emotionally held positions.
2008 Jun 29, In France a
shooting at a military show injured 17 people when real bullets were
used instead of blanks. Gen. Bruno Cuche, the head of France's army,
resigned following the shooting.
2008 Jun 29, The bound and
battered bodies of Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, both 23, were
found in a burning ground-floor bedsit (studio) in New Cross,
southeast London. Bonomo was stabbed nearly 200 times while Ferez
suffered around 50 wounds during a prolonged ordeal. The two
scholars, both biochemists from a university in Clermont-Ferrand,
central France, were on a short exchange program at London's
Imperial College. On July 7 Nigel Edward Farmer (33) turned himself
in at a London police station.
(AFP, 7/3/08)(AP, 7/6/08)(AP, 7/10/08)
2008 Jun 30, A French court
ordered online auctioneer eBay to pay nearly 40 million euros in
damages to Louis Vuitton for selling fake luxury goods, in a ruling
cheered as a victory for copyright protection.
2008 Jun 30, Brahim Deby, the
eldest son of Chad’s President Idriss Deby, was found dead in the
basement of his apartment building in a Paris suburb. He was
asphyxiated by chemicals from a fire extinguisher that lay near his
body. In late November Romanian police arrested a French-Romanian
national identified as Marius C. after on a warrant from France.
2008 Jul 1, France took over
the rotating presidency of the European Union with high-level
meetings and a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe.
2008 Jul 1, French officials
said the asbestos-contaminated aircraft carrier Clemenceau, which
was towed half-way across the globe in a failed bid to have it
dismantled, will be broken up by Able UK in Britain. The ship was
decommissioned in 1997.
2008 Jul 7, European Union
nations gave their backing to a French-drafted pact calling for
tightening immigration and asylum rules across the 27-nation bloc.
2008 Jul 9, US electronic games
publisher Activision under Bobby Kotick closed its merger with the
gaming arm of Vivendi, a French media conglomerate, in a deal valued
at $18.8 billion.
2008 Jul 10, In France four
people were found shot dead near the southwestern city of Toulouse.
A fifth victim died later in hospital.
2008 Jul 12, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy met his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak, kicking
off a round of diplomacy with Middle East leaders ahead of an
EU-Mediterranean summit. Sarkozy said that Syria and Lebanon will
open embassies in each other's countries for the first time. Syria's
leader cautioned there was still work to be done before that could
(AP, 7/12/08)(AP, 7/13/08)
2008 Jul 13, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy urged the disparate and conflicted countries around
the Mediterranean Sea to make peace as European rivals did in the
20th century as he launched an unprecedented Union for the
Mediterranean. 43 nations, including Israel and Arab states, pledged
to work for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction at the
close of a summit to launch an unprecedented Union for the
Mediterranean aimed at securing peace across the restive region.
(AP, 7/13/08)(AP, 7/14/08)
2008 Jul 16, In France the
first stone was laid at the Louvre's new Arts of Islam gallery, the
first major modern architectural addition to the museum since its
famed glass pyramid was built in the 1980s.
2008 Jul 21, President Nicolas
Sarkozy's risky bid to rewrite France's political rules with
sweeping constitutional changes worked, but just barely, with both
houses of parliament meeting in special session to pass the measures
by a single vote. The reform gives parliament greater power but also
adds a new privileges to France's already strong presidency, notably
allowing the chief of state to address together the two houses of
congress. However, it limits the president to two five-year terms.
2008 Jul 23, France passed a
new law to let companies negotiate longer working hours with union
representatives, all but squelching the 35-hour week.
(Econ, 7/26/08, p.61)
2008 Jul 24, French PM Francois
Fillon said a 15% cut in military manpower and base closings will
save billions of dollars. The military ranks will be cut by 54,000.
(SFC, 7/25/08, p.A12)
2008 Jul 24, French giant
automaker Renault said it will cut about 5,000 jobs in Europe among
measures to reduce costs by 10 percent as it prepares for a sharp
and possibly rocky downturn.
2008 Jul 25, The EU and South
Africa began their first-ever summit in the French city of Bordeaux.
Brussels solidly backed Pretoria's mediating role in Zimbabwe as the
only way of ending ruinous political chaos.
2008 Jul 25, US presidential
hopeful Barack Obama met with Pres. Sarkozy during a short stop in
(SFC, 7/26/08, p.A3)
2008 Jul 28, Pierre Beres
(b.1913), king of the French booksellers, died.
(SFC, 8/4/08, p.B3)
2008 Aug 5, Rwanda formally
accused senior French officials of involvement in its 1994 genocide.
2008 Aug 6, France accused
Rwanda of making "unacceptable accusations" by alleging Paris played
an active role in the 1994 genocide, but said it was still
determined to mend damaged ties with Kigali.
2008 Aug 13, Henri Cartan
(b.1904), French mathematician, died in Paris. In 1956 he and Samuel
Eilenberg wrote a fundamental textbook on homological algebra.
(SFC, 8/25/08, p.B3)
2008 Aug 18, In eastern
Afghanistan a suicide car bomb blew up outside Camp Salerno, a US
military base in Khost, killing 12 civilian laborers, as the country
marked Independence Day. A mine blew up a police vehicle in the
province of Nangarhar and killed two policemen. About 100 insurgents
ambushed a group of French paratroopers, killing 10 soldiers in an
area outside the capital known as a militant stronghold. An Afghan
official said insurgents kidnapped four of the soldiers and later
killed them. 13 militants were reported killed [see Oct 15, 2009].
(AFP, 8/18/08)(AP, 8/19/08)(Econ, 8/34/08, p.34)
2008 Aug 19, Zambia's President
Levy Mwanawasa (b.1948) died in France. He had been hospitalized at
a French military hospital since suffering a stroke in June.
(AP, 8/19/08)(SFC, 8/20/08, p.B4)
2008 Aug 23, The Tibetan
spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, left Paris on a flight bound for
New Delhi after concluding a 12-day visit that fuelled tensions
between Paris and Beijing.
2008 Aug 24, A wall of snow in
the Mont Blanc range of the French Alps buried 3 Swiss and 5
2008 Aug 29, French
neurosurgeons said they had successfully treated brain tumors
through ultra-keyhole surgery, using a tiny fiber-optic laser to
destroy cancerous cells.
2008 Sep 3, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy encouraged Syria to pursue face-to-face peace talks
with Israel during his first trip to the Arab nation, a visit also
aimed at undercutting Iranian influence in Damascus.
2008 Sep 8, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy pressed Moscow to honor its pledge to withdraw
troops from Georgia, while Russian soldiers prevented international
aid convoys from visiting Georgian villages in a tense zone around
the breakaway province of South Ossetia.
2008 Sep 8, Legal sources said
the Church of Scientology is to be tried for fraud, and seven of its
members for illegally prescribing drugs, in the latest clash between
French officials and the controversial religion.
2008 Sep 9, The 27-member EU
stopped short of offering Ukraine membership during an EU-Ukraine
summit hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. But the two sides
began work on an "association accord," a step that offers closer
political and economic ties and in the past has been designed to
prepare nations for eventual membership.
2008 Sep 11, A Paris court
convicted Didier Bourguet, a former UN employee, for the rape of
young Africans during his postings in Central African Republic and
Congo. Bourguet was sentenced to nine years in prison for having
committed about 20 rapes of teenage girls between 1998 and 2004
during his postings as a mechanic for the UN.
2008 Sep 11, Israeli divers
found a red suitcase containing a small skull, bones and clothes,
which police said may belong to Rose Pizem, a 4-year-old French girl
missing since May, whose grandfather is jailed in the slaying.
2008 Sep 12, British and French
firefighters extinguished a 1,000-degree inferno in the Channel
Tunnel but tens of thousands of travelers faced more delay as they
waited for the undersea link to reopen.
2008 Sep 12, Pope Benedict XVI
urged France to take Christianity into account despite its secular
tradition, saying on his first visit there as pontiff that church
and state should be open to each other.
2008 Sep 14, France's ecology
minister said the government is considering a "picnic tax" on
disposable dishes to encourage people to use reusable plates and
2008 Sep 16, French troops
stormed a yacht hijacked by Somali pirates, killing one, capturing
six others and freeing their two French hostages, who had been held
since Sep 2.
2008 Sep 18, The Bank of China
announced that it would take a 20% stake in the French arm of LCF
Rothschild, its first investment in a euro-zone bank.
(Econ, 9/27/08, p.77)
2008 Sep 20, It was reported
that Muslims in France, about 8% of the population, were estimated
to make up over half the prison population.
(Econ, 9/20/08, p.69)
2008 Sep 24, French power
provider EDF said it has agreed to acquire British Energy Group PLC
for about $23.2 billion in cash in a deal that would create a
powerhouse in nuclear energy.
2008 Sep 30, A French court
ended a long legal battle between Bernard Tapie (b.1943) and the
Crédit Lyonnais bank. Crédit Lyonnais had allegedly defrauded Tapie
in 1993 and 1994 when it sold Adidas on his behalf to Robert
Louis-Dreyfus, apparently by arranging a larger sale with Dreyfus
without Tapie's knowledge. The court awarded 405 million euros to
Tapie. This decision was partially overturned on 9 October 2006 by
the Court of Cassation. In 2011 a French court ordered an
investigation into IMF chief Christine Lagarde, France’s finance
minister at the time of the settlement.
2008 Oct 4, The leaders of
Britain, France, Germany and Italy began meeting in Paris at a
summit on the world financial crisis threatening banks, growth and
jobs across the continent. They vowed to do all they could to
prevent Wall Street's turmoil from destabilizing their banking
systems. Germany's No. 2 commercial property lender, Hypo Real
Estate Holding AG, said its $48 billion rescue plan had unraveled
when private banks pulled out.
2008 Oct 6, Three European
scientists shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in medicine for separate
discoveries of viruses that cause AIDS and cervical cancer,
breakthroughs that helped doctors fight the deadly diseases. French
researchers Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier were cited
for their discovery of human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV; while
Germany's Harald zur Hausen was honored for finding human papilloma
viruses that cause cervical cancer,
2008 Oct 6, In France
Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, the son of a late French president, an
Israeli-Russian billionaire and 40 other people charged with
trafficking arms to war-riven Angola or taking kickbacks faced
judges in a long-awaited trial in Paris. Prosecutors alleged that
French businessman Pierre Falcone and Arkady Gaydamak, an Israeli
tycoon based in France at the time, organized the sale of Russian
arms to Angola from 1993-2000, for a total of US$791 million, in
breach of French government rules. In 2009 Falcone and Gaydamak were
sentenced to 6 years in prison.
(AP, 10/6/08)(Econ, 10/31/09, p.62)
2008 Oct 6, In France traders
at Groupe Caisse d’Epargne bank, founded in 1818, began trading in
equity derivatives hoping the market would rise. The irregular
trades were unwound at a loss of some $808 million.
(WSJ, 10/18/08, p.B1)
2008 Oct 9, The Swedish Academy
announced French novelist Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio (b.1940)) as
the 2008 Nobel Prize in literature for his poetic adventure and
"sensual ecstasy." Le Clezio made his breakthrough as a novelist
with "Desert," in 1980.
2008 Oct 9, Ethiopia signed a
220-million-euro (300 million dollar) deal with a French company for
the construction of Africa's largest wind farm.
2008 Oct 13, Guillaume
Depardieu (37), French film star, died of pneumonia. The
often-troubled son of renowned French film star Gerard Depardieu had
gained praise for his own career as an actor. In 2003 he Depardieu
had his right leg amputated to end years of pain from a bacterial
infection that followed a motorcycle accident in 1996.
2008 Oct 17, Some 30 leaders of
French-speaking nations attended a 3-day summit of French-speaking
nations in Quebec City, Canada. The focus was dominated by the
world's financial woes.
2008 Oct 19, The French
Cabinet's spokesman said "swindlers" last month broke into the
personal bank account of President Nicolas Sarkozy and swiped small
sums of money. More than 30,000 demonstrators marched across Paris
to denounce the conservative government's budget restrictions, job
cuts and other controversial reforms in the public education system.
On Oct 21 police arrested two men suspected of stealing the bank
details of several people without realizing the identity of their
victims. They are believed to have used small sums to pay mobile
(AP, 10/19/08)(AP, 10/21/08)
2008 Oct 20, The French
government allocated €10.5 billion among six of its banks.
(Econ, 10/25/08, p.89)
2008 Oct 20, Sister Emmanuelle
(b.1908), a Belgian-born nun who devoted her life to helping the
poor in North Africa and in France, died in France. Madeleine
Cinquin had spent 20 years working with children in a slum in Cairo
as part of a lengthy career helping the dispossessed.
2008 Oct 21, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy backed the creation of sovereign wealth funds in
Europe that, when coordinated, could provide an "industrial
response" to the financial crisis.
2008 Oct 23, France’s Pres.
Sarkozy unveiled a strategic national investment fund that will buy
stakes in French industries with borrowed money to protect them from
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.62)
2008 Oct 23, A Paris criminal
court convicted nine people including a French-Algerian former
prison inmate who admitted establishing an Islamic group that called
for armed jihad in France.
2008 Oct 23, The French Navy
captured nine pirates near the Gulf of Aden finding anti-tank
missiles, other weapons and ship boarding gear on the boats. A
Somali pirate warned that if a hijacked Ukrainian arms ship was
attacked the ship's 20-man crew would be killed.
2008 Oct 23, An Italian
military helicopter crashed in northeastern France, killing all
eight people on board.
2008 Oct 31, Heavily-armed
pirates swarmed aboard an oil industry support vessel working off
the coast of Cameroon and kidnapped 10 of 15 crew members, including
six Frenchmen. A man claiming to represent a rebel group opposed to
Cameroon's takeover of the Bakassi Peninsula warned the hostages
would be killed unless Cameroonian officials agreed to reopen the
2008 Nov 2, The Moroccan
government banned an issue of the French magazine L'Express
International, claiming it insults Islam in articles exploring the
relationship between that religion and Christianity.
2008 Nov 3, In Afghanistan
gunmen abducted Dany Egreteau (32), a French aid worker in Kabul,
and shot dead an Afghan man who tried to rescue him. The Taliban
said it was not involved. Afghan and coalition troops seized 40 tons
of hashish during a raid in Nawa Kili village in southern Kandahar
(AFP, 11/3/08)(AP, 11/3/08)
2008 Nov 5, In Somalia 6
employees of the French aid group Action Against Hunger were
kidnapped in the town of Dhusamareb. They included four non-Somali
workers and two chauffeurs.
2008 Nov 9, Rose Kabuye, Rwanda
Pres. Kagame's chief of protocol, was arrested at Frankfurt airport
on an international warrant issued in 2006 by French anti-terrorism
judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere.
2008 Nov 10, Afghan writer Atiq
Rahimi won France's top book prize, the Goncourt, for a novel penned
in French, "Syngue Sabour", or Stone of Patience.
2008 Nov 11, French police
arrested 10 people, described as anarchists, suspected for the
recent sabotaging of high-speed trains. In 5 instances since late
October iron rods were jammed into power cables in order to hold up
(WSJ, 11/12/08, p.A12)
2008 Nov 14, Nearly half of Air
France's flights were grounded by a pilots' strike expected to last
through the weekend.
2008 Nov 17, French police
arrested ETA's alleged military chief, the most wanted Basque
separatist still at large and a man Spanish officials branded a
"bloodthirsty terrorist." Miguel De Garikoitz Aspiazu Rubina (35),
alias "Txeroki", was captured in Cauterets, a spa and ski resort in
the Pyrenees near the border with Spain's autonomous Basque region.
On Nov 24 Spain indicted Aspiazu and four other men over the car
bombing at a Madrid airport parking garage on Dec. 30, 2006.
(AFP, 11/17/08)(AP, 11/24/08)
2008 Nov 19, Germany extradited
to France Rose Kabuye (47), chief of protocol to Rwandan President
Paul Kagame, over an assassination triggering the 1994 genocide,
amid mass anti-European protests in Kigali. Some European
investigators feared that Kabuye deliberately delivered herself to
German authorities so her lawyers could gain access to the case
files prepared against her and other Kagame allies.
2008 Nov 20, The 2008 edition
of Beaujolais Nouveau wine arrived, and vintners hoped it will lift
spirits despite the financial crisis and a dismal crop.
2008 Nov 22, The French
Socialist Party said that Martine Aubry, the architect of France's
35-hour work week, has won the party's leadership in an extremely
tight race, an outcome quickly challenged by partisans of rival
2008 Nov 22, In Afghanistan a
French trooper was killed and another wounded when a mine engulfed
them about 10 kilometers (six miles) south of Kabul. A bomb exploded
in a vegetable market in the eastern town of Khost, killing a
15-year-old boy and a man passing-by. Another bomb blew up a police
vehicle in the central province of Ghazni and killed three policemen
and wounded two. The bullet-riddled body of Ghais Haqmal, the
governor of Marawara district, was found in Kunar province. He had
been abducted by Taliban three months ago and the militants had
demanded the release of 50 of their jailed comrades in exchange for
his life. The US-led military announced that troops had killed 14
insurgents in operations in the southern provinces of Helmand and
Farah in the past two days. Afghan and coalition forces killed 17
insurgents in air strikes in the southern province of Kandahar. The
government of the central province of Ghazni said its forces had
thwarted a Taliban attack on the Ab Band district administration
center killing eight gunmen.
(AFP, 11/22/08)(AFP, 11/23/08)
2008 Nov 27, An Airbus A320
passenger plane crashed off France's southern coast during a
maintenance flight, killing 3 people and leaving the 4 others on
(AP, 11/28/08)(AP, 12/1/08)
2008 Nov 29, In Qatar French
President Nicolas Sarkozy told Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir to
take action to end the conflict in Darfur.
2008 Dec 4, In France armed
robbers, some disguised as women, snatched €85 million ($108
million) worth of diamond rings, necklaces and luxury watches from a
Harry Winston boutique on a posh Paris avenue in one of the largest
jewel heists in history. In June, 2009, French police arrested 25
suspects in connection with the robbery and recovered some of the
jewelry. In 2011 investigators found jewels valued at $25 million in
a plastic container set in a cement mold inside a sewer at a home in
the Paris suburb of Seine-St. Denis. The house belonged to one of
the 9 people charged in the heist. On Feb 27, 2015, eight were
convicted on charges including armed robbery over the heist and
another a year earlier at the same store.
(AP, 12/5/08)(SFC, 6/23/09, p.A2)(SFC, 3/10/11,
2008 Dec 7, China protested
strongly to France over President Nicolas Sarkozy's meeting with the
Dalai Lama, calling it a "rude intervention" into Chinese affairs.
2008 Dec 7, Francois-Xavier
Lalanne (81), French sculptor, died at his home in Ury. For 40 years
he and his wife worked in tandem, producing some works jointly,
2008 Dec 8, British and French
leaders met with European business executives to discuss plans for
major government spending on infrastructure and energy projects
aimed at helping Europe to beat the downturn.
2008 Dec 8, French police
arrested the suspected military chief and "No. 1 member" of ETA, a
new blow to the banned Basque militant group just weeks after his
alleged predecessor was caught.
2008 Dec 9, In Paris, France,
entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, Jordan's Queen Noor and other
dignitaries launched an ambitious project aimed at eliminating the
world's nuclear weapons over the next 25 years.
2008 Dec 11, As Greece suffered
through its sixth day of violence, there were troubling signs of
unrest spreading across Europe. Angry youths smashed shop windows,
attacked banks and hurled bottles at police in small but violent
protests in Spain and Denmark, while cars were set alight outside a
consulate in France.
2008 Dec 16, French police
found explosives hidden in a Paris department store after a tip-off
from a group demanding the withdrawal of French troops from
2008 Dec 16, French competition
watchdogs slapped a record fine of 575 million euros (785 million
dollars) on global steel giant ArcelorMittal and another 10 steel
firms found guilty of price-fixing.
2008 Dec 19, France’s finance
ministry unveiled a package of financial aid from the EU and others
totaling $10.7 billion to help Latvia.
(WSJ, 12/20/08, p.A8)
2008 Dec 23, Brazil and France
signed an arms deal that could lead to Latin America's first nuclear
2008 Dec 29, Ted Lapidus
(b.1929), French fashion designer who redefined chic with the 1960s
unisex look, died. Lapidus created his label in 1951, and in 1963
became a member of the prestigious Paris fashion club that runs
haute-couture, La Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.
2008 France dismantled its
Renseignements Generaux, a network of domestic information gathering
field agents. It was merged into a new internal service that over
relied on communications surveillance and under-detected information
on the ground.
(Econ, 7/9/16, p.42)
2008 France’s banking
supervisor fined Societe Generale (SocGen) €4m for its laxity in the
case of futures trader Jerome Kerviel.
(Econ, 5/24/14, p.68)
2009 Jan 1, Somali pirates
seized the Blue Star, an Egyptian cargo ship, and its 28
crewmembers. A Malaysian military helicopter saved an Indian tanker
from being hijacked in the new year's first attacks by pirates in
the dangerous Gulf of Aden. A crew of the French warship "PM L'Her"
dispatch boat intercepted two speedboats carrying 8 Somali pirates
as they were preparing to board a Panamanian cargo ship. The Blue
Star and its crew of 28 were freed on March 5 after a ransom was
dropped from a plane.
(AP, 1/1/09)(AP, 1/2/09)(AP, 3/5/09)
2009 Jan 4, A French warship
foiled attempts by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden to seize two
cargo vessels and intercepted 19 people.
2009 Jan 4, Gunmen hijacked a
vessel and 9 crewmen belonging to French oil services group Bourbon
off Nigeria's Niger Delta as it traveled toward a Royal Dutch Shell
offshore oilfield. The 9 crewmen: five Nigerians, two Ghanaians, one
Cameroonian and one Indonesian aboard. were released on Dec 7.
(Reuters, 1/4/09)(AP, 1/6/09)(AP, 1/7/09)
2009 Jan 6, Signs mounted that
the conflict in Gaza is starting to spill over into violence in
Europe's towns and cities, with assaults against Jews and arson
attacks on Jewish congregations in France, Sweden and Britain.
2009 Jan 10, Two British
climbers, including the youngest Briton to conquer Everest, fell
hundreds of meters to their deaths on Mont Blanc in the French Alps.
2009 Jan 12, French teachers
hurled shoes and other objects at police to protest President
Nicolas Sarkozy's high school reforms, prompting police to respond
with tear gas.
2009 Jan 12, Alitalia's board
accepted Air France-KLM's offer to buy 25 percent of the company and
become its international partner.
2009 Jan 14, A French court
acquitted six doctors and pharmacists in the deaths of at least 114
people who contracted a brain-destroying disease after being treated
with tainted human growth hormones.
2009 Jan 15, A Luxembourg court
ordered Swiss bank UBS AG to pay French financial company Oddo &
Cie euro30 million ($40 million) it had invested in a fund linked to
the alleged fraud perpetrated by US financier Bernard Madoff.
2009 Jan 16, Frenchman Lluis
Colet broke the world record for the longest speech after rambling
nonstop for 124 hours about Spanish painter Salvador Dali, Catalan
culture and other topics.
2009 Jan 17, A helicopter
carrying 10 French soldiers crashed off the coast of Gabon in
central Africa. At least 2 survived and 2 were killed as rescuers
searched for 6 missing.
2009 Jan 24, A storm killed 11
people in Spain, including four children who were killed when a
sports center collapsed near Barcelona, and four in France as high
winds swept across Spain and southern France.
(AP, 1/24/09)(AP, 1/25/09)
2009 Jan 27, In Mexico thieves,
apparently targeting people who exchange money at Mexico City's
international airport, shot a French citizen in the head.
Authorities warned that gangs have put lookouts at exchange windows
in the terminal. Mexico City prosecutors soon detained two suspects
in the shooting. French scientist Christopher Augur died at a Mexico
City hospital four days after his assault.
(AP, 1/27/09)(AP, 1/30/09)(AP, 1/31/09)
2009 Jan 28, French PM Francois
Fillon said 1,000 French 1,650 soldiers would be pulled out from the
EUFOR mission to protect refugees in Chad. He also says France's
1,800-strong contingent in Ivory Coast will be reduced by half.
2009 Jan 29, In France hundreds
of thousands of workers staged a nationwide strike to try to force
President Nicolas Sarkozy and business leaders to do more to protect
jobs and wages during the economic crisis.
2009 Feb 4, French-US telecom
equipment group Alcatel-Lucent said its net loss widened 48.5
percent to 5.215 billion euros (6.5 billion dollars) in 2008,
blaming asset write-downs in a crumbling world economy.
2009 Feb 4, French group Areva
signed a draft accord for the sale of two to six nuclear reactors to
India, a huge new market now open with the end of a nuclear trade
embargo on New Delhi.
2009 Feb 9, The French
government said it would give $8.4 million in low interest loans to
Renault SA and PSA Peugeot-Citroen in exchange for pledges that the
car makers won’t close any factories of lay off workers in France
for the duration of the funding.
(WSJ, 2/10/09, p.B2)
2009 Feb 10, President Nicolas
Sarkozy made the first-ever visit by a French head of state to Iraq,
seeking to reassert French influence in the country even as the US
prepares to draw down its forces.
2009 Feb 15, French specialists
unveiled a new weapon against cancer, a molecular "decoy" that
mimics DNA damage and prompts cancerous cells to kill themselves.
2009 Feb 16, France's top
judicial body recognized the French government's responsibility for
the deportation of Jews during World War II, the clearest such
recognition of the state's role in the Holocaust.
2009 Feb 16, Authorities
acknowledged that nuclear-armed submarines from Britain and France
collided in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this month, touching off new
concerns about the safety of the world's deep sea missile fleets.
The HMS Vanguard, the oldest vessel in Britain's nuclear-armed
submarine fleet, and the French Le Triomphant submarine, which was
also carrying nuclear missiles, both suffered minor damage in the
2009 Feb 16, On the French
island of Guadeloupe police detained about 50 people after coming
under a barrage of stones as they tried to take down barricades. On
Martinique as many as 10,000 demonstrators marched through the
narrow streets of the capital to protest spiraling food prices and
denounce the business elite.
2009 Feb 17, France's lower
house of parliament unanimously passed a law granting government
payments to those who take time off work to care for dying relatives
in their last weeks of life.
2009 Feb 18, In Guadeloupe
rioters manning barricades fatally shot Jacques Bino, tax agent and
union member, in a housing project in Pointe-a-Pitre, as he returned
home from protests. This was the first death in unrest that has
convulsed France's Caribbean islands for weeks.
2009 Feb 19, France bowed to
demands for wage increases in Guadeloupe in the hope of ending a
month-long strike that has plunged the French Caribbean island into
2009 Feb 22, In Egypt a group
of French teenagers on a school trip was hit hard by a bombing at a
landmark Cairo bazaar, which killed a 17-year-old girl on the tour
and wounded more than a dozen other students. Egyptian police soon
arrested three suspects.
2009 Feb 23, Finance Minister
Christine Lagarde said the French government is to provide 2.5-5.0
billion euros in loans to support the merger of banks Caisse
d'Epargne and Banque Populaire.
2009 Feb 24, France’s Pres.
Sarkozy and Italy’s Premier Berlusconi signed a deal pairing
utilities from each nation to study the feasibility of building
nuclear power plants in Italy.
(WSJ, 2/25/09, p.A11)
2009 Feb 24, A Paris appeals
court overturned five men's terror convictions, ruling that French
intelligence officials improperly questioned them while they were
detained at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay. Lawyers for the men:
Brahim Yadel, Khaled ben Mustafa, Nizar Sassi, Mourad Benchellali
and Ridouane Khalid, hailed the decision. During their 2007 Paris
trial, the five acknowledged having spent time in military training
camps in Afghanistan but they said they had never put their combat
skills to use.
2009 Feb 25, In Paris an
auction of art works owned by the late fashion designer Yves Saint
Laurent concluded with dazzling sales of nearly $500 million. Two
rare bronze sculptures that disappeared from China nearly 150 years
ago and demanded back by Beijing, sold for millions. The Chinese
businessman, who bid $15.1 million, later refused payment.
(AP, 2/26/09)(Econ, 3/7/09, p.92)
2009 Feb 25, In Martinique
vandals burned cars and looted stores overnight, as violence spread
to a second French Caribbean island in protests over high prices,
low pay and alleged neglect by officials in Paris.
2009 Feb 27, The French film
industry awarded the best film Cesar to Martin Provost's
"Seraphine." Yolande Moreau, who plays Seraphine, won in the 34th
annual Cesar awards best actress category for her portrayal of the
dimwitted maid whose talents as a painter were discovered by a
German art collector on the eve of World War I. The Cesar for best
actor went to Vincent Cassel in "Mesrine," a story based on the real
life of a gangster.
2009 Mar 4, Channel tunnel
operator Eurotunnel said it will pay its first ever dividend after
making a net profit of 40 million euros in 2008 despite fire damage
of 200 million euros (250 million dollars).
2009 Mar 7, In France a
commuter train slammed into a group of football fans who were
walking on railway tracks in a Paris suburb, killing two youths and
injuring 11 people.
2009 Mar 9, French lawmakers
passed an amendment to ban the sale of alcohol to teens under 18,
part of an effort to tackle the rise of binge drinking in a country
known for a relaxed attitude toward a little libation.
2009 Mar 11, French Pres.
Sarkozy announced that France will return as full-fledged member of
the 26-naqtion NATO alliance.
(SFC, 3/12/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 16, Bernard d’Espagnat
(87), French physicist and philosopher, was named in Paris as the
winner of this year’s $1.42 million Templeton Prize.
(SFC, 3/17/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 17, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy's government won a parliamentary confidence vote
prompted by his plans to rejoin NATO's military command, which many
legislators fear would compromise France's independence.
2009 Mar 19, In France hundreds
of thousands of people began protests expected to draw at least a
million demonstrators to the streets to denounce President Nicolas
Sarkozy's handling of the economic crisis.
2009 Mar 20, In France several
teenagers were taken into custody after 11 adults were injured in a
pellet gun shooting near a nursery school in Lyon.
2009 Mar 20, Iranian engineer
Majid Kakavand (37) was taken into custody in Paris as he arrived in
Paris from Moscow as part of a European tour with his wife. He was
arrested at the airport under a US warrant suspected of evading
export controls to buy US technology for Iran's military. He was
held in La Sante prison until Aug. 26, then released on condition he
stay in Paris. He faced a Feb. 17 Paris hearing on whether to be
extradited to the United States.
2009 Mar 24, The French
government offered for the first time to compensate victims of
nuclear tests in Algeria and the South Pacific, bowing to decades of
pressure by people sickened by radiation.
2009 Mar 24, Striking French
workers for US manufacturer 3M held their boss hostage amid labor
talks at a plant south of Paris, as anger over layoffs and cutbacks
mounted around the country. Manager Luc Rousselet was released after
being held for 2 days.
2009 Mar 26, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy visited Brazzaville and Kinshasa. During the
Kinshasa trip, given over in large part to regional political
issues, Areva signed an agreement with the government allowing the
company to prospect for and mine uranium.
2009 Mar 26, An official said
France will limit or ban bonuses and stock options for executives at
companies bailed out with taxpayer money, as the government
scrambled to calm public outrage at what some see as the greed that
caused the global financial crisis.
2009 Mar 27, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy wrapped up his mini-tour of three African countries,
after meeting with Niger leader Mamadou Tandja. This followed visits
to Kinshasa and Brazzaville.
2009 Mar 29, The mostly Muslim
Indian Ocean island of Mayotte overwhelmingly voted to integrate
fully with France, a move that will bring financial benefits to
residents but also outlaw practices like polygamy and early
2009 Mar 29, Maurice Jarre
(b.1924), Oscar-winning French composer, died in LA. His film scores
included “Lawrence of Arabia" and “Doctor Zhivago."
2009 Mar 30, The French
government banned companies that get state funding from issuing
stock options to top managers and limited some other forms of
compensation in an effort to quell public anger over executive pay.
(WSJ, 3/31/09, p.B1)
2009 Mar 31, Angry French
workers facing layoffs at a Caterpillar factory briefly detained
four of their bosses at the US manufacturer's plant in the Alps to
protest job cuts.
2009 Apr 3, In France US Pres.
Obama won enthusiastic support for his new Afghan war strategy from
French Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy, who pledged more police trainers and
2009 Apr 3, NATO began its
2-day 60th anniversary summit in France and Germany.
2009 Apr 4, France and Germany
fully endorsed President Barack Obama's new Afghan war strategy but
firmly resisted sending more combat troops in a rift that
overshadowed symbols of unity at NATO 60th-anniversary summit.
NATO's European leaders pledged a significant increase in troops for
the US-led war in Afghanistan at their summit, but the alliance
seemed sure to arouse hostility in the Muslim world by choosing the
controversial Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen as the alliance's new
secretary general. All 28 NATO leaders unanimously approved
Rasmussen as the new civilian leader of the alliance. Black-clad
protesters attacked police and set a hotel and a customs station
ablaze near a bridge linking France and Germany that served hours
earlier as the backdrop for a show of unity by NATO leaders.
2009 Apr 4, In Sudan armed men
in the Darfur kidnapped two aid workers Claire Dubois of France and
Canadian Stephanie Jodoin, of Aid Medicale International (AMI). They
were seized from their compound in the south Darfur settlement of Ed
el Fursan. Both women were released on April 29.
(AFP, 4/5/09)(Reuters, 4/12/09)(AP, 4/30/09)
2009 Apr 8, In France workers
at a British-owned adhesives factory held three British executives
and a local manager captive over plans to close the site down.
Scapa, which announced in February it would close its plant in
Bellegarde, said it was forced to cut back after the market for car
industry adhesives collapsed by 50 percent in 2008. The managers
were released after being held overnight.
(AP, 4/8/09)(SFC, 4/9/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 9, French lawmakers
rejected a tough new Internet piracy bill that would cut off illegal
downloaders, in a surprise setback for President Nicolas Sarkozy's
2009 Apr 10, In France Ekaitz
Sirvent Auzmendi (29), suspected of being a master forger for ETA,
was captured by French and Spanish police as he got off a bullet
train that had arrived from Bordeaux at the French capital's
2009 Apr 10, France's navy
freed a sailboat seized off Somalia last week by pirates, but one of
the hostages was killed. Pirates had seized the sailboat carrying
Florent Lemacon, his wife, 3-year-old son and two friends off the
Somali coast a week ago. Two pirates were killed, and Lemacon died
in an exchange of fire as he tried to duck down the hatch.
2009 Apr 13, In France a
65-year-old man opened fire on three people apparently at random,
killing two. The man, who had holed up in a house in the town of
Douchy-les-Mines surrendered after the shootings.
2009 Apr 14, France's
government launched a campaign against forced marriages and genital
mutilation, seeking to protect women from practices that quietly
thrive in immigrant communities the nation is struggling to
2009 Apr 14, French author
Maurice Druon (b.1918), a fighter for France's World War II
Resistance movement and writer of one of its anthems, died. After
the conflict he wrote historical novels including the "Rois Maudits"
(Accursed Kings) series.
2009 Apr 15, A blockade by
French fishermen angry at EU quotas cut ferry links with Britain for
a second day as a union official threatened to block the Channel
Tunnel in support of the movement.
2009 Apr 15, French forces
detained 11 pirates during an assault on a pirate "mother ship" and
thwarted a pirate attack on a Liberian-registered vessel.
2009 Apr 16, French fishermen
allowed traffic to resume to three English Channel ports after
receiving a government promise of euro4 million ($5.27 million) in
aid, but they vowed to keep up their fight against European fishing
2009 Apr 18, French and Spanish
security forces thwarted a new ETA attack with the arrest of Jurdan
Martitegi, the military chief of the Basque separatist group, and
seven other suspected members.
(AFP, 4/19/09)(Econ, 4/25/09, p.56)
2009 Apr 18, Jon Anza Ortunez
(47), a member of the armed Basque group ETA, was last seen. ETA
blamed Spanish police for a role in his disappearance — a claim
Spain denied. ETA said Anza had been transporting a large sum of
money between the French cities of Bayonne, which is not far from
the border with Spain, and Toulouse for the group when he vanished.
In 2010 his body turned up in a morgue in France. French officials
told Anza's family that he had fallen ill on a street on April 29
and was taken to a hospital in Toulouse, where he died May 11. At
the time, no one was reportedly able to identify him.
2009 Apr 20, In southeast
France workers at a French subsidiary of the American company Molex
detained two bosses to protest plans to close the plant.
2009 Apr 21, French police
detained around 200 undocumented migrants in a major operation in
the Channel port of Calais.
2009 Apr 22, In northern
France an auto parts factory was closed after employees angry
over job losses ransacked offices and prompted new concern about
increasingly violent French worker protests.
2009 Apr 28, In California a
charter bus carrying French tourists overturned near Soledad killing
at least 5 people.
(SFC, 4/29/09, p.B1)
2009 May 1, May Day protesters
clashed with riot police in Germany, Turkey and Greece, while
thousands angry at the government's responses to the global
financial crisis took to the streets in France. Riot police battled
700 stone-throwing left-wing militants in Berlin for more than five
hours in May Day clashes that stretched into early pre-dawn hours.
(Reuters, 5/1/09)(AP, 5/2/09)
2009 May 3, A French naval
vessel intercepted 11 suspected pirates traveling off the Somali
coast in two assault vessels and a so-called "mothership" loaded
with Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers.
2009 May 12, Italian
anti-terrorism investigators said two French citizens behind bars
since last year on suspicion of smuggling migrants were al-Qaida
propaganda point men in Europe and were heard talking in jail about
a possible attack on a Paris airport. Bassam Ayachi (62) and Raphael
Frederic Gendron (33) were served warrants in jail accusing them of
criminal association for international terrorism. The men have been
held in Bari since November when they were arrested on suspicion of
smuggling two Syrians and three Palestinians into Italy.
2009 May 14, A French rocket
carrying the largest space telescope ever was launched into space on
a mission that European scientists hope will help unravel the
mystery of the universe's creation. The Ariane-5 rocket was loaded
with the Herschel space telescope and the Planck spacecraft,
carrying a payload of 5.3 tons (4.81 metric tons) when it launched
from the city of Kourou near the jungles of French Guiana.
2009 May 15, Lakhdar Boumediene
(43), a Guantanamo Bay prisoner who was at the center of a Supreme
Court battle over inmates' rights, arrived in France, which agreed
to take in the Algerian in a gesture to the Obama administration.
2009 May 20, British actress
Lucy Gordon (28), an up-and-coming talent who played a role in
Spider-Man 3 and will soon appear as Jane Birkin in a Serge
Gainsbourg biopic, killed herself in Paris.
2009 May 24, At the Cannes Film
Festival the film “The White Ribbon" by Austrian director Michael
Haneke won the top prize. Christolph Waltz won the best actor prize
for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Bastards." Charlotte
Gainsbourg won the best actress prize for her role in Lars von
(SFC, 5/25/09, p.E4)
2009 May 25, In Paris the
Church of Scientology and six of its French leaders went on trial on
charges of organized fraud that could lead to an outright ban on the
organization in France.
2009 May 26, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy opened his nation's first military base in the Gulf
outside Abu Dhabi, boosting the naval presence along strategic oil
routes and in pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast.
2009 May 26, In Paris the body
of Polish-born French woman Kinga Legg (36) was found at the
exclusive Hotel Bristol. Police sought her English boyfriend Ian
2009 May 30, In Paris a man,
wearing a suit and a hat, walked into the Chopard jewelry boutique
on the chic Place Vendome. He threatened employees with a gun and,
minutes later, walked calmly out of the store with loot worth up to
euro6.5 million. A suspect (52) was detained in the Belgian port
city of Antwerp in mid-July at the request of French justice
authorities. He was extradited to France several weeks later and put
in custody here.
2009 May, In France fashion
house of Christian Lacroix filed for bankruptcy. It had been founded
inside LVMH, a luxury goods group in 1987 and lost money every year
(Econ, 7/11/09, p.66)
2009 Jun 1, France implemented
its revenue de solidarite active (RSA), a welfare payment introduced
by anti-poverty campaigner Martin Hirsch.
2009 Jun 1, A missing Air
France Airbus A330 jet, Flight 447, carrying 228 people from Rio de
Janeiro to Paris ran into lightning and strong thunderstorms over
the Atlantic Ocean. Brazil soon began a search mission off its
2009 Jun 2, An airplane seat, a
life jacket, metallic debris and signs of fuel were found in the
middle of the Atlantic Ocean by Brazilian military pilots searching
for a missing Air France airliner Flight 447.
2009 Jun 6, President Barack
Obama at Omaha Beach, France, paid tribute to the Allies' 1944
D-Day landings, an invasion that turned the tide of World War II and
cemented the trans-Atlantic alliance.
2009 Jun 6, Jean Dausset
(1916), French immunologist, died. The 1980 Nobel prize-winner was a
pioneer behind organ transplants and the mapping of the human
genome. Dausset's discovery in 1958 of the human leukocyte antigen
(HLA) tissue system allowed doctors to verify compatibility between
donor and receiver for an organ transplant.
2009 Jun 6, Brazilian search
crews retrieved the first 2 bodies in the Atlantic from the May 31
crash of Air France Flight 447. Investigators said faulty
speed readings had been found on the same type of jets.
2009 Jun 7, Brazilian and
French ships recovered 14 more bodies from ocean near Air France
crash, bringing the total to 16.
(AP, 6/7/09)(SFC, 6/8/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 8, Brazilian and
French ships recovered 8 more bodies from Air France Flight 447,
bringing the total recovered to 24. The tail section of the plane
was also recovered. The plane disappeared during a flight from Rio
de Janeiro to Paris on May 31 amid strong thunderstorms.
(AP, 6/9/09)(SFC, 6/9/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 9, In France Veronique
Courjault (41), went on trial after admitting killing two baby boys
born secretly in Seoul in 2002 and 2003, and a third child born in
France in 1999. On June 18 she was convicted and sentenced to 8
years in prison.
(AFP, 6/9/09)(SFC, 6/19/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 10, The French nuclear
submarine Emeraude reached the crash zone of Air France Flight 447
where 41 of 228 bodies have been recovered.
2009 Jun 12, A Brazilian ship
recovered three more bodies from the Atlantic bringing the total to
44. Searchers said weather and currents complicated their job and
warned it is unlikely that all the dead from Air France Flight 447
will be found.
2009 Jun 13, Brazil reported
that a French ship had found six more bodies from Air France Flight
447, which would bring the total to 50. It went down May 31 with 228
2009 Jun 19, Isamu Akasaki
(80), a professor at Nagoya University in central Japan, was among
the winners of this year's Kyoto Prizes. He will receive the
advanced technology award for his pioneering work in the development
of blue light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. Peter (72) and Rosemary
Grant (72), a husband-and-wife team of biologists from Princeton
University, won for their decades of research on evolution in the
Galapagos Islands and will share an award of $515,000. This year's
award in arts and philosophy went to French composer and conductor
Pierre Boulez (84).
2009 Jun 22, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy declared that the Islamic burqa is not welcome in
France, branding the face-covering, body-length gown as a symbol of
subservience that suppresses women's identities.
2009 Jun 23, The French
parliament created a commission to study the wearing of
body-covering burqas and niqabs in France, a day after President
Nicolas Sarkozy said the Islamic garment turns women into prisoners.
2009 Jun 23, Frederic
Mitterrand (b.1947) was appointed to the French government as the
Minister of Culture and Communications.
2009 Jun 26, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy said that Martinique is free to hold a referendum on
greater political autonomy but made clear the island would always
belong to France.
2009 Jun 30, A Yemenia Airbus
310 jet with 153 people on board crashed into the Indian Ocean as it
tried to land during strong winds on the island nation of Comoros.
The passengers were on the last leg of a journey from Paris and
Marseilles to Comoros with a stop in Yemen to change planes. Bahia
Bakari (14), the only person to survive, was plucked from the sea
after clinging to wreckage for 13 hours. Investigators on Aug 28
retrieved the slightly damaged flight data recorder and 10 more
bodies from the Yemenia Airways flight. The voice recorder was
recovered on Aug 29. On Nov 15, 2013, France charged Yemenia Airways
with manslaughter over the crash.
(AP, 6/30/09)(SFC, 7/2/09, p.A3)(AP,
2009 Jun 30, Shi Pei Pu
(b.1938), a Chinese operatic soprano, died in Paris. His affair with
French lover Bernard Boursicot (b.1945), inspired the 1988 play and
1993 film “M. Butterfly." Both were arrested for espionage in 1983
and convicted in 1986. Shi was pardoned in 1987.
(SFC, 7/4/09, p.B3)
2009 Jul 1, In Iran Clotilde
Reiss (24), a French academic, was among the hundreds of people
detained following the disputed presidential elections. She was
released on bail after a month and a half and later convicted of
provoking unrest and spying. In May, 2010, she was released after
paying a $300,000 fine.
(AP, 5/15/10)(AP, 5/16/10)
2009 Jul 4, A joint
French-Spanish operation captured 3 suspected members of ETA in the
French city of Pau.
(SFC, 7/6/09, p.A2)
2009 Jul 8, In France some 60
youths rioted outside Saint-Etienne after hearing that man had tried
to hang himself in jail. Mohamed Benmouna (21) died soon after at a
(SFC, 7/9/09, p.A2)
2009 Jul 14, In Somalia two
French officials working as security advisers to the Somali
government were kidnapped in Mogadishu. Agent Marc Aubriere managed
to escape on August 26. Secret-agent Alexx Denis remained captive.
(Reuters, 7/14/09)(AP, 8/26/09)(SFC, 8/27/09,
p.A2)(Econ, 8/13/11, p.45)
2009 Jul 16, In Marseilles,
France, a worker was killed immediately when the roof of a stage
being built for a Madonna concert fell apart on top of several
workers. Madonna canceled her scheduled July 19 performance. A
2nd worker died the next day.
2009 Jul 21, French factory
workers angry over layoffs and cost cuts locked up their bosses at a
Michelin tire plant and a US-owned cigarette-paper mill. The
managers were released the next morning after regional officials
offered to mediate.
2009 Jul 24, In Europe deadly
summer wild fires spread across Spain, France, Italy and Greece with
holidaymakers rescued from beaches and thousands of firefighters
brought into the battle.
2009 Jul 27, A Congo government
spokesman said The Democratic Republic of Congo has suspended
transmission of French broadcaster Radio France International (RFI).
2009 Aug 1, In Afghanistan 3 US
troops were killed by improvised explosives in Kandahar province and
a French soldier was killed in an insurgent attack in Kapisa
province. Two more ISAF troops were killed when two bomb blasts
struck their patrol in the south. A dozen rebels were killed in a
gunfight with police in the southwestern province of Nimroz. 4
Afghan soldiers were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside
bomb planted by "terrorists" in southern Helmand province. 3
policemen including a senior officer were killed when their vehicle
struck a roadside bomb in the northern province of Baghlan.
(AFP, 8/1/09)(AFP, 8/2/09)
2009 Aug 8, In Mauritania a
suicide bomber killed himself outside the French Embassy, wounding
two embassy guards and a woman in the street. An African branch of
Al-Qaida later said the attack was a response to the aggression of
"crusaders" including former colonial ruler France, and to
Mauritanian leaders against Islam and Muslims.
(AP, 8/8/09)(AP, 8/18/09)
2009 Aug 9, The French
advertising group Publicis said it would buy the digital advertising
agency Razorfish from Microsoft for 530 million dollars (380 million
2009 Aug 11, In France restive
youths in a Paris suburb torched a tourist bus and nearly a
half-dozen cars and hurled objects at police, in a night of
fullblown unrest prompted by the death of a teen fleeing police on
Aug 9. Some witnesses claimed a police car hit the young
motorcyclist after he tried to flee a document check outside the
2009 Aug 12, A French teenager
(16) shot and killed his parents and twin brothers, apparently while
they were asleep in their home on the island of Corsica.
2009 Aug 12, In France a
35-year-old convert to Islam, identified only as Carole, complained
of religious discrimination after trying to go swimming in a
"burquini," a full-body swimsuit, in the town of Emerainville,
southeast of Paris. Officials insisted they banned the woman's use
of the Islam-friendly suit at a local pool because of France's pool
2009 Aug 19, French police with
Spanish help detained three suspected members of Basque separatist
group ETA in a French Alps ski resort and seized material for making
explosives, after a series of bombings claimed by the group on the
Spanish island of Mallorca.
2009 Aug 20, A French
government-sponsored report was released saying that decomposing
algae covering some beaches in Brittany represent a serious health
risk and gases that can kill within minutes were detected on a beach
where a horse died last month.
2009 Sep 1, Malaysian police
arrested Alain Robert (47), a French climber nicknamed "Spiderman,"
after he scaled the iconic 88-story Petronas Twin Towers.
2009 Sep 8, Deutsche Telekom AG
and France Telecom SA said they intend to combine their British
mobile phone units, shaking up the country's intensely competitive
market and forming the country's biggest mobile operator. Analysts
said Nokia Siemens Networks, the key equipment vendor to British
operations of Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom, had most to lose
in the merger.
(AP, 9/8/09)(Reuters, 9/8/09)
2009 Sep 10, A new book, whose
title translates as "Hold-Ups, Swindles and Treasons," by French
journalists Antonin Andre and Karim Rissouli, hit French stores
alleging that a vote last year to elect the leader of France's
Socialist Party was rigged, sparking further disarray among the
once-mighty champions of the left.
2009 Sep 12, Willy Ronis (99),
the last of the great French photographers, died. Lovers, nudes and
scenes from Paris streets were the mainstay of Ronis' photographs in
an award-winning career that began in the 1930s.
2009 Sep 14, France Telecom SA
summoned all 20,000 of its managers to a conference call in an
effort to respond to a string of 23 employee suicides that unions
blame partly on layoffs and restructuring at the telecommunications
2009 Sep 14, In Somalia foreign
troops firing from helicopters killed at least two people in a car
and then took two others captive in a town controlled by Islamic
insurgents. One witness said the helicopters took off from a warship
flying a French flag, but that could not be confirmed.
2009 Sep 15, The Frankfurt auto
show opened. The French company Renault unveiled a lineup that
includes a purely electric sedan, without a backup internal
combustion engine. Renault says the vehicle will be in showrooms by
2009 Sep 17, In Brussels French
Pres. Sarkozy said EU leaders have agreed to impose a cap on
(SFC, 9/18/09, p.A2)
2009 Sep 17, Serbian men
brutally attacked Brice Taton (28), a French soccer fan, in front of
a downtown cafe in the Serbian capital before Partizan Belgrade's
Europa Cup match against Toulouse. On Jan 25 a Belgrade court
convicted 14 Serbs of the fatal beating of Taton. Two of the
convicted remain at large and were tried in absentia.
2009 Sep 18, Angry French
farmers dumped millions of liters of fresh milk next to next the
famed Mont Saint-Michel, one of France's most famous tourist sites,
to denounce the slumping cost of milk and an EU plan to end
production quotas, which could further drive prices down.
2009 Sep 22, French police
cleared out, then bulldozed, a squalid forest camp near the northern
city of Calais, detaining hundreds of illegal immigrants who had
hoped to slip across the English Channel into Britain.
2009 Sep 22, A sharply divided
EU failed to protect the threatened bluefin tuna, as the bloc's
Mediterranean nations refused to back even a temporary a ban on
catching the fish prized by sushi aficionados. Greece, Cyprus,
Malta, Spain, France and Italy, with strong fishermen's lobbies at
home, insisted on continuing the hunt despite the precarious state
of the species. Conservation groups had earlier criticized the EU
for not pushing to list the bluefin tuna under the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species.
2009 Sep 24, Two French
military fighter Rafale jets crashed into the Mediterranean Sea
during a training mission and one pilot was missing.
2009 Oct 1, Benjamin Chocat
(20), from Choisy-Le-Roi south of Paris, and his mother Christiane
Chocat (51), a councilor in Lumigny-Nesles-Ormeaux southeast of
Paris, helped to smuggle at least 13 men and 3 women in a hire van
on a ferry from Cherbourg in France to Portsmouth. The Vietnamese
immigrants were hidden behind boxes of shrimp noodles.
2009 Oct 2, In France Armenia's
President Serge Sarkisian started his tour of Armenian communities
worldwide amid violent protests from members of a diaspora angry
over plans to establish ties with Turkey.
2009 Oct 6, In Kazakhstan
French President Nicolas Sarkozy scored a diplomatic coup during a
visit, overseeing an agreement to allow military hardware for French
forces fighting in Afghanistan to pass through Kazakh territory and
clinching a raft of lucrative energy deals.
2009 Oct 7, Egypt's antiquities
department severed its ties with France's Louvre museum because it
has refused to return what are described as stolen artifacts,
2009 Oct 7, Somali pirates in
two skiffs fired on a French navy vessel after apparently mistaking
it for a commercial boat. The French ship gave chase and captured
five suspected pirates.
2009 Oct 8, French police
arrested Adlene Hicheur, a nuclear physicist in Vienne, on suspicion
that he had links to terrorist organizations in Algeria. The man had
been working on analysis projects with the LHCb experiment at CERN
(AP, 10/9/09)(AFP, 3/29/12)
2009 Oct 8, French utility
group GDF Suez said it had signed a contract worth 3.0 billion
dollars (2.0 billion euros) to supply electricity to subsidiaries of
the Chilean electricity company EMEL.
2009 Oct 9, France's culture
minister agreed to return painted wall fragments to Egypt after a
row over their ownership prompted the country to cut ties with the
2009 Oct 10, The French
military fired on pirates in the Indian Ocean to protect two tuna
2009 Oct 11, Pope Benedict XVI
canonized five new saints, including Father Damien, a 19th-century
priest who worked with leprosy patients on a Hawaiian island;
Zygmunt Szcezesny Felinski, a 19th-century Polish bishop who
defended the Catholic faith during the years of the Russian
annexation; Spaniards Francisco Coll y Guitart, who founded an order
of Dominicans in the 19th century, and Rafael Arniaz Baron, who
renounced an affluent lifestyle at age 22 to live a humble life in a
strict monastery and dedicate himself to prayer; and Jeanne Jugan
(d.1879), a French nun, who helped found the Little Sisters of the
2009 Oct 13, French soldiers in
the Indian Ocean opened fire on pirates, warding off an attack on
two French tuna fishing vessels off the Seychelles Islands.
2009 Oct 15, A French court
turned down a bid by Fabienne Justel, a 39-year-old widow, to
retrieve her late husband's frozen sperm in order to have his child
by insemination in another country. A French law prohibited
2009 Oct 15, Italy and NATO
denied a newspaper report that the Italian intelligence secretly
paid the Taliban thousands of dollars to maintain peace in an area
in Afghanistan that was under Italian control. The Times of London
had just reported that Italy had paid "tens of thousands of dollars"
to Taliban commanders and warlords in the Surobi district. It
accused Rome of failing to inform its allies about the payments and
of misleading the French, who took over the Surobi district in
mid-2008, into thinking the area was quiet and safe. An ambush of
the French in a mountain pass on Aug. 18, 2008, was the biggest
single combat loss for international forces in Afghanistan in more
than three years.
2009 Oct 16, French farmers
struggling with slumping grain prices blanketed the Champs-Elysees
with bales of hay and set them ablaze, and blocked highways around
the country as they demanded government help.
2009 Oct 19, French police
apprehended suspected ETA militant Aitor Elizaran (30) in a car park
at the wheel of a stolen car in the Brittany seaside town of Carnac,
along with a woman suspect, Oihana Sanvicente (32). They were soon
charged with conspiracy to collaborate with a terrorist
2009 Oct 22, In Sudan gunmen
kidnapped Gauthier Lefevre (35), a French staff member working for
the International Committee of the Red Cross, in the western Darfur
region. The kidnappers soon demanded a three-million-euro ransom.
(AP, 10/22/09)(AFP, 10/27/09)
2009 Oct 23, In France Jean
Sarkozy (23), President Nicolas Sarkozy's son, was elected to the
board of the organization that runs France's most important business
district after a dramatic withdrawal of his bid for the top spot
amid fierce accusations of favoritism. He had been the leading
candidate to head EPAD, a quasi-governmental organization overseeing
real estate and the administration of La Defense, the neighborhood
of skyscrapers west of Paris that is home to top companies and the
workplace of 150,000 people.
2009 Oct 27, A Paris court
convicted the French branch of the Church of Scientology of fraud
and fined it more than euro600,000 ($900,000), but stopped short of
banning the group as prosecutors had demanded.
(AP, 10/27/09)(SFC, 10/28/09, p.A4)
2009 Oct 28, Somali pirates
exchanged fire with a French fishing vessel. They sped away, but
were soon stopped by a Spanish naval helicopter. 7 pirates were
detained on the German naval vessel, FGS Karlsruhe.
2009 Oct 31, A Russian news
agency reported that Moscow plans to buy a French amphibious assault
ship, the first such purchase from a NATO country, as the Kremlin
seeks to reaffirm Russia's global reach.
2009 Nov 2, French-born writer
Marie Ndiaye (b.1967) won France's top literary prize for "Three
Strong Women," her moving tale of the struggles of women in Europe
and Africa. She was born in Pithiviers, to a French mother and a
Senegalese father and currently lived in Berlin.
2009 Nov 3, Claude Levi-Strauss
(b.1908), Brussels-born French intellectual, died. He was widely
considered the father of modern anthropology for work that included
theories about commonalities between tribal and industrial
societies. His books included literary and anthropological classics
such as "Tristes Tropiques" (1955), "The Savage Mind" (1963) and
"The Raw and the Cooked" (1964).
(AP, 11/3/09)(Econ, 11/14/09, p.106)
2009 Nov 5, In France security
workers picked up euro11.6 million ($17.2 million) in cash at the
Banque de France branch in Lyon. They then stopped at another bank
and while two security workers were inside that bank, the driver
made off with the cash. Loomis identified the alleged thief as Tony
Musulin (39). As no violence was involved in the theft, Musulin
risked only three years in jail if caught and charged. On Nov 9 Lyon
Prosecutor Xavier Richaud said euro9.5 million ($14.25 million) in
cash was found in a storage space near a railway track where police
earlier found the security truck used in the theft. On Nov 16
Musulin handed himself in to police in Monaco. Musulin was convicted
on May 11, 2010, and sentenced to 3 years in prison.
(AP, 11/7/09)(SFC, 11/7/09, p.A2)(AP,
11/9/09)(AFP, 11/16/09)(SFC, 5/12/10, p.A2)
2009 Nov 9, In eastern Chad a
French Red Cross staff member was abducted by several armed men,
close to the border with Sudan. Laurent Maurice was freed in Sudan
on Feb 6.
(AFP, 11/10/09)(AP, 2/7/10)
2009 Nov 11, The leaders of
France and Germany appeared together at a ceremony in Paris, for the
first time since World War I, to commemorate the end of the
conflict, saying it is now time to celebrate their countries'
reconciliation and friendship.
2009 Nov 13, The French
government said its navy has seized 3 boats of Somalia’s coast and
detained 12 suspected pirates, while seizing an arsenal including
assault rifles and rocket launchers.
(SFC, 11/14/09, p.A2)
2009 Nov 16, French tire maker
Michelin announced plans to invest nearly 900 million dollars to
build a tire plant to supply India's fast-growing vehicle market.
2009 Nov 18, In France a 2-day
Congress of the International Association of Francophone Mayors
opened in Paris. The mayors jeered a speech by PM Francois Fillon
and denounced an effort to emasculate local power.
2009 Nov 19, In France South
Korean model Daul Kim (20), a fashion week regular in New York,
Milan and Paris, was been found hanged in her Paris apartment.
2009 Nov 20, In France a man
with an automatic rifle opened fire on a car near a Paris train
station, killing one man and wounding two others.
2009 Nov 22, In the northeast
of Central African Republic 2 French aid workers in Birao were
kidnapped by a gang of armed men, close to the border with Sudan.
Olivier Denis and Olivier Frappe wee freed on March 14, 2010, in
(AFP, 11/24/09)(AFP, 3/14/10)
2009 Nov 25, In Mali gunmen
kidnapped Pierre Camatte, a French national, in the remote east. The
kidnapping was attributed to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Camatte was released on Feb 23, 2010.
(Reuters, 11/26/09)(AFP, 12/1/09)(SFC, 2/24/10,
2009 Nov 26, In Lyon, France,
thieves used a sledgehammer to smash through the reinforced glass on
a downtown Cartier storefront. They then swiped jewelry and watches
from display cases. In Dec police recovered nearly euro800,000
($1,181,900) in jewels stolen in the holdup. Officers came across
the stash by accident while searching the apartment of a suspect in
another jewelry theft. The suspect was still at large.
2009 Nov 26, Georgia’s foreign
minister said his country is very worried about the possible sale of
French warships to Russia and intends to press the issue of security
guarantees in France.
2009 Nov 28, French Transport
Minister Dominique Bussereau said Russia has given the green light
for Air France's A380 superjumbo to overfly Siberia, opening the way
for a projected Paris-Tokyo service. The accord was approved by PM
Vladimir Putin at the end of a two-day visit to France which saw a
number of business deals concluded. Putin's trip also secured a deal
for French investment in a key pipeline project and the struggling
Avtovaz car maker, as well as a promise that France will consider
selling Moscow a huge amphibious assault ship.
2009 Nov 29, France and Rwanda
agreed to restore diplomatic ties three years after they were cut
off amid tensions over a French judicial investigation.
2009 Dec 2, In France the
Pompidou Center modern art museum and the Musee d'Orsay, with its
famed paintings by the Impressionists, closed after workers angry
about a government cost-cutting measure voted to strike. Workers at
the Louvre also voted to strike, but by mid-morning parts of the
sprawling complex had been opened to visitors. The Rodin Museum, the
Arc de Triomphe and the Palais de Versailles were also affected.
2009 Dec 8, Ratings agency
Moody's warned of a "fiscal crisis" lasting "several years" in
Britain, France, Germany and the United States, but saw no immediate
threat to their top AAA credit assessments.
2009 Dec 16, France’s Finance
Minister Christine Lagarde said France will follow Britain and slap
a 50 percent tax on bankers' bonuses above 27,500 euros (40,000
2009 Dec 16, Egypt's
antiquities chief said the wall paintings that caused a feud between
Egypt and the Louvre Museum will be returned to their original
location in a tomb in Luxor.
2009 Dec 18, A French judge
filed preliminary charges against former Pres. Jacques Chirac over
allegations that Paris City Hall paid for jobs in his political
party when was mayor, part of a financing scandal that has long
dogged the man who for decades dominated French politics.
2009 Dec 18, A Paris court
ruled that Google Inc. is breaking French law with its policy of
digitizing books, handing the US Internet giant a euro10,000
($14,300)-a-day fine until it rids its database of the literary
2009 Dec 18, The European
Medicines Agency (EMEA) recommended the withdrawal of all medicines
containing benfluorex, a diabetes and weight-loss drug, in the
European Union. In 2010 French officials said the drug, marketed as
mediator, may have been linked to the deaths of 500 people over the
33 years it was on the market. Fenfluramine, a related drug, had
been withdrawn from the market in 1997 after reports of heart valve
disease, pulmonary hypertension, and development of cardiac
2009 Dec 19, Four passenger
trains broke down in the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France,
stranding more than 2,000 passengers for hours, many without
heating, light or water. Fatigued passengers arrived in London 10
hours late after a long night trapped on trains. The problem began
because of the abrupt temperature change when trains traveled
through extremely cold air in France and then entered the warm
2009 Dec 21, Eurostar halted
services for a third day to probe a breakdown of trains through the
Channel Tunnel that stranded thousands, prompting an angry French
government to demand an explanation and call its own inquiry.
President Nicolas Sarkozy summoned the head of the French train
authority to the Elysee Palace and ordered him to get the Eurostar
moving again after a three-day suspension of the cross-Channel train
service that has wreaked havoc on the holiday travel plans of some
40,000 people. The death toll from winter storms across Europe rose
to at least 80 as transport chaos spread amid mounting anger over
the failure of high-speed trains.
(AP, 12/21/09)(AFP, 12/21/09)(Reuters, 12/21/09)
2009 Dec 21, China and France
hailed their reinvigorated ties and sealed a series of economic
deals during a visit to Beijing by PM Francois Fillon. Electricite
de France (EDF) and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC)
formalized their joint venture for the construction of two nuclear
reactors at a power plant in Taishan in southern Guangdong province.
French aerospace and defense industries group Safran and US
conglomerate General Electric won a multi-billion-dollar contract to
equip China's future C919 passenger jet with engines.
2009 Dec 22, Eurostar resumed
its high-speed rail service linking Britain, France and Belgium
after a three-day suspension that stranded tens of thousands of
2009 Dec 29, In France an armed
robber burst into a jewelry store in southern Paris and made off
with euro100,000 ($144,330) worth of watches and jewels.
2009 John Bowen authored “Can
Islam Be French: Pluralism and Pragmatism in a Secularist State."
(Econ, 12/12/09, p.93)
2009 France’s 194 prisons, with
a capacity of 51,000, housed some 63,000 prisoners. It was estimated
that 20% of the inmates were mentally il. Over half of the inmates
(Econ, 5/16/09, p.57)
2009 The US helped fund a
training camp for nearly 1,000 Somali soldiers in neighboring
Djibouti. The French-trained troops were supposed to earn $100 per
month, but about half of them deserted because they were not paid.
Some returned to ordinary life and others joined the al-Shabab
(SFC, 4/28/10, p.A3)
2010 Jan 2, French police said
about 30 works of art, including paintings by Pablo Picasso and
Henri Rousseau, have been stolen from the home of a private
collector in southern La Cadiere-d'Azur, near Marseilles. The theft
comes days after a drawing by Impressionist Edgar Degas worth
euro800,000 ($1.15 million) was stolen from the Cantini Museum in
2010 Jan 3, Eric Rohmer
(b.1920), French new Wave film director and critic, died in Paris.
His first feature film, “The Sign of Leo," was released in 1959.
(SFC, 1/15/10, p.C5)
2010 Jan 7, Eurostar passengers
faced further disruption after one of its high-speed trains got
stuck for 2 hours in the Channel Tunnel again, weeks after a major
breakdown due to the cold.
2010 Jan 7, Rwanda and France
pledged to improve ties after a lengthy freeze in diplomatic
relations triggered by a French judge issuing arrest warrants for
top aides to President Paul Kagame.
2010 Jan 8, The beleaguered
Eurostar train service cancelled half of its trains between London
and Paris because of freezing temperatures.
2010 Jan 9, Four suspected
members of the Basque separatist group ETA were arrested in Portugal
and France, one driving a van loaded with explosives near a police
barracks. two police officers stopped the van in Spain when their
suspicions were raised by its French license plates. The driver of
the van then pushed passed the police and proceeded to flee the
scene driving off in their patrol car which he stole. The police
alerted their Portuguese counterparts who rapidly arrested the man
and a woman, who had been following the van in a presumed getaway
vehicle with French plates.
2010 Jan 10, Heavy snowfall
caused havoc in parts of Europe, causing hundreds of traffic
accidents, downing power lines in Poland, halting flights out of
southern France and trapping more than 160 people overnight on a
frozen highway in northeastern coastal Germany.
2010 Jan 10, Voters in French
Guiana overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to give local government
more autonomy while remaining a part of France. 70% voted "no," with
2010 Jan 10, Voters in
Martinique overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to give local
government more autonomy while remaining a part of France. Election
officials said 80% of voters rejected the plan, with 55%
participation. An estimated 50,000 people were unemployed on
Martinique, home to some 400,000 inhabitants.
2010 Jan 13, In France a
Chinese student (26) stabbed to death a 49-year-old secretary and
wounded three teachers in an attack at a university in the southern
town of Perpignan.
2010 Jan 15, In Haiti the UN
and other aid organizations struggled to get food and water to
stricken millions. Fears spread of unrest among the people in their
fourth day of desperation. France urged Haiti’s creditors to cancel
the nation’s debt.
(AP, 1/15/10)(SFC, 1/16/10, p.A2)
2010 Jan 20, A French court
ruled that a Russian Orthodox cathedral built on the French Riviera
nearly a century ago under Czar Nicholas II now belongs to Moscow.
The ruling was a defeat for an association founded by Russians who
fled the Bolshevik Revolution that has been fighting to maintain its
control over the Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Nice, and its
archbishop is accusing the Russian government of a land grab as part
of a national pride campaign.
2010 Jan 27, France's main
Jewish organization, CRIF, says at least 18 tombstones at the
Cronenbourg cemetery in Strasbourg were found marked with swastikas
and 13 of them were overturned. The desecration came as Jews marked
the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz death camp.
2010 Jan 28, France's
ex-premier Dominique de Villepin was acquitted of charges of
plotting to smear Nicolas Sarkozy and sabotage his presidential bid
in a verdict seen as bolstering his chance at a comeback.
2010 Feb 2, Venezuela deported
alleged major drug traffickers to the US and France. Suspected
Colombian drug kingpin Salomon Camacho Mora, French smuggling
suspect Jean Marie Bonnamy and alleged Colombian paramilitary member
Oscar Ospino were ferried to the nation's main airport for
2010 Feb 6, Interfax reported
that French Pres. Sarkozy has sanctioned the sale of a Mistral
amphibious assault ship to Russia.
(SSFC, 2/7/10, p.A6)
2010 Feb 8, French engineering
giant Areva said that it will buy Ausra, a Mountain View, Ca.,
startup specializing in large-scale solar power.
(SFC, 2/9/10, p.D1)
2010 Feb 13, French transport
and utility group Veolia was given the green light to run passenger
trains in France in competition with national rail operator SNCF.
2010 Feb 17, France's Pres.
Nicolas Sarkozy made the first visit ever by a French president to
Haiti, once his nation's richest colony. Sarkozy said France will
cancel Haiti’s 56 million in debt and pledged hundreds of millions
in aid for the catastrophic Jan 12 earthquake.
(AP, 2/17/10)(SFC, 2/18/10, p.A3)
2010 Feb 22, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy met with Total Chairman Thierry Desmarest for talks
about a labor strike that has shuttered over half of France's oil
refining capacity. Workers at all six of Total SA's French
refineries and at six of its 31 fuel depots have been on strike for
five days over the uncertain future of a plant in Dunkirk, in
northern France. Workers at France's fourth-largest refinery,
British-owned chemicals company INEOS, met to vote on whether they
too would join the widening strike.
2010 Feb 24, French oil giant
Total said it is to invest seven billion dollars (5.16 billion
euros) in Nigerian oil and gas exploration and production over the
next four to five years.
2010 Feb 25, In Rwanda French
Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy visited with pres. Paul Kagame too cement
improved diplomatic relations following years of acrimony,
recriminations and diplomatic standoffs over events surrounding the
1994 genocide. He said France made serious errors of judgment over
the genocide, and those responsible for the killings should be found
and punished, including any who might be residing in France.
(Reuters, 2/25/10)(AP, 2/25/10)
2010 Feb 26, In France a strike
by air traffic controllers disrupted flight for a 4th day and some
Air France pilots walked off the job to protest cost cutting
(SFC, 2/27/10, p.A2)
2010 Feb 28, The leader of the
armed Basque group ETA was arrested in France, in another setback
for the separatists, who have seen five of their commanders taken
into custody in the last two years. Eta chief Ibon Gogeascoechea and
two other suspected separatists, Jose Ayestaran and Beinat
Aginagalde, were arrested in a joint French-Spanish police operation
in the village of Cahan, France.
(AP, 2/28/10)(Econ, 3/6/10, p.69)
2010 Feb 28, A violent late
winter storm named Xynthia battered France, Spain, Portugal and
Germany with fierce rain and hurricane-strength winds. The storm
smashed sea walls and killed at least 62 people across western
(AP, 2/28/10)(AP, 3/1/10)(SFC, 3/2/10, p.A2)
2010 Mar 1, France and Russia
pursued their burgeoning courtship with a formal state visit by
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Paris, which is angling to sell
Moscow a massive warship and secure stakes in pipelines pumping
Russian gas to western Europe.
2010 Mar 2, French authorities
arrested Agathe Habyarimana, the widow of the former Rwandan
president killed in a plane crash, on a Rwandan warrant issued on
genocide-related charges. She was soon freed on bail. The crash is
widely considered the event that sparked the east African country's
1994 genocide. In 2004 France rejected her request for political
asylum, alleging she was at the heart of the regime responsible for
(AP, 3/2/10)(Econ, 3/6/10, p.65)
2010 Mar 5, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy summoned bank leaders to his Elysee palace to order
them to boost lending to the economy and smaller companies.
2010 Mar 5, Swarms of Somali
pirates moved into the waters off East Africa, triggering four
shootouts with French and Spanish fishing vessels including a
skirmish with French military personnel that sunk a pirate skiff.
2010 Mar 14, France voted in
regional polls. French voters scarred by economic crisis dealt
President Nicolas Sarkozy and his conservative leadership a stern
blow by strongly favoring leftist candidates in regional elections.
(AFP, 3/14/10)(AP, 3/15/10)
2010 Mar 21 In France the
second-round regional poll left Pres. Sarkozy's right-wing UMP in
charge of only one of the mainland regions in the last ballot-box
test of his popularity before the 2012 presidential vote. The
Socialists won 54% of the vote.
(AFP, 3/22/10)(Econ, 3/27/10, p.18)
2010 Mar 24, Dozens of French
sex workers proclaiming themselves proud to be prostitutes marched
to protest a lawmaker's proposal to legalize brothels in France,
arguing that such a law would deny them the freedom to work on their
2010 Mar 25, Former French PM
Dominique de Villepin announced the creation of a new center-right
party set to challenge bitter rival President Nicolas Sarkozy in
elections in two years' time.
2010 Apr 4, In France masked
men brandishing assault rifles burst into a crowded casino in Lyon,
fired shots at the ceiling and made off with about euro28,000
2010 Apr 7, Auto giants
Renault, Nissan and Daimler launched a partnership to save billions
of euros and accelerate sales of low-pollution electric cars.
2010 Apr 9, France and Italy
agreed to cooperate more closely to increase nuclear power
generation and vowed to come to the aid of debt-laden Greece in
order to defend the euro.
2010 Apr 10, French explorer
Jean-Louis Etienne (63) made the first Arctic crossing by balloon,
landing in the tundra of eastern Siberia five days after taking off
2010 Apr 16, Renault announced
that it has pulled out of a joint venture with Indian car
manufacturer Mahindra and Mahindra, which produced its first car for
the growing South Asian market, the Logan.
2010 Apr 22, Al-Qaida in North
Africa kidnapped Frenchman Michel Germaneau (78) in northern Niger.
On May 14 a militant Web site said it wanted to trade him for the
group's prisoners in France and other nations. A day before the
kidnapping, four Sahara Desert nations opened a joint military
headquarters in the Algerian city of Tamanrasset to combat terrorism
and trafficking. On July 25 al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb said it
had killed the 78-year-old French hostage in retaliation for the
killing of six al-Qaida members in a recent raid by Mauritanian
forces aided by the French military.
(AP, 5/14/10)(AP, 7/25/10)
2010 Apr 26, Former Panamanian
dictator Manuel Noriega extradited was from the US to France to face
money laundering charges in a French courtroom, opening up a whole
new legal battle for the strongman who spent two decades behind bars
in Florida for drug trafficking.
2010 Apr 28, In Beijing France
and China said they would work together to consider an overhaul of
the global monetary system, at the start of a state visit by French
President Nicolas Sarkozy.
2010 May 4, French lawmakers
decided to return 16 tattooed and mummified Maori heads to New
Zealand, ending years of debate on what to do with the human remains
acquired long ago by French museums seeking exotic curiosities.
2010 May 8, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that
Europe will set up an intervention mechanism to calm markets rattled
by the Greek debt crisis.
2010 May 9, A plume of volcanic
ash snaked its way through southern France, Switzerland, Italy and
Germany, shutting down airports and disrupting flights across
2010 May 11, French lawmakers
unanimously passed a resolution, 434-0, asserting that face-covering
Muslim veils are contrary to the principles of liberty, equality and
(SFC, 5/12/10, p.A2)
2010 May 16, Clotilde Reiss
(24), a young French academic who battled spying charges in Iran for
more than 10 months, returned to France and thanked President
Nicolas Sarkozy and other officials for insisting on her innocence
and pressing for her release.
2010 May 17, France decided to
send home an Iranian agent it had jailed for murdering the Shah's
last prime minister, two days after Tehran freed a young French
academic accused of spying. Ali Vakili Rad was serving a life
sentence for stabbing Shapour Bakhtiar to death at his home outside
Paris in August 1991.
2010 May 19, The French
government decided to impose a $185 fine on women who wear a
full-face Islamic veil in public. The legislation was forwarded to
(SFC, 5/20/10, p.A2)
2010 May 20, In France a lone
thief stole five paintings valued at $123 million, including major
works by Picasso and Matisse, in an overnight heist from the Paris
Museum of Modern Art.
(AP, 5/20/10)(SFC, 5/21/10, p.A2)
2010 May 20, French police
arrested the leader of Basque separatist group ETA and his second in
command, calling it an important blow but not a death knell for the
2010 May 22, At the
Cannes film festival “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,"
a surreal tale of the afterlife with giant monkeys and an erotic
catfish scored gold for Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
2010 May 26, In France Eugene
Rwamucyo, a Rwandan doctor accused of participation in the 1994
Tutsi genocide, was arrested. He was dismissed from his hospital
post in northern France last month, and was wanted by Kigali for
allegedly planning and carrying out atrocities in the Butare region
of southern Rwanda.
2010 May 27, In France
thousands of workers staged strikes across the country to protest
government plans to raise the retirement age past 60, one of the
lowest in Europe.
(SFC, 5/28/10, p.A2)
2010 May 31, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy opened a France-Africa summit saying Africa will
fuel world economic growth for decades to come and must have a
stronger voice in global affairs. Guinea Bissau's Pres. Malam Bacai
Sanha, among the 38 African leaders attending the summit in Nice,
called for an international effort to help him fight drug
trafficking in his west African country.
(AP, 5/31/10)(AFP, 5/31/10)
2010 Jun 2, France's former top
anti-terrorism judge said the Turkish Islamic charity behind the
flotilla of aid ships that was raided by Israeli forces on its way
to Gaza had ties to terrorism networks, including a 1999 al-Qaida
plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport.
2010 Jun 4, France's Interior
Minister Brice Hortefeux was convicted of making racist comments and
ordered to pay compensation in an controversy that prompted calls
for his resignation. He was also fined euro750 ($900) and ordered to
pay euro2,000 ($2,400) to an anti-racism group.
2010 Jun 8, In France Maurice
Dufresse, a former agent for the DGSE counterintelligence agency,
was detained for questioning. The Defense Ministry had filed a
complaint against Dufresse, who wrote his book "Twenty-Five Years in
the Secret Services" under the pen-name Pierre Siramy. Among other
things, the book describes how spies recruit sources and various
2010 Jun 8, France officially
opened up its online gaming market, granting 17 licenses to 11
operators three days before the start of the soccer World Cup in
South Africa. Online betting on horses, sport and poker was
(AFP, 6/8/10)(Econ, 7/17/10, p.70)
2010 Jun 9, The US, Russia and
France dismissed a proposal by Iran to swap some of its enriched
uranium for reactor fuel hours before an expected UN Security
Council vote on new sanctions. The UN Security Council adopted a
resolution imposing a 4th round of sanctions on Iran. It banned Iran
from undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles capable
of delivering nuclear weapons.
6/9/10)(Econ, 6/12/10, p.15)(SFC, 10/17/15, p.A3)
2010 Jun 12, French PM Francois
Fillon said France will slash state spending by 45 billion euros
(54.5 billion dollars) in the next 3 years to get its public deficit
back down to 3%.
2010 Jun 12, A French fishing
vessel rescued Abby Sunderland (16), a California teenager from her
crippled sailboat in the turbulent southern Indian Ocean, bringing
relief to her family but ending her around-the-world sailing effort.
Sunderland had set out from Los Angeles County's Marina del Rey on
Jan. 23, trying to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the
globe solo and nonstop.
2010 Jun 15, In southeastern
France at least 25 people were killed and another 12 missing after
flash floods hit the Var region, turning city streets into
meters-high (feet-high) brown rivers that swept away cars, trees and
parts of houses.
(AP, 6/16/10)(AP, 6/17/10)
2010 Jun 16, The French
government unveiled plans to raise the retirement age to 62 in a
sweeping overhaul of the pensions system that labor unions have
vowed to fight to the end.
2010 Jun 19, Former French PM
Dominique de Villepin launched a new political movement to act as an
alternative to the policies of President Nicolas Sarkozy, his
2010 Jun 22, Britain, France
and Germany committed to levying a fee on banks to shield taxpayers
from the cost of resolving financial crises and said they would ask
other countries to join them.
2010 Jun 24, In France workers
around the country went on strike to protest Pres. Sarkozy’s plans
to raise the retirement age by 2 years to 62. Unions stage nearly
200 marches in several cities over a broad reform of the
money-losing pension system.
(SFC, 6/25/10, p.A2)
2010 Jun 25, In southern France
Giuseppe Falsone, an Italian mobster and one of the country's top 30
most wanted fugitives, was arrested in Marseille.
2010 Jul 6, In France Pres.
Sarkozy came under mounting pressure over allegations that he took
illegal cash donations from Liliane Bettencourt, owner of the
L’Oreal cosmetics firm and the richest woman in France.
(SFC, 7/7/10, p.A2)
2010 Jul 7, A French court
convicted Manuel Noriega of money-laundering and sentenced Panama's
former dictator to seven years in jail after he spent two decades in
a US prison.
2010 Jul 8, In France exiled
Darfur rebel leader Abdelwahid Nur announced his decision to join
peace talks brokered by Qatar.
2010 Jul 15, French oil firm
Total SA said it has signed a deal to acquire Chevron Corp.'s stake
in an offshore oil block near Nigeria's coastline.
2010 Jul 17, In France rioters
exchanged gunfire with police in Grenoble early in the day, setting
fire to shops and cars after police shot dead a man accused of
robbing a casino.
2010 Jul 20, Paris-based
International Energy Agency said China has overtaken the United
States as the world's largest energy consumer. The IE said China's
2009 consumption of energy sources ranging from oil and coal wind
and solar power was equal to 2.265 billion tons of oil, compared to
2.169 billion tons for the US.
2010 Jul 22, France and
Mauritania carried out a military operation against al Qaeda's North
African wing, believed to be holding Michel Germaneau, a 78-year-old
French hostage in the desert Sahel region.
2010 Jul 24, French-backed
Mauritanian military operations against al Qaeda fighters in the
Sahara desert wound up after four days of hunting Islamists deep
2010 Jul 26, France said it is
upgrading its diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Territories
to try to spur international efforts toward creating a Palestinian
2010 Jul 26, French Defense
Minister Herve Morin visited Vietnam marking the first time a French
defense minister traveled to the country since Vietnam's 1954
surprise defeat at Dien Bien Phu. The next day Vietnam’s state media
reported that Morin has agreed to help Vietnam modernize its
2010 Jul 27, French PM Francois
Fillon said France is "at war" with al-Qaida and will step up
efforts to fight its North African offshoot after it executed a
French hostage in the Sahara.
2010 Jul 28, French Pres.
Nicolas Sarkozy ordered authorities to expel Gypsy illegal
immigrants and to dismantle their camps.
(SFC, 7/29/10, p.A2)
2010 Jul 28, In northern France
Dominique Cottrez (46) and her husband, Pierre-Marie Cottrez, were
detained after two corpses were discovered in plastic bags by new
owners in the garden of a house that had belonged to the woman's
father in the town of Villers-au-Tertre. Under questioning, the
woman admitted that there were six other corpses and told
investigators that they were in plastic bags in the garage of her
home where they were found. On June 25, 2015, Cottrez (51), a mother
of two grown daughters, went on trial in the city of Douai.
(AP, 7/29/10)(AP, 6/25/15)
2010 Jul 29, In Sierra Leone
'Papa Jacques,' Montouroy (63), French legendary aid worker, died of
complications from an ulcer. He spent 41 years as a humanitarian
worker for Catholic Relief Services and was known for delivering
food in parts of the world no one else dared enter.
2010 Aug 1, UNESCO added five
cultural sites to its World Heritage List, including the Imperial
Citadel of Thang Long-Hanoi in Vietnam. The other new sites include
the historic monuments of Dengfeng in China, the archaeological site
Sarazm in Tajikistan, the Episcopal city of Albi in France and a
17th-century canal ring in Amsterdam.
2010 Aug 12, French Interior
Minister Brice Hortefeux said that over 40 illegal gypsy camps have
been dismantled around the country in the last two weeks and that
700 people among those in the camps will be returned to Bulgaria and
(SFC, 8/13/10, p.A2)
2010 Aug 19, France deported
nearly 100 Gypsies, or Roma, to their native Romania as part of a
very public effort by conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy to
dismantle Roma camps and sweep them out of the country.
2010 Aug 20, France put about
100 Gypsies, or Roma, on a charter flight headed to their native
Romania, the second day in a row that it has expelled Roma in a much
criticized government crackdown.
2010 Aug 26, The archbishop of
Paris joined the tide of criticism over France's crackdown on
Gypsies, calling it a "circus," while the EU's justice commissioner
denounced French officials' discriminatory tone about the vulnerable
2010 Sep 3, Britain and France
announced they are talking about sharing the cost of military
aircraft programs, but rejected reports that they plan to merge
their aircraft carrier fleets.
2010 Sep 4, In France Roma
migrants whose camp was bulldozed led a protest in Paris against the
French government's security crackdown, with similar demonstrations
taking place across the country and abroad.
2010 Sep 7, Strikes hobbled
public transit in London and across France, forcing tourists and
commuters to alter their plans as they bore the brunt of a wave of
discontent over government cost-cutting measures, a wave expected to
soon prompt walkouts elsewhere on the continent. Some 1.2-2.7
million people in France took to the streets for the one-day strike.
(AP, 9/7/10)(Econ, 9/11/10, p.31)
2010 Sep 9, The European
Parliament called on France to suspend its expulsion of gypsies. The
rare criticism of an EU state was backed by 337 lawmakers meeting in
Strasbourg, France, with 245 opposed and 51 abstentions. To date
France had deported 8,000 people to Romania and Bulgaria this year
(AP, 9/9/10)(Econ, 9/18/10, p.73)
2010 Sep 12, French film
director Claude Chabrol (b.1930) died. His work included over 70
films and TV productions including “Les Biches" (Bad Girls - 1968)
and “Story of a Woman (1988).
(SFC, 9/13/10, p.C5)
2010 Sep 14, France introduced
a law against face-covering. It became commonly known as the burqa
2010 Sep 14, The European
Commission threatened legal action against France over its crackdown
on Roma minorities, drawing a parallel between their treatment and
World War II-era deportations.
2010 Sep 15, France's National
Assembly passed President Nicolas Sarkozy's controversial pension
reform bill by 329 votes to 233 during a stormy session in the lower
house. The measure would raise the minimum pension age to 62 by
2018. Unions have vowed to stage mass protests when the law goes
before France's upper house, the Senate, on September 23.
2010 Sep 15, A French court
rejected Kigali's request to extradite Rwandan doctor Eugene
Rwamucyo, who is suspected of involvement in the 1994 genocide,
sparking Rwanda's ire.
2010 Sep 16, In Niger armed
AQIM assailants kidnapped 7 people, including 5 French nuclear
experts, a person from Togo and a person from Madagascar, near the
uranium mining town of Arlit, in the northern Sahara desert region.
3 of the hostages were released in February, 2011. Pierre Legrand,
Thierry Dol, Marc Feret and Daniel Larribe were released on Oct 29,
2013. Some 20 to 25 million euros was paid to obtain their release.
(AP, 9/17/10)(SFC, 9/22/10, p.A2)(SFC, 2/26/11,
2010 Sep 18, Frenchman Philippe
Croizon (42), whose arms and legs were amputated, swam about 21
miles across the English Channel in 13½ hours using leg prostheses
that have flippers attached.
2010 Sep 20, French defense
contractor Safran SA said it will pay $1.1 billion to buy Stamford,
Connecticut-based security firm L-1 Identity Solutions Inc., to
bolster its presence in the US homeland security market.
2010 Sep 22, A Thai national
and 3 French employees of marine services company Bourbon were
kidnapped overnight in an attack on one of its ships, the Bourbon
Alexandre, in an oil field off Nigeria. The hostages “in poor
health" were released on Nov 10.
(AP, 9/22/10)(AP, 11/10/10)(AFP, 11/12/10)
2010 Sep 23, French trade
unions staged their second 24-hour strike in a month against
President Nicolas Sarkozy's unpopular pension reform, seeking to
force him to scrap plans to raise the retirement age to 62 from 60.
2010 Sep 27, Indonesia and
France served as co-chairs of the Group of 20 Working Group on
Anti-corruption during a 2-day meeting in Jakarta. The WGAC was
among the most significant outcomes of the G20 summit in Toronto in
2010 Sep 29, The European Union
decided to launch legal action against France over its expulsions of
Gypsies, or Roma, to poorer EU nations.
2010 Sep 29, Security sources
and media reports said Western intelligence agencies have uncovered
an Al-Qaeda plot to launch attacks in Britain, France and Germany by
extremists based in Pakistan.
2010 Oct 2, French families,
students and private sector workers joined mass demonstrations
against the government's pension reforms, and unions hoped as many
as 3 million protesters would take to the streets.
2010 Oct 2, The Paris Motor
Show opened. Renault unveiled the Twizzy, its smallest 4-wheeled
(Econ, 10/2/10, p.87)
2010 Oct 4, France's
Sanofi-Aventis launched an $18.5 billion hostile takeover offer for
Genzyme Corp., stepping up its effort to capture the US biotech
company's promising drugs for high cholesterol and lucrative
treatments for rare genetic disorders.
2010 Oct 5, In France former
Societe Generale SA trader Jerome Kerviel was convicted on all
counts in one of history's biggest trading frauds. He was sentenced
to three years in jail, with 2 years suspended, and was ordered to
repay the bank euro4.9 billion ($6.7 billion) in damages.
(AP, 10/5/10)(Econ, 10/9/10, p.110)
2010 Oct 5, Police in southern
France arrested 12 suspects in sweeps against suspected Islamic
militant networks, including three men linked to a network
recruiting fighters for Afghanistan.
2010 Oct 8, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy met with the pope and top Vatican officials in a
fence-mending visit following France's controversial crackdown on
Gypsies, while a top Vatican cardinal urged France to welcome
immigrants and those who have been persecuted.
2010 Oct 8, The YM Uranus, a
chemicals tanker loaded with 6,000 tons of solvent, ran into trouble
after a collision off the coast of France but authorities said its
crew was rescued and its cargo did not seem to be leaking. The
120-meter-long YM Uranus had been in a collision with the 179,000
dead-weight ton bulk carrier Hanjin Rizhao.
2010 Oct 11, Callixte
Mbarushimana, a Rwandan leader of the FDLR rebel group, was arrested
in Paris on charges of leading rebels accused of mass rapes and
killings in Congo. The International Criminal Court said he is
charged with 11 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes,
including killings, rape, persecution based on gender and extensive
destruction of property committed by the FDLR during most of 2009.
2010 Oct 11, Al Arabiya TV said
Al Qaeda's north African arm wants a repeal of a ban on the Muslim
face veil in France, the release of militants and 7 million euros to
free hostages who include five French. Al Qaeda in the Islamic
Maghreb (AQIM) is holding seven foreigners in the Sahara desert
after kidnapping them last month.
2010 Oct 12, In France hundreds
of thousands of workers, students and functionaries staged protests,
the 4th this month, aimed to reverse a new law requiring people to
work until 62 rather than 60 before receiving their retirement
(SFC, 10/13/10, p.A2)
2010 Oct 15, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy sent in riot police to reopen fuel depots blocked by
strikes, as the pipeline to Paris airports was cut in an escalating
battle over pension reform.
2010 Oct 16, In France diesel
and jet fuel supplies were running low in parts of the country as
workers took to the streets for another nationwide protest against
President Nicolas Sarkozy's plan to raise the retirement age to 62.
2010 Oct 18, French truck
drivers staged go-slow operations on highways, rail strikes
intensified and petrol stations ran out of fuel as protests gathered
pace ahead of a Senate vote on an unpopular pension overhaul.
2010 Oct 19, In France masked
youths clashed with police and set fires in cities across the
country as protests against a proposed hike in the retirement age
took an increasingly radical turn. Hundreds of flights were
canceled, long lines formed at gas stations and train service in
many regions was cut in half.
2010 Oct 19, The European
Commission said it will temporarily suspend its human rights
complaint against France for its expulsions of Gypsies, or Roma,
after Paris promised to alter some of its laws to match EU
2010 Oct 19, European Union
finance ministers sealed a deal to regulate the trillion-dollar
hedge fund industry after Britain and France settled a long-running
2010 Oct 20, In France workers
opposed to a higher retirement age blocked roads to airports around
the country, leaving passengers in Paris dragging suitcases on foot
along an emergency breakdown lane. Pres. Sarkozy sent in police to
clear access to barricaded fuel depots and restore supply as trade
unions kept up their resistance to an unpopular pension reform due
for a final vote this week.
(Reuters, 10/20/10)(AP, 10/20/10)
2010 Oct 21, In France
protesters blockaded Marseille's airport, Lady Gaga canceled
concerts in Paris and rioting youths attacked police in Lyon ahead
of a tense Senate vote on raising the retirement age to 62.
2010 Oct 22, French riot police
forced a strategic refinery to reopen, aiming to halt growing fuel
shortages. The French Senate voted 177-153 to back the contested
(AP, 10/22/10)(SFC, 10/23/10, p.A4)
2010 Oct 23, French unions took
their battle against extending retirement from 60 to 62 to the
courts, challenging orders to return to work the day after the
Senate backed the fiercely-contested reform.
2010 Oct 24, A quarter of
French petrol stations were short on fuel as refinery strikes over
pension reform continued to drain supply, and one official said
several holiday spots were likely to be particularly hard-hit.
2010 Oct 25, President Nicolas
Sarkozy's government warned that strikes against pension reform have
cost up to three billion euros and threaten to derail France's still
fragile economy recovery. Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said
the strikes are costing the economy up to euro400 million ($562
million) each day.
(AFP, 10/25/10)(AP, 10/25/10)
2010 Oct 27, The French
Parliament passed Pres. Sarkozy’s pension bill raising the minimum
retirement age to 62 from 60, and the full-pension age to 67 from
65. Most French oil refineries were set to start outbound deliveries
of fuel as work stoppages ended at two plants, further easing a
strike movement that has led to pump shortages across France.
(Reuters, 10/27/10)(SFC, 10/28/10, p.A2)
2010 Oct 27, Al-Qaida leader
Osama bin Laden threatens in a new audio tape to kill French
citizens to avenge their country's support for the US-led war in
Afghanistan and a new law that will ban face-covering Muslim veils.
2010 Oct 28, In France further
strikes disrupted rail and air transport, but the broader protest
over plans to raise the retirement age appeared to be waning a day
after parliament adopted pension reform legislation.
2010 Oct 28, A French
helicopter crashed in Antarctica during rough weather conditions
killing all 4 aboard. The downed AS350 Squirrel helicopter was
operated in Antarctica from the French research vessel, L'Astrolabe,
which was currently icebound about 230 miles (370 km) northeast of
the Dumont-d'Urville station.
(AP, 10/29/10)(AP, 10/30/10)
2010 Oct 29, French unions said
they have decided to end strikes at all oil refineries and several
(SFC, 10/30/10, p.A4)
2010 Oct 31, A French airliner
landed at Baghdad International Airport, becoming one of the first
passenger planes to fly into the Iraqi capital direct from western
Europe since the Gulf War and opening a potential new route to
stronger international business ties.
2010 Nov 1, Police in Greece
arrested two terrorism suspects carrying letter bombs addressed to
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and western embassies in Athens.
The two Greek men, aged 22 and 24, were arrested in central Athens
after a parcel bomb addressed to the Mexican embassy in Athens
exploded at a mail delivery service.
2010 Nov 2, Britain and France
vowed to work hand-in-glove as their leaders ushered in an
unprecedented era of defense cooperation by agreeing to create a
joint force and share nuclear test facilities.
2010 Nov 3, A Paris appeals
court said Callixte Mbarushimana could be extradited to the court in
the Hague, Netherlands, but only on condition that he not be later
sent to Rwanda. Rwanda has the death penalty, which France opposes.
2010 Nov 4, China's President
Hu Jintao landed in Paris for a three-day state visit set to see the
signing of billions of dollars in deals for nuclear, aviation and
energy technology. The visit resulted in more than $20 billion-worth
of contracts, including an agreement by China to buy 66 more Airbus
(AFP, 11/4/10)(Econ, 11/13/10, p.51)
2010 Nov 5, In France
environmentalists handcuffed themselves in front of a train carrying
what activists claim is "the most radioactive ever" cargo of nuclear
waste. The shipment was returning German waste for storage after it
was treated in France by the Areva group.
(AFP, 11/6/10)(SFC, 11/6/10, p.A2)
2010 Nov 5, France and China
reached a "real convergence" over the need to reform the global
financial system after two days of talks between President Nicolas
Sarkozy and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao. France told China
that balanced trade and close cooperation was the best way to shield
the world from future crises and the menace of protectionism, and
China promised its support for Paris as it takes over the G20
presidency this month.
2010 Nov 6, Tens of thousands
of French protesters took to the streets once more for what might
prove to be the last in their recent series of marches against
President Nicolas Sarkozy's pension reform.
2010 Nov 6, A train carrying
what activists claim is "the most radioactive ever" cargo of nuclear
waste ran the gauntlet of hundreds of protesters as it crossed the
Rhine from France to Germany. The shipment was returning German
waste for storage after it was treated in France by the Areva group.
2010 Nov 9, France's
constitutional watchdog ruled that the bill raising the minimum
retirement age to 62 is perfectly legal, marking a political victory
for Pres. Sarkozy.
2010 Nov 9, French detained 5
people (ages 25-30) suspected of a role in a network that allegedly
sends French citizens to the tribal zone bordering Pakistan and
Afghanistan to train for war. 2 of the five were detained at Charles
de Gaulle airport, north of Paris, on their return from Egypt on Nov
8. Three others were picked up in Paris today. A woman was soon
released. On Nov 13 four men were charged with "criminal association
linked to a terrorist enterprise."
(AP, 11/9/10)(AP, 11/13/10)
2010 Nov 9, France's highest
court authorized a probe into the assets of three African heads of
state, after two rights groups' alleged that the leaders laundered
money through French villas, cars and bank accounts. The probe will
target Gabon's late leader Omar Bongo, the Republic of Congo's
President Denis Sassou-Nguesso and President Teodoro Obiang of
2010 Nov 14, In France an early
morning fire in a building housing immigrant workers in Dijon killed
seven people, including two who jumped from the windows to try to
escape. Some 90 other people were injured, of whom 11 are in
2010 Nov 16, The UN Education,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized everything
from the growing of corn, beans and chilies to Mexican dishes
prepared with grinding stones and mortars as an ancient process
worth safeguarding in the face of encroaching global influences.
France's multi-course gastronomic meal, Flamenco in Spain and
carpet-weaving in Azerbaijan also made the list.
2010 Nov 19, French Pres.
Sarkozy, infuriated by reports linking him to an investigation into
possible kickbacks to French politicians in the 1990s, lashed out
“off the record" at a journalist in Lisbon and said he could just as
easily accuse him of being a pedophile.
2010 Nov 27, In France
delegates at an Atlantic conservation conference in Paris took
measures to protect sea turtles and several types of sharks. ICCAT
members agreed to reduce the allowable Mediterranean and eastern
Atlantic bluefin tuna catch to 12,900 tons from 13,500 tons. The
allowable western Atlantic catch was reduced to 1,750 tons from
1,800, a level that American and Canadian fisherman already had been
unable to meet due to stock decline.
(AP, 11/27/10)(SSFC, 11/28/10, p.A10)
2010 Nov 28, Nuri al-Mismari, a
top aide of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, was arrested in Paris
after a request from Tripoli, which said he was suspected of
embezzlement. France gave Libya 30 days to submit evidence backing
its accusations. Supporters of al-Mismari later said he was a victim
of a power struggle inside the ruling elite.
2010 Nov 29, The French daily
Liberation reported that Pierre Le Guennec (71), a retired French
electrician, and his wife have come forward with 271 undocumented,
never-before-seen works by Pablo Picasso estimated to be worth at
least $79.35 million. Police on Oct. 5 raided the couple's home,
questioned them and hauled off the works, which are now held by
France's official agency in charge of battling the illegal traffic
of cultural items.
2010 Dec 6, India and France
signed a multibillion agreement to build two nuclear power plants in
India as French President Nicolas Sarkozy worked to drum up business
for his nation during his four-day visit.
2010 Dec 7, An expert report
submitted to the French foreign ministry said respected French
epidemiologist Professor Renaud Piarroux conducted a study in Haiti
last month and concluded the epidemic began with an imported strain
of the disease that could be traced back to the Nepalese base.
2010 Dec 8, A French court put
14 former Chilean officials on trial in absentia over the 1973-1975
disappearance of four French citizens under the regime of Chilean
dictator Augusto Pinochet.
2010 Dec 8, In France heavy
snowfall forced the closure of Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport and
shut down the Paris bus system.
2010 Dec 10, A German battalion
in a French-German military brigade officially took up arms at a
ceremony in eastern France attended by the two countries' defense
ministers. This was the first time since World War II that German
combat troops were stationed in France, part of a conscious effort
to show the two EU powers have forever buried former hatreds.
2010 Dec 16, Lawyers said a
French judge has filed preliminary charges against six people close
to President Paul Kagame of Rwanda over the 1994 assassination of
the country's then-president in a missile attack on his plane. Among
the six people in question are ranking Rwandan army officers,
including James Kabarebe, who has been Rwanda's defense minister
since April, Charles Kayonga and Jackson Nkurunziza. The remaining
three were identified as Jacob Tumwine, Sam Kaka and Franck Nziza.
2010 Dec 17, A French court
convicted 13 former officials who served under Chilean dictator
Augusto Pinochet for roles in the disappearance of 4 French
nationals. It sentenced two to life in prison: Juan Manuel Contreras
Sepulveda, who at the time headed Pinochet's political police, and
Octavio Espinoza Bravo, an army colonel. All 14 of the defendants
were tried in absentia.
2010 Dec 21, A French judge
charged exiled Rwandan Hutu rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana (47)
over his alleged role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The former
"executive secretary" of the Hutu guerrilla FDLR, who had been
living in France as a computer technician, was charged with crimes
2010 Dec 22, In France 113
children arrived from Haiti to start new lives with adoptive parents
in time for the holidays.
2010 Dec 24, Russia announced a
deal to buy at least two of France’s advanced Mistral-class
amphibious warships. This was the first time in modern history that
Russia has made a major defense acquisition abroad.
(SFC, 12/25/10, p.A2)
2010 Stephane Hessel (93), a
former French Resistance spy, authored “Indignez-Vous" (Get
Indignant), a 32-page pamphlet calling people to action to protect
human rights and combat against the yawning gap between rich and
2010 In France there was an
extortion attempt against Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, maker of the
world’s most expensive wine. In 2014 Maximillian Potter authored
“Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of a Plot to Poison the
World’s Greatest Wine."
2010 The French public health
system had a $16 billion (€12 billion) shortfall.
(Econ, 2/12/11, p.58)
2010 The AR drone built by
Parrot, a French company, became a best seller. The easy-to-fly
quadcopter was able to beam video back to a smartphone.
(Econ, 9/26/15, p.80)
2011 Jan 5, French automaker
Renault suspended three top managers suspected of leaking secrets
about electric cars, the auto industry's big hope for the future.
Renault and the French secret service suspected Chinese involvement
in the affair. In March the firm apologized to the managers after it
emerged police found no trace of bank accounts the accused men were
alleged to have held and that the source of the spying allegations
may have been a fraudster.
(AFP, 1/7/11)(AFP, 4/11/11)
2011 Jan 7, In Niger two French
citizens, Antoine de Leocour and Vincent Delory, were kidnapped by
four armed men while dining at a restaurant in the capital, Niamey.
It was later reported that Leocour was shot dead by his captives
during a French rescue attempt and that Delory died in a vehicle
carrying fuel after it was hit by weapons fire during the rescue
2011 Jan 8, France’s Pres.
Sarkozy said 2 French hostages, kidnapped a day earlier in the Niger
capital Niamey, were killed by their captors despite a rescue
attempt by French forces.
(SSFC, 1/9/11, p.A5)
2011 Jan 11, Police in Spain
and France arrested two suspected members of ETA, suggesting the
government in Madrid will keep up pressure on the violent Basque
separatist group despite the latter's declaration of a permanent
2011 Jan 13, France's
parliament gave final approval to a law forcing large companies to
reserve at least 40 percent of their boardroom positions for women
within six years.
(Econ, 7/23/11, p.11)(http://tinyurl.com/447vuoy)
2011 Jan 16, France's far-right
National Front party elected the daughter of its founder, Jean-Marie
Le Pen, as its new leader, who says she wants to broaden the appeal
of a party known best for its anti-immigration, anti-Islam platform.
2011 Jan 19, In western France
Laetitia Perrais, an 18-year-old waitress, disappeared after her
restaurant shift in Pornic. Officials later filed preliminary
charges against suspect Tony Meilhon (31), recently out of prison
with 15 convictions on his record, for the "kidnapping followed by
death." On Feb 3 Pres. Sarkozy said: "Our duty is to protect society
from these monsters." The president's incautious comments about the
suspect, and his complaints of incompetence in the legal system,
sparked a revolt among judges, prosecutors and lawyers.
2011 Jan 21, Osama bin Laden
demanded that France withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in
exchange for the release of French hostages being held by al-Qaida
affiliates, according to an audio message broadcast on an Arabic
2011 Jan 21, Dozens of
Palestinians, enraged by France's sympathy for an Israeli soldier
held by Gaza militants, ambushed the French foreign minister's
motorcade in the Gaza Strip, pelting it with eggs and hurling a shoe
that narrowly missed hitting her.
2011 Jan 28, France's top
constitutional watchdog ruled that law prohibiting gay marriage does
not violate the constitution, all but challenging parliament to
debate overturning the ban.
2011 Feb 7, France-based
Alcatel-Lucent unveiled technology that reduces the filing cabinet
size of a wireless base station to that of Rubik’s cube.
(Econ, 2/12/11, p.70)
2011 Feb 10, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy declared that multiculturalism had failed, joining a
growing number of world leaders or ex-leaders who have condemned it.
2011 Feb 10, French judges
demonstrated in cities throughout France, with the main march in the
western city of Nantes, where a teenage waitress disappeared on Jan
19. A police hunt found her severed limbs and head in the waters of
an abandoned quarry. Pres. Sarkozy’s incautious comments about the
suspect, and his complaints of incompetence in the legal system,
sparked the revolt among judges, prosecutors and lawyers.
2011 Feb 11, Diplomatic
relations between France and Mexico deteriorated into a crisis,
after a Mexican court upheld a 60-year prison term for Florence
Cassez (36), a French woman convicted of kidnapping.
2011 Feb 14, France called on
Algeria to allow anti-government protests, inspired by uprisings in
Egypt and Tunisia, to take place freely and without violence.
2011 Feb 15, Venezuelan and
French authorities seized 3.6 metric tons of cocaine aboard a vessel
in the Caribbean Sea.
2011 Feb 16, France-based
Sanofi-Aventis agreed to buy Massachusetts-based Genzyme Corp., the
world’s largest maker of medicines for rare genetic disorders, for
at least 20.1 billion.
(SFC, 2/17/11, p.D2)
2011 Feb 22, A French creator
of specialized search engines filed a new complaint with the
European Union about alleged anticompetitive behavior by Google Inc.
2011 Feb 23, France and Germany
threatened to hit Libya with EU sanctions for Moammar Gadhafi's
fierce crackdown on protesters, while the European Union said the
violence in Libya could constitute "crimes against humanity" and
urged an independent probe into it.
2011 Feb 25, The French film
industry awarded the coveted Cesar award for best movie to "Of Gods
and Men" ("Des Hommes et des Dieux") by Xavier Beauvois, a masterful
drama based on the real-life tragedy of seven French monks abducted
and beheaded during Algeria's civil war in 1996. Director Roman
Polanski won Best Director for "The Ghost Writer," and "The Social
Network" won Best Foreign Film.
2011 Feb 27, French Pres.
Sarkozy selected Defense Minister Alain Juppe to replace foreign
minister Michele Alliot-Marie. Gerard Longuet, head of the
conservative party in the Senate, will take over the defense
(SFC, 2/28/11, p.A2)
2011 Feb 28, Libyan rebels
downed a military aircraft as they fought a government bid to take
back Libya's third city, Misrata. French PM Francois Fillon said
that France was sending two planes with humanitarian aid to
Benghazi, the opposition stronghold in eastern Libya. Libya's oil
chief said production was down 50 percent because of the exodus of
foreign oil workers fleeing the country's violent uprising. Al
Jazeera reported that the beleaguered Kadhafi regime has asked Bu
Zaid Dorda, Libya's foreign intelligence chief, to hold a dialogue
with opposition leaders in eastern Libya.
(Reuters, 2/28/11)(AP, 2/28/11)(AFP, 2/28/11)
2011 Mar 1, French fashion
house Christian Dior said John Galliano has been immediately laid
off, just days after he was suspended as its creative director
pending an investigation into an alleged anti-Semitic incident in a
Paris cafe last week.
2011 Mar 3, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy and his indebted government said they are abandoning
a tax ceiling for big earners, once hailed as key to modernizing
France and luring investors.
2011 Mar 7, A long-awaited
French corruption trial opened with former President Jacques Chirac
(78) as the star defendant. Chirac was accused of embezzlement,
breach of trust and conflict of interest, based on allegations
linked to his tenure as Paris mayor, before he became president from
1995 to 2007.
2011 Mar 7, French fashion
colossus LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton announced that it has
agreed to buy Rome-based jeweler Bulgari SpA in a cash-and-shares
deal worth euro4.3 billion ($6 billion).
2011 Mar 10, France blazed a
diplomatic trail as it recognized a newly formed Libyan opposition
group, drawing the ire of other European nations for stepping out on
its own even as the situation in Libya remained unclear.
2011 Mar 10, In France the
suspected leader of the Basque separatist group ETA's armed cells
and three other alleged members of the organization were arrested in
Willencourt in northern Pas-de-Calais region. They included
Alejandro Zobaran Arriola (29), who an Interior Ministry statement
described as the head of ETA's "military apparatus." Another was the
alleged logistics chief, Mikel Oroz Torrea (31).
2011 Mar 18, The European Court
of Human Rights in Strasbourg France, ruled that crucifixes in
public schools do not violate a student’s freedom of conscience.
(SFC, 3/19/11, p.A2)
2011 Mar 19, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy said that French warplanes are already targeting
Gadhafi's forces. 22 participants at a summit in Paris "agreed to
put in place all the means necessary, in particular military" to
make Gadhafi respect a March 17 UN Security Council resolution to
protect civilian areas. Libyan government tanks and troops reached
the edges of Benghazi in fierce fighting that killed more than 120.
Gibreil Hewadi, a member of the rebel health committee, said the
dead included rebel fighters and civilians, among them women and
(AP, 3/19/11)(AP, 3/20/11)
2011 Mar 21, A top French
official said the international military intervention in Libya is
likely to last "awhile," echoing Moammar Gadhafi's warning of a long
war ahead as rebels said they were fighting to reclaim Ajdabiya. New
fighting broke out in Misrata, the last rebel-held city in western
2011 Mar 21, France's data
privacy regulator said it had imposed a record fine of 100,000 euros
($142,000) on Google for private information collected while
compiling its panoramic Street View service.
2011 Mar 22, France's foreign
ministry said that NATO would provide support to military
intervention by the Western-led coalition in Libya when the US
scales back its participation.
2011 Mar 24, French airstrikes
hit an air base deep inside Libya and NATO ships patrolled the coast
to block arms and mercenaries from flowing in to help Libyan leader
Moammar Gadhafi. Other coalition bombers struck artillery, tanks and
2011 Mar 26, In Switzerland 1
person was missing after an avalanche swept away 11 French skiers
near the southern border with Italy. 4 people were killed.
2011 Mar 31, In China French
President Nicolas Sarkozy and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner
called for more flexible exchange rate regimes as G20 nations met on
global monetary reform in Nanjing.
2011 Apr 3, The French air
accident investigation agency BEA said that a team aboard the
expedition ship Alucia using underwater robots "has located pieces
of an aircraft ... in the past 24 hours." Air France Flight 447
slammed into the ocean June 1, 2009, after running into an intense
2011 Apr 4, In Ivory Coast UN
and French forces opened fire with attack helicopters on the home of
incumbent Pres. Laurent Gbagbo and 3 strategic military garrisons as
foot soldiers backing Alassane Ouattara pierced the limits of
(SFC, 4/5/11, p.A4)
2011 Apr 6, France’s top court
refused to allow citizenship for 10-year-old twin girls born to a
surrogate mother in California, affirming France’s legal ban on
(SFC, 4/7/11, p.A2)
2011 Apr 7, Forces allied with
Ivory Coast's internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara
have stormed the gates of Laurent Gbagbo's home. French forces
wearing night vision goggles rappelled from a helicopter to rescue
the Japanese ambassador and 7 others, as strongman leader Laurent
Gbagbo remained in an underground bunker amid the fighting.
2011 Apr 8, France and Italy
announced an agreement to joint sea-and-air patrols to try to block
new Tunisian migrants from sailing to European shores.
2011 Apr 10, Police in central
France arrested a man and a woman allegedly linked to the Basque
separatist group ETA following a pair of weekend shooting incidents
against officers that injured at least one.
2011 Apr 10, In the Ivory Coast
UN and French helicopters fired rockets on strongman Laurent
Gbagbo's residence in an assault the UN said was to retaliate for
attacks by his forces on UN headquarters and civilians.
2011 Apr 11, In France a law
went into effect banning women from wearing full-face veils in
public places. Several women appeared veiled in front of Paris'
Notre Dame Cathedral and two were detained for taking part in an
unauthorized protest. The $214 burqa fine also included mandatory
lessons on being French.
(SFC, 4/9/11, p.A2)(AP, 4/11/11)
2011 Apr 14, A top French
security official said two French citizens have been arrested in
Pakistan, where authorities have linked them to a top suspected
al-Qaida militant over the 2002 nightclub bombing in Bali.
2011 Apr 17, A train carrying
Tunisian immigrants from Italy was halted at the French border in an
escalation of an international dispute over the fate of North
African migrants fleeing political unrest for refuge in Europe,
unprecedented since the introduction of the Schengen travel-free
2011 Apr 21, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy hosted Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas in Paris as
Europe reflects more and more openly on the prospect of recognizing
an independent Palestine.
2011 Apr 21, French police
began exhuming five bodies from a freshly dug grave at a house in
the northwestern city of Nantes. They are believed to be those of
Agnes Dupont de Ligonnes (49), and her four children, aged 13-21.
The family went missing almost three weeks ago. The father, Xavier
Dupont de Ligonnes, remained unaccounted for.
2011 Apr 26, French dairy giant
Lactalis offered $5 billion (€3.4 billion) for Parmalat, Italy’s
biggest manufacturer of milk products.
(Econ, 5/7/11, p.70)
2011 Apr 28, France based Total
SA announced plans to buy a 60% stake in SunPower Corp. of San Jose,
(SFC, 4/29/11, p.D1)
2011 May 1, A French submarine
probing 3,900 meters (12,800 feet) below the ocean's surface located
and recovered the flight data recorder of Air France Flight 447,
which crashed June 1, 2009, in a remote area of the mid-Atlantic.
2011 May 3, French
investigators recovered the cockpit voice recorder from an Air
France Flight 447 that plunged into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1,
2009, killing all 228 people on board.
2011 May 6, France ordered 14
diplomats loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to leave the
country within 48 hours.
2011 May 11, Three top French
publishers said they were suing US Internet giant Google for
scanning thousands of their books for its online library without
2011 May 11, The sculpture
"Leviathan" was unveiled at Paris's Grand Palais by Mumbai-born
British sculptor Anish Kapoor. It created an experience of being
swallowed by a whale.
2011 May 11, France canceled
all of Togo's debt, amounting to 101.1 million euros, in a bid to
encourage the West African nation to pursue economic reforms.
2011 May 11, The French
government imposed a moratorium on fracking, the blasting of
fissures in subterranean rock and pumping in water and sand to
extract shale gas.
(Econ, 6/25/11, p.79)
2011 May 14, Dominique
Strauss-Kahn (62), the leader of the International Monetary Fund and
a possible candidate for president of France, was yanked from an
airplane moments before it was to depart for Paris and arrested in
the alleged sexual assault of Nafissatou Diallo, a NYC hotel maid.
The immigrant maid from Guinea identified him in a line-up. On Aug 8
Diallo sued Strauss-Kahn for sexual assault. In 2012 John Solomon
authored “DSK: The Scandal That Brought Down Dominique
(AP, 5/15/11)(Econ, 5/21/11, p.25)(SFC, 8/9/11,
p.A5)(Econ, 5/12/12, p.88)
2011 May 22, The Cannes Film
Festival awarded its top prize to the drama “Tree of Life" by
Terence Malick. Kirsten Dunst too the best actress prize for
“Melancholia." Jean Dujardin claimed the best actor prize for the
silent film “The Artist."
(SFC, 5/23/11, p.E2)
2011 May 23, A French
diplomatic source said France and other members of a NATO-led
coalition plan to deploy attack helicopters in Libya, a move aimed
at ramping up pressure against Muammar Gaddafi's forces.
2011 May 24, In France the
world's most powerful Internet and media barons gathered in Paris in
a show of strength to leaders at the G8 summit, amid rows over
online copyright, regulation and human rights.
2011 May 24, The Libyan rebel
council fighting to oust Muammar Gaddafi said it will open an office
in Paris but a representative has not yet been named. Top US
official Jeffrey Feltman said Libya's rebels have accepted an
invitation to open a representative office in Washington as he
renewed a US call for Moamer Kadhafi to step down immediately.
2011 May 26, In France G8
leaders met to discuss military operations in Libya, implications of
the Arab Spring, and financial support for the recently toppled
autocracies of Egypt and Tunisia.
(SFC, 5/27/11, p.A2)
2011 May 27, Pres. Obama and
other G8 leaders wrapped up a 2-day summit in France and announced
plans for a $40 billion in aid to support democracy in Egypt,
Tunisia and the rest of North Africa.
(SFC, 5/28/11, p.A3)
2011 May 27, Japan's PM Naoto
Kan used a G8 summit in France to reassure Tokyo's most powerful
allies that his country would learn the lessons of its nuclear
disaster and recover fully.
2011 May 28, Yemen's government
and armed tribesmen seeking President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ouster
agreed to a temporary cease-fire to allow for negotiations after
five days of clashes that killed at least 124 people. The truce was
to expire in the evening. Three French aid workers, two women and
one man, were abducted while working for the Triangle Generation
Humanitaire. Men linked to an al-Qaida offshoot demanded $12 million
in ransom. The 3 aid workers were freed on Nov 13 after Oman and
Yemeni tribesmen negotiated their release.
(AP, 5/28/11)(AP, 7/27/11)(AP, 11/14/11)
5, In France, the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSL) announced
that radio and TV stations would no longer be allowed to promote or
recommend their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds on air, unless such
sites are part of a news story. The decision, which was first
issued quietly on May 27, has now attracted international media
outrage thanks to the French bloggers who began writing about it
2011 Jun 16, In France a 7th
child was hospitalized with an E. coli infection after eating meat
that manufacturers said could come from Germany, where an outbreak
of the bacteria has killed 37 people.
2011 Jun 22, In France European
plane maker Airbus won a slew of orders for its A320 medium-haul
workhorse, including a record deal for 180 from Indian budget
carrier IndiGo at a rainy Paris Air Show.
2011 Jun 23, France said it
will pull its 4,000 troops out of Afghanistan on the same staggered
timetable as the US withdrawal, helping pave the way for drawdowns
by other allies.
2011 Jun 23, The Paris-based
International Energy Agency (IEA) said 28 countries have agreed to
release 60 million barrels of crude to the market to offset
disruptions prompted by Libya's war. The countries will make 2
million barrels a day available from their emergency stocks over a
period of 30 days.
2011 Jun 24, French junior
transport minister Thierry Mariani said French engineering group
Alstom is in exclusive talks to build a high-speed rail line between
Baghdad and Basra in Iraq.
2011 Jun 25, In Paris tens of
thousands turned out for a gay pride parade. In Germany thousands
packed downtown Berlin for the 33rd annual CSD (Christopher Street
Day) festival, an annual European LGBT celebration and demonstration
held in various cities across Europe for the rights of LGBT people.
(SSFC, 6/26/11, p.A10)
2011 Jun 25, Thailand announced
its withdrawal from the UN's World Heritage Convention, at a meeting
of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Paris. Thailand said it
was withdrawing because the committee's consideration of Cambodia's
plan for managing the Preah Vihear temple site could threaten Thai
sovereignty and territory.
2011 Jun 26, An English climber
found the bodies of six mountaineers in the French Alps who appeared
to have died after a fall caused by an avalanche of snow and stones.
2011 Jun 27, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy said French banks are ready to help troubled Greece
by accepting a significant debt rollover, a move that could push
other banks to pitch in to the Europe-wide effort to keep Athens
2011 Jun 28, French finance
chief Christine Lagarde (55) was named as the first female head of
the Int’l. Monetary Fund (IMF).
(SFC, 6/28/11, p.D4)
2011 Jun 29, France-3
television said that their reporters Stephane Taponier and Herve
Ghesquiere, held hostage in Afghanistan since December 2009, have
2011 Jun 29, French daily Le
Figaro reported that France has begun parachuting arms shipments to
Berber rebels fighting Kadhafi's forces in the highlands south of
2011 Jul 1, In NYC former IMF
chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (62) was released without bail after a
dramatic court hearing where the sexual assault case against him
appeared to shift in his favor. Prosecutors said the credibility of
the woman at the center of the case had been thrown into question.
2011 Jul 5, French author
Tristane Banon (31) filed charges of attempted rape against former
IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The incident took place in 2003.
She had first recounted the incident on a 2007 TV show. The charges
were dismissed on Oct 13 due to a 3-year statute of limitations.
(SFC, 7/6/11, p.A5)(SFC, 10/14/11, p.A2)
2011 Jul 6, French police
arrested ETA suspect Daniel Derguy on terrorism charges in Cahors.
2011 Jul 8, French police
investigated a train robbery on the outskirts of Marseille in which
a group of youths held up a passenger train and robbed a freight
train following behind.
(SFC, 7/9/11, p.A2)
2011 Jul 11, Air Algerie cabin
crew went on strike. They wanted a 106-percent pay rise and left
thousands of angry travelers stranded in Paris, Marseille and Nice
2011 Jul 12, President Nicolas
Sarkozy said that France would withdraw a quarter of its 4,000
troops from Afghanistan by the end of next year.
2011 Jul 13, In Afghanistan 5
French soldiers were killed in a suicide bombing in the northeastern
province of Kapisa. A NATO soldier in the south was killed in an
2011 Jul 14, In France
thousands of angry travelers were still stranded in airports and in
Algiers as a strike by Air Algerie cabin crew, who want a 106% pay
rise, went into its 4th day. Air Algerie staff ended their four-day
strike after mediation by the office of PM Ahmed Ouyahia.
2011 Jul 14, Switzerland
suspended imports of some seeds, beans and sprouts from Egypt, after
the EU blamed Egyptian fenugreek seeds for E.coli outbreaks in
Germany and France. The temporary ban would expire in October 31,
2011, in line with the EU's suspension.
2011 Jul 24, Cadel Evans won
the Tour de France, becoming the first Australian to capture
cycling's most prestigious title.
2011 Aug 2, French authorities
agreed to extradite Manuel Noriega back to Panama.
(SFC, 8/3/11, p.A2)
2011 Aug 6, France's Overseas
Ministry said four people have been killed and another 23 injured in
a conflict over an increase in airline ticket prices on Mare, an
island in the South Pacific archipelago of New Caledonia.
2011 Aug 6, Roman Opalka
(b.1931), French-born Polish painter, died in France. In 1965 in his
studio in Warsaw, Opalka began painting a process of counting – from
one to infinity.
2011 Aug 16, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel called for
greater economic and political unity among the 17 nations that share
2011 Aug 25, Libyan rebels
battled forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi on the streets of
Tripoli. European officials confirmed that small numbers of
British, French and other special forces have been working inside
Libya in recent months.
2011 Aug, Belgium, France,
Italy and Spain introduced bans to prevent the short selling of
financial stocks. The EU banned naked shorting of shares in October,
effective in Nov, 2012.
(Econ, 10/22/11, p.88)
2011 Sep 8, British fashion
icon John Galliano (50) was convicted of anti-Semitism for hurling
abuse at bar patrons in Paris' Jewish quarter in a career-breaking
outburst he has blamed on drink and drugs. In the French trial in
July Galliano apologized for his conduct. He received suspended
fines totaling 6,000-euro (£5,200, $8,400).
2011 Sep 12, In southern France
the Centraco nuclear waste site had an explosion that killed one
person, seriously burned another and slightly injured three others.
Centraco is located on the 300-hectare Marcoule site, which also
houses a research center and four industrial sites, including one
that makes Mox, a fuel made from plutonium and uranium.
2011 Sep 14, In France
Dominique de Villepin, former chief of staff for former Pres.
Jacques Chirac, was acquitted on appeal in the “Clearstream" trial
(see July 2004).
(Econ, 9/17/11, p.50)
2011 Sep 15, British PM David
Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave Libya's new rulers
strong support during a landmark visit to Tripoli, vowing to release
billions of dollars more in frozen assets and to push ahead with
NATO strikes against Gadhafi's last strongholds. 11 fighters were
killed and 34 wounded in a first assault on Sirte launched before
(AP, 9/15/11)(AFP, 9/16/11)
2011 Sep 21, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy called on the United Nations to admit Palestine as a
non-member state, upgrading its status as a simple observer but
opposing a Palestinian bid for full membership.
2011 Sep 23, French oil giant
Total said it had restarted production from an offshore oil platform
off Libya, making it the first major to return to work since the
fall of Kadhafi.
2011 Sep 28, In France a fire
in an abandoned building, set for demolition in the city-owned
building in the Paris suburb of Pantin, killed six suspected illegal
2011 Sep 29, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Morocco to kick off work on Africa's
fastest rail line, in a bid to highlight France's role in the
2011 Oct 1, The French press
called Aga Kahn’s divorce settlement the most expensive in French
history. A court has ordered Kahn, a billionaire and spiritual
leader to 20 million Muslims, to pay $80 million to Gabriele
Thyssen. He married the German princess in 1998.
(SSFC, 10/2/11, p.A4)
2011 Oct 6, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that France did not violate George Soros'
rights when convicting him of insider trading, defeating a
years-long effort by the billionaire financier to clear his name. He
was fined euro2.2 million in 2002, for purchasing shares in French
bank Societe Generale in 1988, days after being informed about a
planned takeover bid for the bank.
2011 Oct 9, The governments of
Belgium, France and Luxembourg said they had approved a plan for the
future of embattled bank Dexia, but they offered no details. France
and Belgium became part owners of the bank during a euro6 billion
($7.8 billion) 2008 bailout. They have promised to ensure that no
Dexia depositors lose money. Luxembourg held a smaller stake. The
cost of the bailout to French taxpayers was about €6.6 billion.
(AP, 10/9/11)(Econ, 11/16/13, p.77)
2011 Oct 12, An Indian-French
satellite that will study monsoon patterns and global warming was
launched from a space center in southern India. Three other smaller
satellites were also released from the rocket.
2011 Oct 12, Taiwan said that
it was seeking nearly $100 million in compensation from France, in
the latest twist to a long-running kickback scandal over the 1991
sale of warships to the island.
2011 Oct 13, In France a high
school math teacher in the city of Beziers sprayed herself with a
flammable product and set herself alight in the school yard during
recreation. She was hospitalized with serious burns.
2011 Oct 16, In France Francois
Hollande was elected head of the Socialist Party by a margin of 58%
to 43% over Martine Aubry.
(Econ, 10/22/11, p.61)
2011 Oct 20, France said that
the Somali kidnappers of Marie Dedieu (66), a disabled Frenchwoman
who died after being snatched from her home in Kenya, are demanding
a ransom for the return of her body.
2011 Oct 20, ETA announced it
was ceasing its 43-year-long bloody campaign for an independent
Basque state in territory straddling northern Spain and southwest
France. But the group stopped short of declaring defeat and called
on Spain and France to open talks on the conflict.
2011 Oct 22, France's Socialist
Party announced Francois Hollande (57) as its candidate for
presidential elections in six months, culminating a weeks-long
process of primaries.
2011 Oct 24, A French military
spokesman said France would soon help supply Kenyan troops fighting
2011 Oct 27, France's nuclear
monitor said that the amount of cesium 137 that leaked into the
Pacific from the Fukushima disaster was the greatest single nuclear
contamination of the sea ever seen.
2011 Nov 2, France's PM Sarkozy
condemned an apparent overnight arson attack that destroyed the
offices of Charlie Hebdo weekly, satirical French newspaper that had
"invited" the Prophet Muhammad as a guest editor this week.
2011 Nov 3, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy branded Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu "a liar" in a
private conversation with US President Barack Obama that was
accidentally broadcast to journalists during the G20 summit in
2011 Nov 4, G20 nations,
meeting in France, pledged to fight cross-border tax evasion under
an agreement, which supporters say could raise tens of billions of
dollars at a time when indebted European nations are scrambling for
more revenue. Eurozone leaders accepted that a member could default
and leave the euro.
(AP, 11/4/11)(Econ, 11/12/11, p.62)
2011 Nov 7, The French
government unveiled its 2nd austerity plan in three months. This
promised savings of €7 billion in 2012 in addition to €11 billion
announced in August.
(Econ, 11/12/11, p.59)
2011 Nov 7, France marked the
resumption of security cooperation with Ivory Coast after a
seven-year hiatus with the delivery of police vehicles in Abidjan.
2011 Nov 8, A French court
ruled that the News of the World had violated the privacy of former
world motorsport chief Max Mosley when it published photographs of
him in a sadomasochistic orgy. The court fined Rupert Murdoch's News
Group, publisher of the now-defunct tabloid, 10,000 euros ($13,800)
and ordered it to pay 7,000 euros in damages for violating Mosley's
privacy, but said there was no defamation. Mosley (71) had already
won a case in a British court against News Group, after the News of
the World published a front-page story in March 2008 entitled "F1
boss has sick Nazi orgy with 5 hookers."
2011 Nov 11, French Pres.
Sarkozy presided over the traditional Armistice Day ceremony, which
marks 93 years since fighting in WWI came to an end. He lay a wreath
at the tomb of the unknown soldier under Paris' Arc de Triomphe and
lit a flame, but strayed from convention by declaring Nov. 11 a day
to remember the dead from all of France's wars.
2011 Nov 12, French Foreign
Minister Alain Juppe vowed to help Nigeria in its fight against
extremist groups as the country faces an intensifying Islamist
insurgency. Nigeria is France's biggest trading partner in
2011 Nov 17, It was reported
that French company Fonroche plans invest $115 million to build a
44-megawatt solar farm in Puerto Rico. The farm will be built on 160
acres (65 hectares) and will provide power to the state-owned
electric company as part of a 20-year, $240 million contract.
2011 Nov 22, In France Danielle
Mitterrand (b.1924), a decorated member of the French Resistance and
combative advocate for the poor who broke the mold as first lady
alongside France's first Socialist president, died.
2011 Nov 23, A French court
ruled that former dictator Manuel Noriega can be extradited to
Panama to serve time for past crimes, more than 20 years after being
ousted and arrested in a US invasion.
2011 Nov 24, In Mali a gang
kidnapped two French geologists at gunpoint from their hotel in the
eastern desert village of Hombori. The body of geologist Philippe
Verdon was found and identified in July, 2013. Serge Lazarevic was
freed on Dec 9, 2014.
(AFP, 11/24/11)(Reuters, 7/14/13)(SFC, 12/10/14,
2011 Nov 25, A shipment of
nuclear waste reprocessed in France crossed into Germany on its way
to a controversial storage site near the town of Dannenberg that
protesters say is unsafe.
2011 Nov 30, A French court
jailed five Somali men for between four and eight years and
acquitted a sixth in the Sep 2, 2008, hostage taking of a French
couple on their yacht in the Gulf of Aden.
2011 Dec 2, Britain’s PM David
Cameron held emergency talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy,
while France and Germany tried to drum up support for a new EU
treaty to enforce budget discipline.
2011 Dec 5, France and Germany
reached a compromise agreement to seek mandatory limits on budget
deficits among debt-laden European governments.
(SFC, 12/6/11, p.A9)
2011 Dec 5, In France
Greenpeace activists broke into the Electricite de France’s
Nogent-sur-Seine plant. EDF said 9 people were arrested.
(SFC, 12/6/11, p.A2)
2011 Dec 5, Paris, France,
launched an electric car sharing program with 250 vehicles. 3000
vehicles were planned for the program over the next two years.
(SFC, 12/5/11, p.A3)
2011 Dec 11, Former French PM
Dominique de Villepin, who gained international renown as France's
spokesman against the war in Iraq, announced he'll run as an
2011 Dec 15, A French court
convicted former Pres. Jacques Chirac (79) of embezzling government
money while he was mayor of Paris (1977-1995) and handed him a
2-year suspended sentence.
(SFC, 12/16/11, p.A7)
2011 Dec 15, A French court
convicted Carlos the Jackal (62), already serving a life sentence
for a triple murder in 1975, was convicted of instigating four
bombings in France in 1982-1983 that killed 11 people. He was
sentenced to another life term in prison.
(SFC, 12/16/11, p.A7)
2011 Dec 16, A court in Paris
charged Sosthene Munyemana, a Rwandan doctor living in France, on
suspicion he took part in the country's 1994 genocide.
2011 Dec 19, Mauritania said it
has signed an agreement with French oil group Total to explore for
oil at sea and to extract any oil discovered.
2011 Dec 22, French officials
prepared to decide if thousands of women should have their implants
surgically removed. Silicone gel implants, made by a company called
Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) which was shut down in 2010, appear to
have an unusually high rupture rate and have sparked an
investigation in France into possible links to cancer. Fears over
the safety of the breast implants made by PIP spread to
Australia, South America and across Europe.
2011 Dec 22, Turkey's PM
Erdogan said his country is recalling its ambassador to France and
halting official contact in retaliation for a vote in the French
Parliament making it a crime to deny the 1915 mass killings of
Armenians was a genocide. The bill, just passed in France's lower
house, still needed approval in the Senate.
2011 Dec 23, The International
Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague freed Rwandan rebel Callixte
Mbarushimana and returned him to France after dismissing murder and
rape charges against him. He spent 11 months in detention and was
the first war crimes suspect to be arrested and freed without trial
since the court began work in 2002.
2011 Dec 23, Turkey responded
to French genocide allegations with a charge of its own, accusing
France of committing genocide during its colonial occupation of
Algeria. He alleged that beginning in 1945, about 15 percent of the
population of Algeria was massacred by the French. He also said
Algerians were burned in ovens. Most historians contend the Ottoman
killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians constituted the first
genocide of the 20th century.
2011 Dec 23, It was reported
that a herpes virus has decimated oysters along its coast for a 4th
straight season. 70-80% of France’s young stock have died this year.
(SFC, 12/23/11, p.A4)
2011 Dec 24, The French
national insurance agency said it will file a criminal complaint
against Poly Implant Prothese, the maker of faulty breast implants
after authorities agreed to pay women for the removal of tens of
thousands of potentially faulty breast implants.
(SSFC, 12/25/11, p.A6)
2011 Dec 31, In France Leon
Kengo (76), CongoDRC Senate chief, was attacked at the Gare du Nord
train station "by bands of those who call themselves 'fighters'
close to Etienne Tshisekedi." According to initial reports, Kengo
had some teeth knocked out, was trampled underfoot, and rolled on
2011 Dec 31, Britain's biggest
cosmetic surgery chain revealed that rupture rates on allegedly
faulty French-made breast implants are seven times higher than
2011 Elaine Sciolino authored
“La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life."
(Econ, 6/11/11, p.87)
2011 Drexia, a Franco-Belgian
bank, was caught by exposure to Greek sovereign debt. It was bailed
out by the governments of Belgium, France and Luxembourg.
(Econ 5/6/17, SR p.6)
2012 Jan 6, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy vowed to push ahead with a new tax on financial
transactions, also known as a Tobin tax, even without France's EU
partners, in the face of stiff British resistance. The EU's
executive European Commission adopted plans last September for a
financial transaction tax under which stock and bond trades would be
taxed at the rate of 0.1 percent, with derivatives taxed at 0.01
2012 Jan 11, In Syria French
journalist Gilles Jacquier was killed and another wounded during a
grenade barrage in Homs. President Assad joined thousands of his
supporters in a rare public appearance, telling a pro-regime rally
in the capital that the "conspiracy" against his country will fail.
(AP, 1/11/12)(AP, 1/12/12)
2012 Jan 13, France was
stripped of its top-notch credit rating by Standard & Poor’s.
(SFC, 1/13/12, p.A2)
2012 Jan 13, Japanese energy
firm Inpex and French giant Total announced a huge $34 billion gas
project in Australia, as Tokyo looks for alternatives to nuclear
power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.
2012 Jan 14, A French Mirage
and a Saudi F-15 collided in the kingdom's northern region of Tabuk
without causing casualties.
2012 Jan 15, Spain’s Interior
Ministry said French police acting alongside Spanish counterparts
have arrested three men at a railway station in France on suspicion
of belonging to Basque separatist group ETA. They were identified as
Jon Echeverria Oyarbide (33), Ruben Rivero Campo, and Inigo Sancho
2012 Jan 20, An Afghan soldier
shot dead four unarmed French troops during a sports session inside
a base. Pres. Sarkozy suspended French military training and joint
combat operations with Afghan troops, and sent Defense Minister
Gerard Longuet to probe the attack in which at least 15 French
soldiers were also wounded.
2012 Jan 23, Turkey threatened
more sanctions for France if the Senate in Paris votes later today
to make it a crime to deny the 20th-century killing of Armenians by
Ottoman Turks constitutes a genocide. France's parliament approved
the bill later in the day.
(AP, 1/23/12)(AP, 1/24/12)
2012 Jan 24, Turkey warned the
French president against signing a law that makes it a crime to deny
that the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago
constituted genocide, saying such a move would deal a heavy blow to
the relations between the two countries.
2012 Jan 26, In southeast
France Jean-Claude Mas (72), the former head of a French company at
the center of a breast implant scandal affecting tens of thousands
of women worldwide, was arrested along with his former deputy,
2012 Jan 27, France announced
it would withdraw its troops from Afghanistan a year earlier than
the 2014 date agreed by NATO. Pres. Sarkozy, alongside Afghan
President Hamid Karzai who was in Paris for a previously planned
visit, said France had told the US of its plan, and will present it
at a Feb. 2-3 meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.
2012 Jan 31, Rafale, made by
Dassault, emerged as preferred bidder in the contest to supply India
with 126 warplanes in what will be a $15 billion (9 billion pounds)
deal. Its competitor, the Eurofighter Typhoon, is developed by a
consortium comprising the German and Spanish branches of EADS,
Britain's BAE Systems and Italy's Finmeccanica.
2012 Feb 6, Air France pilots
and other personnel began a 4-day walkout to protest a bill
requiring air transport workers to give 48 hours notice before
(SFC, 2/6/12, p.A2)
2012 Feb 13, Suspected Nigerian
pirates fired on a cargo ship around 110 nautical miles off the
coast of Nigeria killing the captain and chief engineer. The French
navy came to the aid of the cargo ship.
(AFP, 2/13/12)(AP, 2/16/12)
2012 Feb 14, French police
searched an upmarket Paris residence of the son of Equatorial
Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema as part of a corruption
2012 Feb 17, In France British
PM David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy put recent
disputes behind them to unveil a nuclear power deal and renew their
own sometimes shaky political alliance. Cameron said the British
engineering firm Rolls-Royce will secure a £400 million (481 million
euro, $632 million) share in the work to build Britain's first
French-pioneered EPR reactor at Hinkley Point in southern England.
2012 Feb 17, France and Britain
pledged to help the Syrian opposition in its struggle against Bashar
al-Assad's regime but said conditions were not right for a foreign
intervention as in Libya. Pres. Sarkozy urged anti-Assad forces to
unite and be better organized.
2012 Feb 19, In northern France
a coach taking 47 British holidaymakers home from a school skiing
trip rolled into a ditch, killing a teacher and injuring 23 people.
2012 Feb 26, Hollywood gave its
best film award to the silent French movie "The Artist." It also
collected Oscars for its star Jean Dujardin and director Michel
Hazanavicius, as well as for musical score and costume design. Meryl
Streep won as Best Actress for playing former British PM Margaret
Thatcher in "The Iron Lady." Veteran Christopher Plummer made
history by becoming the oldest winner ever at age 82 with his role
as an elderly gay man in "Beginners."
2012 Feb 28, Paris-based
Interpol said 25 suspected members of the loose-knit Anonymous
hacker movement have been arrested in a sweep across Europe and
(SFC, 2/29/12, p.A4)
2012 Feb 28, The French
Constitutional Assembly struck down a draft law that would have
criminalized the denial of the (1915-1919) Armenian genocide by
(SFC, 2/29/12, p.A2)
2012 Mar 2, France said it is
closing its embassy in Syria, a day after two French journalists
escaped to Lebanon.
2012 Mar 10, Jean Giraud
(b.1938), French cartoonist aka Moebius, died overnight in Paris.
2012 Mar 11, In France a
non-commissioned officer, dressed in civilian clothes, was shot dead
in the street in Toulouse at point blank range.
2012 Mar 12, French police
raided the home of L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt and seized a
computer as part of a probe involving suspected illegal party
financing and tax evasion.
(SFC, 3/13/12, p.A2)
2012 Mar 15, France rejected
weapons requests by the Syrian rebel forces, saying that arming the
Syrian opposition could lead to catastrophic civil war.
2012 Mar 15, In southern France
a gunman on a motorbike opened fire on three uniformed paratroopers
at a bank machine in Montauban, killing two and critically wounding
the other. Four days earlier, a gunman on a motorbike shot and
killed another paratrooper in Toulouse, about 50 km (30 miles) away.
The same caliber of weapon was used in both attacks.
2012 Mar 19, In France a gunman
burst into a Jewish school in Toulouse shooting dead Jewish rabbi
Jonathan Sandler (30), his two sons and another child in the third
such deadly attack in a week. The next day police identified Mohamed
Merah (b.1988), a French petty criminal of Algerian origin, as the
killer. Special forces cornered him in a building. Merah had spent
time in Pakistan and Afghanistan and claimed to be an Al-Qaeda
3/21/12)(Econ, 3/1/14, p.2014)
2012 Mar 21, In France 3 police
officers were wounded in a predawn raid while trying to arrest
Mohamed Merah, a 24-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent. The
gunman was suspected of killing three Jewish children, a rabbi and
three French paratroopers in recent days.
2012 Mar 21, In France a
package bomb exploded at Indonesia’s embassy in Paris. French
investigators soon confirmed that the main suspect is Frederic C.
Jean Salvi, who is believed to have studied for several years with
Islamic militants in Indonesia.
2012 Mar 22, In France Mohamed
Merah shot at police with a Colt .45 handgun and was killed with a
bullet to the head as he jumped from a balcony following a 32-hour
siege in Toulousse.
2012 Mar 25, France handed down
preliminary murder and terrorism charges against Abdelkader Merah
alleging he helped his brother Mohamed plan recent attacks against
Jewish schoolchildren and paratroopers.
(SFC, 3/26/12, p.A2)
2012 Mar 26, In France former
IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was handed preliminary charges
alleging he was involved in a French prostitution ring.
(SFC, 3/27/12, p.A2)
2012 Mar 29, France barred a
group of Muslim clerics, including one of the most prominent voices
in Sunni Islam, from entering the country to attend a conference.
The clerics had been invited by the French Islamic Union to
speak April 6-9 at a congress in Le Bourget near Paris. Police
detained 19 people as they launched a crackdown on suspected
Islamist extremists in cities around the country.
(AP, 3/29/12)(AP, 3/30/12)
2012 Mar 29, Franco-Algerian
nuclear physicist Adlene Hicheur (35) went on trial in Paris for
allegedly plotting terror attacks in France. Police arrested
Hicheur, a researcher studying the universe's birth, at the European
Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), in October 2009 after
intercepting emails he wrote. He stood trial charged with criminal
association as part of a terrorist enterprise.
2012 Mar 29, Equatorial Guinea
warned that French firms would face the consequences if Paris did
not scrap an arrest warrant for the son of President Teodoro Obiang
Nguema. A day earlier the ruling Democratic Party (PDGE) said the
country's first son, also the party's vice president, could not be
judged by a French court.
2012 Mar, French public debt
stood at 90% of GDP and was rising. Public spending was at 56% of
GDP and the country had not balanced its books since 1974.
(Econ, 3/31/12, p.15)
2012 Apr 3, In France
preliminary charges were filed against 13 people who were picked up
in a sweep last week, all members of a banned group, Forsane Alizza,
or Knights of Pride. Those charged were reportedly calling for
Muslim Sharia law to be implemented in France.
2012 Apr 3, Richard Descoings
(53), director of one of France’s top colleges, was found dead in
NYC where he was on an official visit. He pioneered efforts to open
elitist schools to the underprivileged and bring in foreign
2012 Apr 4, French police
rounded up 10 people in their second country-wide sweep in several
days. The arrests were part of a high-profile crackdown on radical
Islamists in the wake of attacks on soldiers and a Jewish school.
2012 Apr 10, Raymond Aubrac
(b.1914), one of the last major figures of the French Resistance,
died. He got away from the Nazis' grasp in a now-legendary escape
led by his equally renowned wife.
2012 Apr 14, French energy
giant Total said it had made progress on plans to fix the gas leak
at well G4 on its Elgin platform, 150 miles (240km) off Aberdeen on
Scotland's east coast.
2012 Apr 22, France held its
first round of presidential elections. The first-round balloting
trimmed down a list of 10 candidates to two finalists for a May 6
runoff. Final results showed Socialist Francois Hollande won 28.6%
of the vote and incumbent conservative Nicolas Sarkozy 27.2%.
Far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen was in third with 17.9%.
(AP, 4/22/12)(AP, 4/23/12)
2012 May 5, Voters in France's
overseas territories began casting ballots for Nicolas Sarkozy or
Francois Hollande in a presidential election that could affect
everything from Europe's efforts to fight its debt crisis to how
long French troops stay in Afghanistan.
2012 May 6, France voted in a
presidential run-off election. Socialist challenger Francois
Hollande (51.62%) defeated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy (48.38%) by
capitalizing on public anger over the government's austerity
policies. Sarkozy became the first French one-term president since
Valery Giscard d'Estaing lost his re-election bid in 1981.
(AP, 5/6/12)(AP, 5/7/12)
2012 May 15, Francois Hollande
became president of France.
2012 May 15, French energy
giant Total said it has begun the operation to plug a gas leak under
one of its North Sea platforms by pumping it full of mud at high
2012 May 16, In France
Jean-Marc Ayrault, previously the mayor of Nantes, took office as
the new prime minister. He replaced Francois Fillon.
(SFC, 5/16/12, p.A2)(Econ, 11/17/12, SR p.4)
2012 May 16, French energy
giant Total said it had plugged a gas leak under the North Sea Elgin
platform that cost the firm hundreds of millions of dollars and
threatened to trigger a major explosion off the coast of Scotland.
2012 May 16, In French Guiana
an Ariane 5 rocket successfully launched two Asian telecoms
satellites into orbit from the Kourou space center. It placed into
orbit two geostationary satellites, the JCSAT-13 for the Japanese
SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, and the VINASAT-2 of the Vietnam Posts
and Telecommunications Group.
2012 May 17, Members of
France's new Socialist-led government promised to take a pay cut, a
gesture of shared sacrifice by leaders who must now both reduce the
country's massive debts and tackle spiraling unemployment.
2012 May 18, French Pres.
Francois Hollande, on his first visit to the Oval Office, told Pres.
Obama that he will withdraw all French troops from Afghanistan by
(SFC, 5/19/12, p.A2)
2012 May 19, A fishing boat
sank off the French island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean. At least
2 adults and 3 children died and 15 people remained missing.
(SFC, 5/21/12, p.A2)
2012 May 25, French President
Francois Hollande for the first time provided details of his plan to
pull France's combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the
year, saying he would leave around 1,400 soldiers behind to help
with training and logistics.
2012 May 27, In France the film
“Amour," directed by Michael Haneke of Austria, won 1st prize the
Cannes Film Festival.
(SFC, 5/28/12, p.E3)
2012 May 30, Canadian
authorities issued a "Canada-wide arrest warrant" for porn actor
Luca Rocco Magnotta (29), a suspect police have connected to a
homicide and the mailings of two body parts from Montreal to Ottowa.
Police suspected he killed Jun Lin (33), last seen on May 24. Police
said Magnotta had dated Lin, filmed the murder and then fled to
(SFC, 5/31/12, p.A2)(AP, 6/1/12)(SFC, 6/2/12,
2012 Jun 17, France held
legislative elections. Final results showed the Socialist Party won
280 seats, while two closely allied parties garnered a total of 34
seats, giving the Socialist-led bloc 314 seats.
2012 Jun 18, French President
Francois Hollande's Socialist government formally resigned after the
legislative elections. He immediately re-appointed Jean-Marc Ayrault
as prime minister and asked him to form a new government, which was
expected to be nearly identical to the outgoing cabinet.
2012 Jun 20, In France a
gunman, who authorities say had past psychiatric problems, took four
people hostage in a bank in Toulouse, claiming he was acting for
religious reasons. The gunman released one hostage mid-afternoon, a
woman in her late 20s.
2012 Jun 21, French PM
Jean-Marc Ayrault named two new female ministers in a minor
government adjustment, bringing the total number of women in the
38-member Cabinet to 19.
2012 Jun 23, In France
thousands of Iranian exiles led a Paris rally to demand democratic
change in Iran and help for Iranian resistance members in Iraq's
2012 Jun 29, French authorities
arrested a Tunisia-born man, the administrator of an extremist
French website, who is suspected of playing a key role in financing
and recruiting for al-Qaida and other terrorist groups in several
2012 Jul 2, Corsican separatist
gunmen (FNLC) attacked the luxury holiday villa of a French banker,
evacuated the occupants and detonated 4 explosives inside.
(SFC, 7/3/12, p.A2)
2012 Jul 4, In Afghanistan the
French military handed over Kapisa province to local forces,
completing an important stage in France's accelerated withdrawal
from the war-torn country.
2012 Jul 12, France issued an
arrest warrant for the son of Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro
Obiang Nguema after he refused to be interviewed by magistrates on
graft charges. He declined to be interviewed claiming immunity as
Equatorial Guinea's vice president.
2012 Jul 12, Struggling French
carmaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen, facing diving sales in crisis-hit
southern Europe, announced a drastic cost-cutting plan to slash
8,000 jobs in France and close a major factory north of Paris.
2012 Jul 12, A slab of ice
broke off high in the French Alps, sparking an avalanche that swept
nine Europeans to their deaths as they tried to climb Mont Blanc. 11
other climbers were hospitalized and at least four are still
2012 Jul 13, In southern France
three Americans, crew members of Universal Jet Aviation, died when a
private plane crashed at Le Castellet airport.
2012 Jul 14, An Italian Alpine
rescue team military official said the bodies of a Polish woman and
Spanish man were found 4,400 meters (14,436 feet) up on the Mont
Blanc Dome du Gouter peak on the Italian-French border after
spending more than 24 hours in a snow hole.
2012 Jul 19, France seized a
six-storey mansion on the chic Avenue Foch in the 16th district,
reportedly worth between 100 and 150 million euros, in connection
with an investigation into Teodorin Obiang, the son of Equatorial
Guinea leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema.
2012 Jul 22, In Spain a
vacationing French family of five jumped off a seaside cliff in a
desperate attempt to escape a raging wildfire in Portbou, with the
father and one of his children plummeting some 50 meters (165 feet)
to their deaths. Two other people were also killed by the weekend
fires in northeastern Spain.
2012 Jul 25, In France a
helicopter crashed in the Verdon Gorge and killed all 6 people on
board. They were all employees of Eurocopter, an EADS-owned firm.
(SFC, 7/26/12, p.A7)
2012 Jul 31, The French
Parliament approved legislation making sexual harassment a crime.
(SFC, 8/1/12, p.A2)
2012 Aug 2, It was reported
that France planned to offer financial incentives to French
fishermen for hunting bull sharks, a threatened shark species,
following recent attacks on people off the coast of Reunion.
(SFC, 8/2/12, p.A4)
2012 Aug 13, A government
spokesman says Iraq has asked French oil giant Total S.A. to choose
between working with the self-ruled northern Kurdish region or to
quit developing one of the major oil fields in southern Iraq.
2012 Aug 13, In northern France
months of tension between police and young people exploded in
Amiens, with dozens of youths facing off against riot officers in a
night of violence. Some 17 officers were injured after more than 200
riot police were stationed to the area.
(AP, 8/14/12)(AP, 8/15/12)
2012 Aug 17, In France Patrick
Ricard (67), chairman of the board of directors of Pernod Ricard,
died. He transformed a small firm based on his father's
anis-flavored liquor into a global entity with some of the most
famous names in alcohol.
2012 Aug 28, French sources
said prosecutors have opened a murder enquiry into Palestinian
leader Yasser Arafat's 2004 death near Paris following claims he may
have died of polonium poisoning.
2012 Aug, France launched its
latest campaign to drive Gypsies from their camps.
2012 Sep 5, In the French Alps
the bodies of 3 British vacationers and French cyclist, Sylvain
Mollier (45), were found slain near the village of Chevaline. A
4-year-old girl was found alive among the bodies. Her sister (7) was
beaten and shot but survived. Their BMW car was registered to
Baghdad-born Saad al-Hilli (b.1962), who had lived in Britain since
at least 2002. His family had been in France since August. A Swedish
passport and Iraqi passport were also found at the scene. A family
feud was suspected. On June 24, 2013, the brother of Saad al-Hilli
was arrested after investigators gathered evidence that the siblings
were fighting over their father's inheritance.
(AP, 9/6/12)(AP, 9/7/12)(AP, 6/24/13)
2012 Sep 9, France's richest
man, Bernard Arnault, the CEO of luxury giant LVMH, confirmed
reports that he is seeking Belgian citizenship.
2012 Sep 14, A French magazine
published photos of Prince William's wife Kate sunbathing topless at
a private house in southern France, prompting a strong condemnation
from the royal family.
2012 Sep 19, A French magazine
ridiculed the Prophet Mohammad on by portraying him naked in
cartoons, threatening to fuel the anger of Muslims around the world
who are already incensed by a film depiction of him as a lecherous
fool. A grenade exploded at a kosher grocery store in a Jewish
neighborhood in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles. One person was
2012 Sep 24, A court in
southwestern France convicted a factory chief and a subsidiary of
oil giant Total of manslaughter for an explosion at a chemical plant
in September, 2001, that killed 31 people.
2012 Sep 28, The French
government presented a budget that was heavy on taxes — including a
controversial 75 percent income rate on high earners. It committed
to reduce the deficit to 3% next year.
(AP, 9/28/12)(Economist, 10/6/12, p.17)
2012 Sep 30, In France
thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully in Paris to denounce
austerity measures in Europe that have sparked violent protests in
other EU countries struggling to avert fiscal crises.
2012 Oct 6, French police
carried out raids across the country after DNA on a grenade that
exploded last Sep 19 at a kosher grocery store led them to a
suspected jihadist cell of young Frenchmen recently converted to
Islam. A man named by police as Jeremy Louis-Sydney, was killed by
police after he opened fire on them, slightly wounding three
officers in the eastern city of Strasbourg. Eleven other suspects
were arrested across the country. Some of the 12 suspected cell
members arrested over the weekend appeared to have plans to go to
Syria to fight in its civil war.
(AP, 10/6/12)(AP, 10/10/12)
2012 Oct 9, French police
discovered bomb-making materials in an underground parking lot near
Paris as part of a probe of an "extremely dangerous terrorist cell"
linked to an attack on a kosher grocery.
2012 Oct 11, In France a court
in Creteil, outside Paris, sentenced 4 of 14 men accused of rape to
prison terms, although most of the time was suspended. The longest
term any will serve is a year. French women's organizations decried
the acquittals and lenient sentences for the gang raping two teenage
girls more than a decade ago.
2012 Oct 13, French President
Francois Hollande said his country was committed to facilitating
freedom of movement, exchange and trade within the French-speaking
world during a visit to Congo for the Francophonie Summit.
2012 Oct 17, France's foreign
minister Laurent Fabius said Syria's air force is using so-called
barrel bombs — makeshift weapons consisting of containers stuffed
with TNT — to heavily damage neighborhoods. Fabius met with
representatives of about 20 countries to share details about a
secret French aid program and encourage others to join it.
2012 Oct 20, In France some 70
far-right extremists from around the country stormed the
construction site of a mosque in Poitiers to show their hostility
toward it and denounce immigration that has brought millions of
Muslims into the country.
2012 Oct 22, A French defense
official said that France plans to move two surveillance drones to
western Africa from Afghanistan by year-end, though he did not
provide details. France is also reported to have special forces in
the region around Mali, and to have contracted out surveillance of
Mali to a private company.
2012 Oct 24, French police
arrested former Seattle real estate developer Michael Mastro and his
wife, Linda at their apartment in the town of Doussard near Lake
Annecy. A day later, US authorities handed them a 43-count grand
jury indictment on charges of money laundering and bankruptcy fraud,
including allegedly lying about the whereabouts of two huge diamonds
valued together at $1.4 million as part of a bankruptcy proceeding.
2012 Oct 27, In France several
hundred striking Air France workers, protesting a restructure plan
to cut 10% of the work force, clashed with police at Paris’
Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport.
(SSFC, 10/28/12, p.A3)
2012 Oct 27, In Greece Costas
Vaxevanis, publisher of Hot Doc magazine, printed a list of 2,059
Greek depositors at a bank in Switzerland. The list, dating from
2007, was allegedly given to the Greek government by French
officials in 2010. Vaxevanis was arrested, faced trial and was
acquitted. On Oct 8, 2013, he appeared in court again to stand trial
again for violating privacy laws.
(SFC, 10/29/12, p.A2)(Econ, 11/3/12,
2012 Oct 28, French police
arrested Izaskun Lesaka (37) and another suspected ETA member,
Joseba Iturbide Ochoteco (35), in a hotel in Macon. Police said
Lesaka was considered one of ETA's top three leaders and that police
also seized abundant computer equipment and a stolen car with false
2012 Nov 9, An Algerian
military cargo plane crashed in southern France with six people
aboard. The plane returning to Algeria carried five military
personnel and one official of the Algerian national bank.
2012 Nov 13, France became the
first Western country to formally recognize Syria's newly formed
opposition coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the
2012 Nov 13, In France Thierry
Tilly (48), arrested in Switzerland in 2009, was sentenced to eight
years in prison. His manipulation of the de Vedrines family has led
to comparisons to the Russian mystic Rasputin's legendary influence
over the tsar.
2012 Nov 14, On France’s island
of Corsica Jacques Nacer, a shopkeeper and chief of Corsica's
chamber of commerce, was killed. He was the second high-profile
killing on the island in a month.
2012 Nov 17, In France groups
opposed to President Francois Hollande's plans to legalize gay
marriage and gay adoptions took to the streets. Large groups marched
in Paris, Lyon and Toulouse.
2012 Nov 19, French oil firm
Total SA said it has sold a stake in an offshore oil field in
Nigeria for $2.5 billion to Chinese state oil company Sinopec Corp.
The cash deal requjired approval by Nigerian authorities.
2012 Nov 20, France ended its
combat operations in Afghanistan, pulling hundreds of troops from a
base in a volatile region northeast of Kabul and fulfilling promises
to end its combat role on a faster track than other NATO allies.
2012 Nov 22, Former French
Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy spent 12 hours in a Bordeaux court answering
questions about whether he accepted illegal campaign donations from
the 90-year-old L'Oreal heiress, Liliane Bettencourt.
(AP, 11/22/12)(SFC, 11/23/12, p.A2)
2012 Nov 23, Former French
tennis coach Regis de Camaret (70) was convicted and sentenced to
eight years in prison for raping young students at his academy,
ending a seven-year legal case that began when a former ranked
player published a book describing years of abuse at his hands.
2012 Nov 24, In western France
protesters squatting in treetop tents and makeshift shelters battled
for a 2nd day with French riot police trying to expel them from the
site of a planned airport near Nantes.
2012 Nov 26, France's EDF and
partner Centrica have received the first UK site licence for a new
nuclear plant in 25 years, paving the way for Britain's first new
nuclear station since 1995.
2012 Nov 27, France announced
that it plans to vote in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state at
the UN General Assembly this week.
2012 Dec 5, The Passenger Rail
Agency of South Africa announced that it has accepted a $5.8 billion
deal with French company Alstom SA to refurbish the nation's
2012 Dec 12, French Foreign
Minister Laurent Fabius said more than 100 countries have recognized
a new Syrian opposition coalition. Fabius called the "Friends of the
Syrian People" conference meeting in Marrakech, Morocco,
"extraordinary progress." US and NATO said President Bashar Assad's
forces had fired Scud missiles at rebel areas.
(AP, 12/12/12)(AP, 12/13/12)
2012 Dec 14, French mountaineer
Maurice Herzog died (93), six decades after his 1950 Annapurna climb
made him a household name.
2012 Dec 16, French actor
Gerard Depardieu said in an open letter that he is turning in his
passport following his move to tax-friendly Belgium after PM
Jean-Marc Ayrault called Depardieu pathetic and unpatriotic.
(SFC, 12/17/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 19, In northern
Nigeria more than 30 assailants stormed a house, killing two people
and kidnapping French engineer Francis Collomp in the town of Rimi,
Katsina state. On Nov 17, 2013, it was reported that Collomp had
escaped and was on his way to France.
(AP, 12/20/12)(Reuters, 11/17/13)
2012 Dec 20, French President
Francois Hollande acknowledged the "unjust" and "brutal" nature of
France's occupation of Algeria for 132 years, but stopped short of
apologizing for the past as many Algerians have demanded on the
second day of his state visit to Algeria.
2012 Dec 26, Angry Central
African Republic protesters carrying clubs threw rocks at the French
Embassy, criticizing the former colonial power for failing to do
more to stem a rapid rebel advance as fears grew that the insurgents
aim to seize the capital.
2012 Dec 29, Embattled French
President Francois Hollande suffered a fresh setback when France's
highest court threw out a plan to tax the ultrawealthy at a 75
percent rate, saying it was unfair. The court's ruling took issue
not with the size of the tax, but with the way it discriminated
between households depending on how incomes were distributed among
2012 Dec 30, French
reinforcements arrived in the Central African Republic from nearby
Gabon, bringing the total French military force in the capital,
Bangui, to nearly 600.
2012 Martin Evans authored
“Algeria: France’s Undeclared War."
(Econ, 12/31/11, p.67)
2012 Marilyn Yalom authored
“How the French Invented Love: Nine Hundred Years of Passion and
(SSFC, 10/28/12, p.F5)
2012 The French government made
an administrative change that allowed minors with valid ID to leave
the country without parental authorization.
(SFC, 12/9/14, p.A2)
2013 Jan 1, French
Interior Minister Manuel Valls said young revelers set afire
1,193 vehicles, lamenting that this has become a way to mark the
arrival of the New Year. His announcement was the first time in
three years that such figures have been released.
2013 Jan 3, The Basque
nationalist group known as Batasuna, legal in France but banned in
Spain, announced that it is dissolving after 11 years.
2013 Jan 3, In France Internet
Service Provider Free, run by Xavier Niel, upgraded software on its
customer modems with online ads blocked by default. The move was
aimed chiefly at Google.
(Econ, 1/12/12, p.57)
2013 Jan 3, Russia announced
that President Vladimir Putin has approved French actor Gerard
Depardieu's application for citizenship.
2013 Jan 5, A Moroccan family
of 5 returning home died when their plane crashed shortly after
takeoff from Grenoble airport near the French Alps.
2013 Jan 8, A Paris court
convicted nine people for links to a militant group that the UN
Security Council has described as an al-Qaida affiliate. Suspected
ringleader, Irfan Demirtas (53), a Turkish-Dutch national, was given
an eight-year sentence, €20,000 ($26,170) fine and barred from
French territory after his sentence is up.
2013 Jan 9, In France 3 Kurdish
women, including Sakine Cansiz, one of the founders of a militant
group battling Turkish troops since 1984, were "executed" at the
Kurdish Information Center in Paris. Protesters blamed Turkey. A
Turkish lawmaker claimed the women were slain in a dispute between
PKK factions. Omer Guney (34) was later charged with murder in the
killings of Cansiz, Leyla Soylemez and Fidan Dogan. On Dec 17, 2016,
Guney died from brain disease.
(AP, 1/10/13)(AP, 12/18/16)
2013 Jan 9, British health
officials said a new strain of the winter vomiting disease norovirus
has spread to France, New Zealand and Japan from Australia and is
overtaking all others to become the dominant local strain.
2013 Jan 11, In Mali radical
Islamists held on to the central city of Konna after sending the
Malian military reeling in retreat. French President Francois
Hollande ordered air strikes to stop the Islamist extremists. This
was the start of Operation Serval. French airstrikes began over
Konna leaving civilian casualties.
(AP, 1/11/13)(AP, 1/26/13)(Econ, 1/19/13, p.53)
2013 Jan 12, In Mali French
airstrikes overnight drove back Islamist rebels from Konna and
destroyed a militant command center, as West African nations
authorized the immediate deployment of troops to the country. At
least 11 civilians were killed in Konna. A French pilot was killed
after the Islamists downed his combat helicopter.
(AP, 1/12/13)(AP, 1/13/13)
2013 Jan 12, In Somalia a
French commando raid to free a captive intelligence agent, code-name
Denis Allex, ended in the deaths of 17 Islamists and a French
soldier. France said the hostage also died in the failed rescue, but
the man's captors denied he had been killed and claimed to have
seized a 2nd soldier. Allex was captured in Somalia on July 14,
2013 Jan 13, In France some
300,000 people marched toward the Eiffel Tower from three different
points in the city to protest against President Francois Hollande’s
plan to legalize gay marriage.
2013 Jan 14, In Mali despite
intensive aerial bombardments by French warplanes, Islamist
insurgents grabbed more territory and got much closer to the
2013 Jan 15, French Pres.
Francois Hollande opened talks with top leaders in Abu Dhabi in
hopes of pushing ahead efforts to sell up to 60 Rafale fighter jets
to the United Arab Emirates and strengthen French ties in Gulf
energy and defense industries.
2013 Jan 15, French forces led
an all-night aerial bombing campaign to wrest control of Diabaly, a
small Malian town, from armed Islamist extremists, as more French
troops arrived in preparation for a possible land assault. France
announced it tripling the number of troops deployed to Mali from 800
(AP, 1/15/13)(AP, 1/16/13)
2013 Jan 16, French troops
pressed northward in Mali toward territory occupied by radical
Islamists. The start of the land assault put soldiers in direct
2013 Jan 16, Somalia's most
dangerous militant group reportedly killed French hostage Denis
Allex, whom French military forces tried to rescue last weekend
during a botched raid. French officials have said they believe Allex
was killed the night of the raid and that claims by al-Shabab of an
execution were simply propaganda.
2013 Jan 17, French journalist,
Yves Debay was shot and killed in Aleppo by a regime sniper while
covering clashes between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar
2013 Jan 17, In Mali fighting
raged in Konna, airstrikes hit Diably and army troops raced to
protect Banamba, on the seventh day of the French-led military
intervention to wrest back Mali's north from al Qaida-linked groups.
2013 Jan 20, London's Heathrow
Airport cancelled a fifth of flights and airlines scrapped 40
percent of flights to Paris's main airports as snow continued to
blanket parts of Europe, with more forecast.
2013 Jan 21, Malian and French
troops took control of the town of Diabaly, patrolling the streets
in armored personnel carriers. American planes began transporting
French troops and equipment to Mali. French and Malian troops
arrived in Douentza to find that the Islamists already had retreated
from the town.
(AP, 1/21/13)(AP, 1/22/13)
2013 Jan 22, French and German
Cabinets held a joint meeting before both countries' Parliaments met
in the landmark Reichstag building to mark the anniversary of the
signing of the 1963 Elysee Treaty, a milestone for two countries
that had fought three wars in 70 years.
2013 Jan 22, A foul-smelling
cloud of gas escaped from a factory in northern France, making life
unpleasant from the outskirts of Paris to Britain's shores and
prompting scores of emergency calls. The mercaptan gas from the
Rouen chemical factory was said to be harmless.
2013 Jan 23, A France-based
human rights group charged that Malian forces had committed about 33
killings since new fighting erupted Jan 10.
2013 Jan 24, Frenchwoman
Florence Cassez (38), who spent seven years in prison in Mexico on
kidnapping charges, returned to a hero's welcome in Paris. She was
ordered freed a day earlier because of flaws in her trial. She was
arrested in 2005 and convicted of helping her Mexican then-boyfriend
run a kidnapping gang.
2013 Jan 26, In Mali French
forces took control of the airport and a key bridge in the radical
Islamist stronghold of Gao under the cover of darkness early today,
marking a significant inroad into the heart of territory held by the
2013 Jan 27, In France
thousands of supporters of a government-sponsored bill, that would
legalize marriage and adoption for same-sex couples, marched in
2013 Jan 30, In Mali French
forces took control the airport in Kidal, seizing a key position in
the last remaining urban stronghold of Islamist extremists, whose
fighters escaped with their weapons into a desert region the size of
Texas and are poised to mount counterattacks.
2013 Feb 2, In Mali
French President Francois Hollande, bathed in the cheers and
accolades of the thousands of people of Timbuktu, made a triumphant
stop six days after French forces parachuted into the city.
2013 Feb 3, A French-owned oil
tanker, the M/T Gascogne, was reported missing off Ivory Coast with
17 sailors on board. On Feb 6 Sea Tankers said the ship has been
released and that 2 workers suffered injuries in the hijacking.
(AP, 2/4/13)(AP, 2/6/13)
2013 Feb 3, In Mali French
troops launched overnight airstrikes on Islamic militant sites
around Kidal and Tessalit in Mali's far north.
2013 Feb 4, In northern Mali
French airstrikes targeted the fuel depots and desert hideouts of
Islamic extremists. French forces planned to hand control of
Timbuktu to the Malian army this week.
2013 Feb 6, France's defense
minister said French forces clashed with extremists firing rocket
launchers near the northern Malian city of Gao.
2013 Feb 7, In Mali French
troops began to withdraw from Timbuktu after securing the fabled
city as they ramped up their mission in Gao, searching for Islamic
extremists who may be mixing among the local population.
2013 Feb 8, In northern Mali
French forces wrested Tessalit from control of Islamic insurgents.
In Gao the conflict's first suicide bombing increased fears of
terror attacks. In Bamako soldiers from a unit allied with the
leader of last year's military coup stormed the camp of the
presidential guard, and at least one person was killed and five were
2013 Feb 9, The French and
British governments promised to punish those found responsible for
selling horsemeat in beef products. French consumer safety
authorities said companies from Romania, Cyprus and the Netherlands
were part of a supply chain that resulted in horsemeat being
disguised as beef in frozen lasagna sold around the continent.
(Reuters, 2/9/13)(AP, 2/10/13)
2013 Feb 11, French and Malian
government forces regained control of Geo.
2013 Feb 12, French workers
fired flares and paint bombs and riot police answered with tear gas
in a standoff over layoffs at a plant for US tire maker Goodyear,
amid tensions over a slump in Europe's car industry. Another
demonstration targeted the headquarters of carmaker PSA Peugeot
Citroen, which is laying off thousands of people.
2013 Feb 12, Two French aid
workers were convicted of fraud and sentenced to 2 years in prison
for trying to bring 103 children from central Africa to France for
adoption, claiming they were orphans from Darfur.
2013 Feb 22, French catering
and vouchers group Sodexo said it was withdrawing all frozen beef
products from the market in Britain after finding horse meat in some
of its products.
2013 Feb 26, In Mali a suicide
car bombing killed six government allies in the northern city of
Kidal. The French confirmed that they are engaged in heavy fighting
in northern Mali.
2013 Mar 19, French budget
minister Jerome Cahuzac, ensnared in a ballooning scandal over
suspected tax fraud and money laundering, became the first
resignation in President Francois Hollande's 10-month-old Socialist
government. On April 2 Cahuzac admitted to holding a foreign bank
account for 20 years.
(AP, 3/19/13)(Econ, 4/6/13, p.59)
2013 Feb 19, In Cameroon a
vacationing French family of seven was kidnapped and whisked toward
Nigeria. The family was freed after two months in captivity,
returning on April 19 to safety in Douala.
(AP, 2/20/13)(AP, 4/19/13)
2013 Mar 20, Mexico’s National
Institute of Anthropology and History said Mexico has sent a
diplomatic note to the French government seeking assistance in
heading off an auction of 51 pre-Columbian Mexican artifacts
scheduled in Paris for March 22-23, arguing they are protected
national historical pieces. Mexico has had laws prohibiting the
export of such artifacts since at least 1827.
2013 Mar 21, In France the
Union of Jewish French Students sued Twitter for some $50 million
for failing to honor a court ruling to identify users who post
Holocaust jokes and calls to kill Jews.
(SSFC, 3/24/13, p.A4)
2013 Mar 30, In northern France
five young siblings, aged 2-10, died after a fire erupted in a home
in the town of Saint Quentin.
2013 Mar 30, Xabier Lopez Pena
(alias Thierry), a former leader of armed Basque separatist group
ETA, died from a stroke in a French hospital.
2013 Mar, France’s highest
legal authority said no individual tax should exceed 66.6%.
(Econ, 4/6/13, p.60)
2013 Mar, French entrepreneurs
decided to launch a new 3-year school for software developers. The
school, named “42," soon received 50 thousand applications for 1,000
(Econ, 5/11/13, p.47)
2013 Apr 7, In France Wilfred
De Bruijn was beaten unconscious near his home in central Paris,
sustaining five fractures in his head and face, abrasions and a lost
tooth. His boyfriend, who was also beaten up, said he witnessed
three to four men shouting "Hey, look they're gays," before they
attacked. A photo of the victim went viral on social media.
2013 Apr 10, French Pres.
Francois Hollande called for the abolition of tax havens in Europe
(Econ, 4/13/13, p.55)
2013 Apr 12, The French Senate
voted to legalize same-sex marriage, putting a landmark bill on
track to become law by summer.
2013 Apr 12, In France a
contested auction of dozens of Native American tribal masks went
ahead following a Paris court ruling, in spite of appeals for a
delay by the Hopi tribe, its supporters including actor Robert
Redford, and the US government.
2013 Apr 13, In France Redoine
Faid's took four guards hostage and used explosives hidden inside
tissue packets to blast his way out of a prison in Lille, near the
Belgian border. On May 29 the French Interior Ministry said Faid was
arrested overnight in Pontaut-Combault with an accomplice.
(AP, 4/15/13)(AP, 5/29/13)
2013 Apr 15, This was the
deadline for French ministers to declare their assets as set earlier
by PM Jean-Marc Ayrault. Foreign minister Laurent Fabius dedclarewd
€6m in assets.
(Econ, 4/13/13, p.55)(Econ, 4/20/13, p.53)
2013 Apr 15, In France clashes
again erupted over the construction on a new airport near the city
of Nantes. 3 demonstrators were reported injured as anarchists and
beret-wearing farmers joined against the project.
2013 Apr 21, In France tens of
thousands of demonstrators took to sunny Paris boulevards to protest
the expected passage this week of a bill legalizing gay marriage.
2013 Apr 23, France legalized
gay marriage after a wrenching national debate that exposed deep
conservatism in the nation's heartland and triggered huge protests
that tapped into deep discontent with the Socialist government.
2013 Apr 23, In Libya a car
bomb targeted the French Embassy in Tripoli, wounding two French
guards and a Libyan teenager.
2013 Apr 26, France's Defense
Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian reaffirmed that his country will keep
1,000 of its troops in Mali to fight radical Islamic militants even
after the arrival later this year of more than 12,000 UN
2013 Apr 28, In France a
possible gas explosion ripped off the side of a five-story
residential building in Reims, killing at least 3 people and
injuring at least 10 others.
2013 Apr 28, French troops in
Mali arrested overnight Gilles Le Guen, a French citizen who
converted to Islam. Le Guen had taken on the jihadist cause and
threatened his native country in a video last fall.
2013 Apr 29, France’s Pres.
Hollande announced a clutch of pro-business measures, such as
cutting the capital gains tax he had raised just six months earlier.
(Econ, 5/4/13, p.67)
2013 Apr 29, France said it
will effectively freeze its military spending for the next several
years, cutting nearly 10% of defense jobs. A defense review white
paper opted to keep air, ground and sea capabilities, while freezing
defense budgets over 6 years and cutting 34,000 mioitary posts
between 2014 and 2019.
(SFC, 4/30/13, p.A2)(Econ, 5/4/13, p.55)
2013 May 5, In France tens of
thousands of supporters of leftist parties marched through central
Paris to express disappointment with President Hollande's first year
in power, criticizing the leader for reneging on his promises to
rein in the world of finance and enact economic stimulus.
2013 May 7, French authorities
detained six suspected members of Basque separatist group ETA in
simultaneous police operations at three sites: Blois, Montpellier
2013 May 8, Belgian, French and
Swiss authorities arrested at least 31 people in a sweep for robbers
who pulled off a diamond theft on Feb 18 with clockwork precision at
2013 May 16, In France, a dozen
students and a teacher saw a man kill himself with a shot in the
head at a private Catholic school. People expressed surprise that
the man gained access to the private La Rochefoucauld school, in the
heart of Paris' 7th district.
2013 May 17, In France PSA
Peugeot Citroen said that it has signed an agreement with the CGT
union to end a strike at a factory north of Paris, which started
January 16. Workers said they will still fight a plan to close the
2013 May 17, French officials
said thieves overnight had ripped a safe from the wall of a hotel
room near the Cannes Film Festival and made off with some $1 million
worth of jewelry.
(SFC, 5/18/13, p.A2)
2013 May 18, French President
Francois Hollande signed a law authorizing gay marriage and adoption
by same-sex couples. This means the first gay marriages may be
celebrated in France within about 10 days.
2013 May 18, French police
arrested Julian Stevenson (48), a British unemployed man after the
bodies of his daughter (5) and son (10) were found with their
throats slit at his apartment in a suburb of Lyon. Stevenson hanged
himself in prison on Dec 30.
(Reuters, 5/19/13)(AFP, 12/31/13)
2013 May 25, In France a man
stabbed a soldier in uniform in the throat in the commercial
district of La Defense outside Paris. Cedric Cordier (23) remained
hospitalized but his throat wound wasn't life-threatening. A suspect
(22) in the stabbing was arrested on May 29.
(AP, 5/26/13)(SFC, 5/27/13, p.A2)(AP, 5/29/13)
2013 May 26, In France
thousands of people protested in central Paris against the country’s
new gay marriage law.
2013 May 26, The Palm d’Or of
the 66th Cannes Film Festival went to “Blue Is the Warmest Color:
The Life of Adele," a tender lesbian romance by Tunisian director
(SFC, 5/27/13, p.A2)
2013 May 28, French defense
contractor Thales was reported to have won a 10-year contract worth
600 million pounds ($906 million) to service the British Royal
Navy's submarines and ships.
2013 May 29, Vincent Autin (40)
and his partner, Bruno Boileau (30) became the first gay couple to
marry in France.
2013 May 29, The EU granted
France, Spain, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia more time
to bring their budget deficits under control to support the bloc's
shrinking economy. The European Commission approved France’s request
to postpone by 2 years the target of cutting its budget deficit to
3% of GDP.
(AP, 5/29/13)(Econ, 6/1/13, p.55)
2013 Jun 4, Britain and France
made back-to-back announcements that the nerve gas sarin was used in
Syria's conflict. A UN probe said it had "reasonable grounds" to
suspect small-scale use of toxic chemicals in at least four attacks
in March and April in Syria.
2013 Jun 5, In France a group
of skinheads attacked a far-left activist in the heart of Paris'
shopping district, leaving Clement Meric (18) brain-dead in the
hospital. The attack raised fears of increased far-right violence. A
murder investigation soon followed against a security guard,
identified only as Esteban. Charges of group violence also followed
against Esteban and 3 other men over the fight that led to Meric's
(AP, 6/6/13)(AP, 6/9/13)
2013 Jun 6, The British
Competition Commission barred France's Groupe Eurotunnel from
docking its ferries at Dover for at least two years due to concerns
its purchase of three ferries would allow it to dominate over half
of the market.
2013 Jun 7, In France former PM
Pierre Mauroy (84) died in Paris. He served from 1981-1984 under
Socialist President Francois Mitterrand. His reforms included
cutting the legal work week, lowering the retirement age and raising
the number of paid holidays.
2013 Jun 10, The Int’l. Energy
Agency in Paris said the world’s energy-related carbon dioxide
emissions rose 1.4% in 2012 to a record high of 31.6 billion tons.
(SFC, 6/11/13, p.A2)
2013 Jun 12, A strike by French
air traffic controllers forced cancellations of more than 60% of
flights and disrupted travel elsewhere in Europe.
2013 Jun 13, French rail
workers walked off the job to protest a reorganization of the
national rail and train companies. Up to 70% of train journeys in
France were canceled. The action began the previous evening and was
set to end the morning of June 14.
2013 Jun 14, In France the
Airbus A350's maiden flight ended with a safe landing, setting the
stage for intensifying competition with US rival Boeing in the
long-haul wide-body aircraft market.
2013 Jun 14, EU trade ministers
at a meeting in Luxembourg agreed to France's demand to keep its
movie and television industry out of the hotly anticipated
2013 Jun 17, In France Airbus
and Boeing both won pledges for big purchases of long-haul,
wide-body jets, as the Paris Air Show got off to a robust, if rainy
2013 Jun 18, Vincent Clerc of
the Copenhagen-based company's shipping unit said MSC Mediterranean
Shipping Company S.A. and CMA CGM of France, the world's three
biggest shipping container operators, will form the P3 alliance with
2013 Jun 25, In France the
Eiffel Tower Paris was shut down due to a labor dispute over
salaries, profit sharing and other issues. It reopened after workers
returned on June 27.
(SFC, 6/26/13, p.A2)(AP, 6/27/13)
2013 Jun, In Syria four French
journalists went missing in two incidents. On April 19, 2014, French
officials said Edouard Elias, Didier Francois, Nicolas Henin and
Pierre Torres had been released.
2013 Jul 6, Russia's Interior
Ministry said French authorities have detained Alexei Kuznetsov, a
former Russian politician. He has been on an Interpol wanted list
since November, accused of fraud worth 3.5 billion roubles. ($105
2013 Jul 12, In central France
a train derailment killed at least six people at the station of
Bretigny-sur-Orge. The next day French train operator SNCF said it
may have been caused by a loose steel plate at a junction.
2013 Jul 15, In France
Greenpeace activists occupied a nuclear power plant site before
dawn, a media stunt deeply embarrassing to the government, which is
intent on demonstrating that France's reliance on nuclear power is
2013 Jul 16, In southwestern
France a neo-Nazi linked to Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring
Breivik was arrested after investigators decided he might stage a
large "terrorist act." Kristian Vikernes (40), who is also a
convicted murderer from Norway, had in the past received a copy of a
manifesto from Breivik, the far-right militant who killed 77 people
2013 Jul 20, In France 6 people
were arrested after overnight violence that erupted in Trappes near
Versailles. The trouble began two days earlier when police checked
the identity of a woman wearing a Muslim veil and engaged in a
scuffle with her husband. It is illegal in France for women to wear
full face veils in public but the law is contested in the mainly
Muslim suburbs that ring major cities.
(Reuters, 7/20/13)(Econ, 7/27/13, p.44)
2013 Jul 21, Britain’s Chris
Froome pedaled through the streets of Paris as victor of the 2013
Tour de France.
2013 Jul 21, In France Gilles
Bourdouleix, a member of parliament and mayor for the town of Cholet
near Nantes, had a confrontation with Gypsies, when he visited a
field owned by the town where Gypsies were illegally living in
caravans. He asked them to leave. Some of the Gypsies made Nazi
salutes at Bourdouleix and he responded by saying: "Maybe Hitler
didn't kill enough of them."
2013 Jul 24, The French
government said it would close down two more far-right militant
groups after outlawing three others this month in response to the
death of a militant left-wing student in June in a brawl between
2013 Jul 28, In France some 40
million euro ($53 million) worth of diamonds and other jewels were
stolen from the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes by a single
robber. A day later the value of the stolen jewels was raised to
(AP, 7/28/13)(AP, 7/29/13)
2013 Jul 28, NY-based Omnicom
Group Inc. and Paris-based Publicis Groupe SA said they are
combining in a "merger of equals" that will create the world's
largest advertising firm, one worth more than $35 billion.
2013 Jul 31, Dissident Kazakh
oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov (50), accused at home of embezzling more
than $5 billion, was arrested near the French Riviera resort of
Cannes. The next day he was told by a French judge that he faced
extradition, but his family vowed to fight an expulsion it said was
2013 Aug 6, In France masked
farmers began dumping pallets holding tens of thousands of eggs in
front of a grocery store in Ploumagoar. The action has continued
nightly in the region due to low egg prices. Over-production and
expensive renovations to meet new European norms on hen houses have
reduced egg farmer incomes.
2013 Aug 10, Spain’s Interior
Ministry said that 75 people have been arrested in a joint operation
by Spanish and French police. They included 51 in Spain and 24 in
France. Two Barcelona-based suspected heads of the gang, that
allegedly smuggled Chinese citizens into Europe and the United
States, were among those arrested.
2013 Aug 19, French police
stormed a villa in the Provence town of Bedarrides and arrested
Zoran Tomovic (47), a member of the notorious Pink Panther gang of
jewel thieves. He had escaped from a Swiss prison earlier this year.
2013 Aug 24, Four people were
killed when a helicopter carrying 16 oil workers and two crew
crashed off Scotland's Shetland islands, the fourth incident in the
area involving different models of the widely used aircraft in just
over four years. The Super Puma L2, made by EADS unit Eurocopter,
was operated by CHC Helicopter for France's Total.
2013 Sep 9, In France four men
rammed their car into an upmarket jewellery store in central Paris,
smashing the shop window and making off with a two-million-euro
2013 Sep 10, France announced
it will put forward a resolution in the UN Security Council aimed at
forcing Syria to ultimately dismantle its chemical weapons program,
seizing on a diplomatic opening from Syrian ally Russia amid Western
threats of force against President Bashar Assad's regime.
2013 Sep 10, French trade union
strikes against pension reforms won only limited support, with most
trains running in a sign President Francois Hollande's modest
proposals were unlikely to stir broad opposition.
2013 Sep 12, French car makers
Bollore and Renault said they would collaborate in the field of
(Econ, 9/21/13, p.68)
2013 Sep 16, Representatives
from 15 Caribbean nations gathered in St. Vincent to seek slavery
reparations from Britain, France and the Netherlands.
(SFC, 9/17/13, p.A2)
2013 Sep 17, French Foreign
Minister Laurent Fabius said a report by UN inspectors, who
investigated an August 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria, leaves
no doubt about the responsibility of President Bashar al-Assad's
2013 Sep 20, A French judicial
source said judges have charged a Rwandan doctor for planning to
"commit the crime of genocide" in 1994, after Kigali issued an
international warrant against him. Eugene Rwamucyo was wanted by
Kigali for having allegedly planned and carried out atrocities in
the Butare region of southern Rwanda. In 2010 a French court had
rejected a request to extradite him.
2013 Sep 25, Amnesty Int’l.
said more than 10,000 Roma, also known as Gypsies, have been evicted
from French squatter camps from January to August, with many forced
to return to Romania and Bulgaria despite EU rules requiring free
movement for all EU citizens.
(SFC, 9/25/13, p.A2)
2013 Sep 27, French police
arrested six men in and around Paris over their suspected
involvement in the theft of gold bars worth about 1.6 million euros
($2.1 million) from an Air France plane flying to Zurich. The bars
were stolen from the plane just before it left Paris's Charles de
Gaulle airport on September 19.
2013 Sep, French investigating
judges began bugging the telephone of former Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy.
This was only revealed on March 7, 2014.
(Econ, 3/15/14, p.51)
2013 Oct 1, Officers with
France's DCRI domestic intelligence agency arrested a Paris woman
(21) suspected of possible links to al-Qaeda in the Arabian
2013 Oct 7, A French
oceanographic vessel rescued 29 Syrian refugees, part of a group of
363 asylum-seekers that have landed in Italy in the past 24 hours.
2013 Oct 7, In France Patrice
Chereau (68), a celebrated actor and director in film, theater and
opera, died. He was renowned for cutting-edge productions.
2013 Oct 11, France's
constitutional council upheld a ban on the energy extraction process
known as fracking, two days after the European Parliament voted to
require full environmental reports from companies that want to
establish hydraulic fracturing sites.
2013 Oct 11, A French court
convicted 26 members of three Croatian Roma families of forcing
children to carry out more than 100 robberies in European countries.
2013 Oct 12, In Niger thousands
of people protested against French nuclear firm Areva, which has
been mining uranium in the impoverished country for nearly 50 years.
2013 Oct 14, French President
Francois Hollande, on a visit to South Africa, announced the signing
with South Africa of a $2-billion pact for a thermal power plant in
2013 Oct 14, French authorities
detained Davit Kezerashvili, a former Georgian defence minister,
wanted in his homeland on corruption charges. Kezerashvili, who also
headed the financial police, was charged in January with taking a
bribe of $12 million (nine million euros) to facilitate alcohol
smuggling in the ex-Soviet nation.
2013 Oct 17, In France hundreds
of pupils blocked high schools in the Paris region and joined
protests after Leonarda Dibrani, a 15-year-old girl, was taken off a
school bus on Oct 9 and deported to Kosovo.
(AP, 10/16/13)(Reuters, 10/17/13)
2013 Oct 18, France's
constitutional court ruled that mayors cannot refuse to carry out
same-sex marriages just because they oppose them.
2013 Oct 18, A French court
sentenced three Somali pirates to nine years in prison each for the
2009 hijacking off the Somali coast of a French yacht that led to
the death of its skipper.
2013 Oct 18, French osteopath
Pierre Pallardy (72) was sentenced to 10 years in jail for raping
and sexually assaulting female patients. His list of famous clients
included Pablo Picasso and Rudolf Nureyev.
2013 Oct 19, French Socialist
Pres. Francois Hollande, under fire from the far left and members of
his own party, said that a 15-year-old girl who was detained
in front of her classmates and expelled as an illegal immigrant can
return to France. But the rest of the family cannot come with her.
2013 Oct 21, A Le Monde
newspaper report said the US National Security Agency swept up 70.3
million French telephone records in a 30-day period and offered new
details of the massive scope of a surveillance operation that has
angered some of the country's closest allies.
2013 Oct 24, In Mali the French
military said it has engaged with UN and Malian forces in a major
operation aimed at preventing a resurgence of Islamist rebels in
2013 Oct 28, A major storm,
dubbed the St Jude storm, lashed southern Britain, the Netherlands
and parts of France, knocking down trees, flooding low areas and
causing travel chaos. 5 deaths were reported.
2013 Nov 2, French riot police
fired tear gas at thousands of demonstrators in the north-west,
after some protesters hurled stones and iron bars at them in a rally
against a controversial green tax and layoffs.
2013 Nov 2, Britain’s Guardian
newspaper reported that spy agencies in Germany, France, Spain and
Sweden are carrying out mass surveillance of online and phone
traffic in collaboration with Britain, according to documents leaked
by Edward Snowden.
2013 Nov 2, In Mali two French
journalists were snatched by gunmen in the northern town of Kidal.
Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon of Radio France Internationale
were grabbed by armed men in a 4x4 just after finishing an interview
with the acting head of the rebel National Movement for the
Liberation of the Azawad (NMLA). Their bodies were dumped a dozen km
outside the town.
(Reuters, 11/2/13)(AP, 11/3/13)
2013 Nov 5, Lyon-based Interpol
said it was waiting for information from Dutch authorities after a
rights group said it had identified 1,000 paedophiles by offering
online sex with a computer-generated girl (10).
2013 Nov 6, Cameroonian author
Leonora Miano scooped France's Femina literary prize and used her
acceptance speech to denounce racist insults directed at the French
2013 Nov 9, World powers and
Iran held a third day of crunch talks on Tehran's nuclear program.
France's foreign minister said Iran's refusal to suspend work on a
plutonium-producing reactor and downgrade its stockpile of
higher-enriched uranium was standing in the way of an interim
agreement to curb Tehran's nuclear program in return for easing of
(AFP, 11/9/13)(AP, 11/9/13)
2013 Nov 11, French authorities
filed preliminary charges against Bob Dylan over a 2012 interview in
which he is quoted comparing Croatians to Nazis and the Ku Klux
2013 Nov 13, Fugitive
eco-activist Paul Watson (62) said in France that green warriors
were being classed as "terrorists" and accused Japan of coercing
other countries into making demands for his arrest. The
Canadian-born founder of Sea Shepherd, a marine conservation
organisation, arrived in California on October 28, more than a year
after fleeing arrest in Germany. Watson said he was in talks to seek
refuge in France, the only country apart from the United States
where he said he expects a fair trial.
2013 Nov 13, Gunmen in Cameroon
kidnapped Georges Vandenbeusch, a French priest working in the
lawless northern region. Vandenbeusch was released on Dec 31.
(Reuters, 11/14/13)(AP, 12/31/13)
2013 Nov 14, A French
commercial court ordered TUeV Rheinland, a German product-testing
company, to pay damages to more than 1,600 women and six
distributors after ruling that it failed to properly check silicone
breast implants that turned out to be prone to leakage.
2013 Nov 16, In France between
2,000 and 4,000 freight trucks have closed off major highways and
slowed traffic to a crawl on nine roadways to protest a proposed
environmental tax on heavy loads.
2013 Nov 17, French President
Francois Hollande arrived in Israel for a visit and said France will
never tolerate nuclear proliferation. The visit will also see him
traveling to the Palestinian territories to discuss Middle East
peace talks which have been limping along for three months with
little signs of progress.
2013 Nov 18, In Paris, France,
a gunman opened fire in the lobby of the Liberation newspaper
office, gravely wounding a photographer's assistant before fleeing.
Soon afterward, shots were fired at the headquarters of a major
French bank west of Paris, and a gunman briefly took a man hostage
nearby. Suspect Abdelhakim Dekhar (48) was found Nov 19 after a
tipoff. Police found him in a "semi-conscious state" after an
attempt to kill himself with medication.
(AP, 11/18/13)(AP, 11/21/13)
2013 Nov 19, France, Germany
and other European countries formed a "drone users club" to develop
a rival to the US and Israeli pilotless aircraft that dominate the
2013 Nov 19, In France a small
plane crashed in the central Burgundy region, killing six people.
2013 Nov 20, European Union
lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to meet only in Brussels and avoid
costly monthly treks to Strasbourg, France. The proposal must be
approved by the 28 EU governments and France is certain to nix any
change under the current conditions.
2013 Nov 20, In France
Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai was handed the EU's prestigious
Sakharov human rights prize in recognition of her crusade for the
right of all children, girls and boys, to an education.
2013 Nov 21, Security sources
said French special forces have killed Hacene Ould Khalill the
second-in-command of the veteran Islamist commander Mokhtar
Belmokhtar in an operation in Mali's northern region of Tessalit.
The Mauritanian, known by his nickname Jouleibib, was deputy
commander of Belmokhtar's "Those Who Sign in Blood" Brigade, formed
when the Algerian jihadist split with al Qaeda's North African wing.
2013 Nov 24, In France
thousands of riding enthusiasts protested a sales tax increase.
France planed to nearly triple the value added tax on riding schools
as of January, 2014.
(SFC, 11/25/13, p.A2)
2013 Nov 25, France offered
weapons, training and intelligence cooperation to help Iraq combat
worsening violence amid fears the country is on the verge of
returning to all-out sectarian bloodshed.
2013 Nov 26, France said it
would send hundreds of extra troops to the strife-torn Central
African Republic after the UN warned the country was descending into
2013 Nov 30, The French
parliament backed a reform of the country's prostitution law that
will impose a 1,500-euro fine on anyone paying for sex. The bill
will give France some of the toughest legislation on prostitution in
Europe, similar to that of Sweden.
2013 Dec 2, French police
arrested 45 people in a vast sweep against international arms
2013 Dec 2, At a ceremoney in
Londonderry, Northern Ireland, French artist Laure Prouvost won
Britain's Turner prize for contemporary art for her video
installation set among a mock-tea party setting entitled "Wantee."
2013 Dec 3, French PM Jean-Marc
Ayrault said in a published interview that France will allow private
security forces to protect its shipping fleet against the threat of
2013 Dec 3, Retired French
general Paul Aussaresses (b.1918) died. He led a "death squadron"
that tortured people during Algeria's 1954-1962 war of independence.
In 2004 he was fined 7,500 euros ($10,200) for defending torture and
had his membership of the prestigious Order of the Legion d'Honneur
removed by then President Jacques Chirac.
2013 Dec 3, French experts
released findings that ruled out the poisoning theory of Yasser
Arafat and went in the sense of a natural death. This differed
significantly from those of Swiss scientists, who said last month
their research offered some support for the suggestion Arafat was
killed by polonium poisoning.
2013 Dec 5, Heavy gunfire
erupted in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic.
French troops killed several rebels who were bearing down on them in
a pickup truck. Ex-Seleka fighters stormed Amite Hospital and
abducted at least nine patients by gunpoint in front of horrified
medical staff. The bodies of 11 young men were later found just
outside the hospital. Over 280 people were killed in the violence in
(AP, 12/5/13)(AP, 12/6/13)(AP, 12/8/13)
2013 Dec 6, French President
Francois Hollande told some 40 African leaders at a Paris summit
that the continent must "ensure its own security" in order to "take
charge of its destiny."
2013 Dec 7, French President
Francois Hollande said France will increase its troop deployment in
Central African Republic to 1,600 soldiers by this evening. The
African Union agreed to increase its troops there to 6,000.
(Reuters, 12/7/13)(SSFC, 12/8/13, p.A4)
2013 Dec 9, A Paris auction of
sacred objects from the Hopi and San Carlos Apache Native American
tribes kicked off despite objections from the US and activists. The
auction fetched more than 550,000 euros. On Dec 11 a US charitable
foundation said that it was the anonymous bidder that paid $530,000
for 24 Native American masks in the auction and will return them to
the Hopi Nation in Arizona and the San Carlos Apache tribe
(AFP, 12/9/13)(AFP, 12/10/13)(AP, 12/11/13)
2013 Dec 10, French businessman
Jean-Claude Ma, who sold tens of thousands of breast implants filled
with industrial-grade silicone and prone to leaks, was convicted of
fraud and sentenced to the maximum four years in prison.
2013 Dec 10, Two French
soldiers were killed in overnight fighting in the Central African
Republic, France's first casualties in an operation to restore
stability in its former colony. Officials said over 500 people have
been killed in Bangui over the past week in sectarian fighting.
(Reuters, 12/10/13)(SFC, 12/11/13, p.A4)
2013 Dec 15, French Foreign
Minister Laurent Fabius confirmed that 19 armed Islamists had been
killed in a French-led military operation this week targeting Al
Qaeda-linked rebels in restive northern Mali.
2013 Dec 15, France and Spain
inaugurated high-speed rail service between Barcelona and Paris
cutting travel time by half to about six hours.
(SFC, 12/16/13, p.A2)
2013 Dec 16, French police made
21 arrests as part of an investigation into claims that meat from
horses used to produce anti-rabies and other serums got into the
2013 Dec 17, In France Claude
Gueant, the former right-hand man of ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy,
was arrested for questioning about alleged misuse of public funds
when he served the conservative leader at the interior ministry.
2013 Dec 17, French troops took
on armed Christian militias in Bangui, Central African Republic,
where the UN said 210,000 people had been uprooted in two weeks of
deadly sectarian violence.
2013 Dec 20, In France a
helicopter went down carrying Lam Kok, a Chinese tea tycoon,
overflying his newly-purchased vineyard. The body of Kok's
12-year-old son was pulled out of the Dordogne River. French
winemaker James Gregoire, the helicopter pilot and owner of Chateau
de la Riviere, and their interpreter were also killed.
(AFP, 12/21/13)(SFC, 12/24/13, p.A2)
2013 Dec 21, In Niger up to
1,000 demonstrators marched in Niamey to protest their country's
"unbalanced" partnership with nuclear firm Areva as the French giant
negotiates a new uranium mining agreement with the government.
2013 Dec 24, Hurricane-force
winds and torrential rain disrupted transport networks and cut power
supplies in Britain and France, one of the busiest travel days of
the year just before Christmas, pushing the death toll to at least 6
2013 Dec 25, Powerful winds and
torrential rain swept southern France, grounding flights and cutting
off power to tens of thousands of homes.
2013 Dec 26, In France a
surprise strike by Lufthansa workers at the main Paris airport
prompted flight cancellations and brought a new headache to holiday
travel. Lufthansa said in statement that only two flights were
officially canceled, and that travel was resuming in the afternoon.
2013 Dec 27, Henri Rechatin
(82), aka Henry’s, the celebrated French tightrope walker who
balanced above high the Alps, the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls,
2013 Dec 29, French President
Francois Hollande arrived in Saudi Arabia for a visit aimed at
boosting prospects of commercial cooperation between the countries
and addressing escalating tensions in the Middle East.
2013 Dec 29, France's
Constitutional Council gave the green light on to a 'millionaire's
tax', to be levied on companies that pay salaries of more than 1
million euros ($1.38 million) a year.
2013 Dec 29, Lebanon's
President Michel Suleiman said Saudi Arabia is giving the Lebanese
army $3 billion to buy equipment from France, calling it the largest
grant ever given to the country's armed forces.
(Reuters, 12/29/13)(SSFC, 1/5/14, p.A5)
2013 Thomas Piketty, an
economist at the Paris School of Economics, authored “Capital in the
Twenty-First Century." An English version was published in 2014.
Piketty argued that wealth naturally accumulates and concentrates,
so that familial riches are ever more critical to determining an
individual’s success or failure.
(Econ, 1/4/14, p.60)(Econ, 5/3/14, p.12)(Econ
2013 French judges started
tapping Sarkozy's phones after opening a formal investigation into
allegations that the late former Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi
helped finance his 2007 election campaign. This only was made public
on March 7, 2014.
2013 In France Xavier Niel,
telecom entrepreneur, co-founded “42," a computer programming school
with a capacity of 2,500 students that charges no tuition fees.
(Econ, 2/25/17, p.57)
2014 Jan 6, France's interior
minister said that local officials have the right to ban shows on a
national tour of comic Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala whose performances
are considered anti-Semitic.
2014 Jan 6, In France two
Goodyear managers were trapped in a conference room with angry
workers demanding more money in exchange for the inevitable loss of
their jobs in Amiens. The managers were released after police
intervened on Jan 7.
(AP, 1/6/14)(AP, 1/7/14)
2014 Jan 8, German authorities
said they have charged Werner C. (88), a former member of an SS
armored division, with 25 counts of murder over allegations that he
took part in the June 10, 1944, slaughter in Oradour-sur-Glane in
southwestern France, the largest civilian massacre in Nazi-occupied
2014 Jan 9, A French court
suspended a ban the city of Nantes imposed to prevent a show tonight
by comic Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala whose performances are considered
2014 Jan 9, A French court
ruled that dissident Kazakh Mukhtar Ablyazov, accused of embezzling
up to $6 billion from his former bank BTA, should be extradited from
France to Ukraine or Russia.
2014 Jan 9, French engineering
group Alstom said it has won a contract worth 120 million euros
($163 million) to build Israel's first hydroelectric storage
2014 Jan 10, French President
Francois Hollande threatened legal action over a Closer magazine
report saying he is having a secret affair with actress Julie Gayet.
Hollande’s wife Valerie Trierweiler was hospitalized following the
(AP, 1/10/14)(SFC, 1/13/14, p.A2)
2014 Jan 11, Thousands of
Kurdish demonstrators from around Europe marched in Paris to call
for a speedier investigation into the murder of three Kurdish
activists a year ago.
2014 Jan 13, France's Total
said it has agreed to explore for shale gas in Britain, making it
the first major oil company to enter the country's market in the
face of widely publicized environmental protests.
2014 Jan 19, In southeastern
France "historic" floods left two people dead and more than 150 were
airlifted to safety.
2014 Jan 21, France said it
will create new outposts and broaden its military presence in
Africa's turbulent Sahel region to better fight the terror threat
from extremist groups like al-Qaida. Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le
Drian said France is moving toward a regional counterterrorism
approach in former colonies like Chad, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso,
Niger and Mali.
2014 Jan 24, President Francois
Hollande spoke of "convergence" on international issues after talks
with Pope Francis amid a swirling scandal over the French leader's
love life and divisions in France over issues like abortion and
2014 Jan 24, In northern Mali a
French counter-terrorism offensive ended with 11 Islamist militants
killed and a French soldier wounded.
2014 Jan 25, French Pres.
Francois Hollande announced his separation from first lady Valerie
Trierweiler following a media storm over allegations he is having an
affair with an actress nearly 20 years his junior.
2014 Jan 26, In France some
17,000 people marched through central Paris to criticize President
2014 Jan 28, France's crackdown
on Dieudonne M'bala M'bala intensified with police raiding premises
linked to the controversial comic as part of a probe into suspected
2014 Jan 28, A French court
barred the return to France of a Roma family including Leonarda
Dibrani, the teenage girl whose arrest in front of her schoolmates
and expulsion to Kosovo became a cause celebre.
2014 Jan 28, Europe's top human
rights court in Strasbourg, France, ruled that Ireland's government
failed in its duty to protect children in the case of a woman
sexually abused by a lay teacher at a state-backed Roman Catholic
school in 1973. Louise O'Keeffe (48) said she was abused by her
teacher during lessons in his classroom when she was 9 years old.
She argued that the Irish state failed to put in place appropriate
measures to stop "systematic abuse" at the Dunderrow National
2014 Jan 29, In France Bayern
Munich winger Franck Ribery and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema
were acquitted on charges of soliciting an underage prostitute,
ending a case that has lasted more than three years and tarnished
both players' reputation.
2014 Jan 30, In France about 20
percent of flights in and out of Paris' airports were canceled
because air traffic controllers are on strike over plans to combine
European air space. Controllers in several other European countries
also plan work stoppages.
2014 Feb 2, Thousands of
demonstrators gathered in Paris and Lyon in a renewed protest
against France's legalization of gay marriage.
2014 Feb 2, In France a video,
posted on Facebook, was filmed in the southeastern town of Fontaine
showing two boys pushing an 18-year-old mentally-disabled man in a
park, making him fall and shouting at him before shoving him into a
stream, from which the bewildered-looking victim emerges and walks
away. Over the next two days four boys were detained over the
assault and one (12) was released.
2014 Feb 3, French comedian
Dieudonne M'bala M'bala was banned from entering Britain after he
reportedly planned to visit to support Nicolas Anelka over the
footballer's use of the "quenelle" gesture. The "quenelle" is
Dieudonne's trademark stiff-armed gesture that critics say is a
disguised Nazi salute but that he defends as a generic "up yours" to
the French establishment.
2014 Feb 5, The Luno, mostly
empty Spanish cargo ship, broke in two after hitting a sea wall off
the southwestern coast of France in high winds and was leaking some
fuel into the water.
2014 Feb 6, In France more than
3 tons of illegal ivory seized by customs agents was pulverized into
dust in Europe's first destruction of a stockpile of the banned
2014 Feb 11, French Pres.
Francois Hollande arrived in the US for a formal state visit.
(SFC, 2/11/14, p.A5)
2014 Feb 18, French police
arrested a 48-year-old man in connection with the Sep 2012 killings
of a British-Iraqi family and a cyclist in the Alps, in their first
breakthrough in the case.
2014 Feb 19, French
industrialist and senator Serge Dassault (88), the billionaire
manufacturer of fighter jets, was taken into custody for alleged
vote buying in his former fiefdom east of Paris from 2008-2010.
2014 Feb 22, Iran some 100
French corporate bigwigs held business talks in Tehran. American
business representatives were also in town.
(Econ, 2/22/14, p.39)
2014 Feb 24, France passed the
Florange law in response to ArcelorMittal’s 2013 closure of the
Florange blast furnace in northeast France. It was set to go fully
into force in March 2016 at which point shareholders in listed
French companies will see their voting rights double.
(http://tinyurl.com/loqnsvl)(Econ., 5/2/15, p.12)
2014 Feb 27, French Pres.
Francois Hollande arrived in Abuja and said France stood
shoulder-to-shoulder with Nigeria in its battle against Boko Haram.
He arrived as a guest of honor for celebrations to mark 100 years
since Nigeria's unification.
2014 Mar 1, French filmmaker
Alain Resnais (91) died. His cryptic "Last Year at Marianbad" (1961)
extended its influence across generations. His films included the
acclaimed "Hiroshima Mon Amour" (1959) and most recently "Life of
Riley," honored at the Berlin Film Festival just weeks ago.
2014 Mar 11, France returned
three paintings stolen by the Nazis during WWII to their rightful
owners. This brought the number of looted paintings returned by
France to their rightful owners to 10 in less than a year.
2014 Mar 11, The parliament of
Ukraine's Crimea peninsula voted for full independence from Ukraine
in preparation for a referendum to join Russia. France threatened
sanctions against Moscow as early as this week. Gunmen took over air
traffic control of the airport in the regional capital Simferopol
and refused landing rights to a flight from the Ukrainian capital.
2014 Mar 13, The Paris-based
OECD said it has postponed all activities related to Russia's
accession to the organization following a request from its 34
2014 Mar 14, A French court
ordered an ex-aide of Nicolas Sarkozy to pay 10,000 euros ($14,000)
in damages and costs to the former French president over secret
recordings that were published in an online journal, and instructed
the publication to pull down the links.
2014 Mar 14, A French court
sentenced Pascal Simbikangwa (54), a former member of the Rwandan
presidential guard, to 25 years in prison. He was found guilty of
perpetrating genocide and of complicity in crimes against humanity
2014 Mar 14, Most of France
went under some sort of pollution alert with levels in the Parisian
region surpassing those in cities such as Beijing and New Delhi.
(SFC, 3/15/14, p.A2)
2014 Mar 16, In France the body
of a cyclist hit by a high-speed TGV trains was embedded into the
front of the driver's carriage and carried 40 km (25 miles) before
2014 Mar 17, Paris, France,
imposed drastic measures to combat its worst air pollution in years.
2014 Mar 18, French foreign
minister Laurent Fabius said that leaders of the Group of Eight
world powers have suspended Russia's participation in the club amid
tensions over Ukraine and Russia's incursion into Crimea.
2014 Mar 18, French police
arrested 57 Greenpeace activists who used a truck to ram their way
into a nuclear power plant operated by EDF in eastern France.
2014 Mar 19, France’s highest
court upheld the prison sentence for Jerome Kerviel (37), the rogue
trader convicted of one of the biggest trading frauds in
history. [In 2010 he was sentenced to 3 years in jail with two
years suspended.] The court threw out the $7 billion in civil
damages he’d been ordered to pay back.
(SFC, 3/20/14, p.A2)
2014 Mar 21, France said it is
suspending military cooperation with Russia as Defense Minister
Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Baltic states in a trip designed to
reassure them as tensions mount with Russia over its seizure of
Ukraine's Crimea region.
2014 Mar 22, In France two
masked robbers wielding a pump gun and an axe burst into the Colette
boutique in the heart of Paris, making off with about 600,000 euros
worth of goods from the trendy concept store.
2014 Mar 23, In the first round
of French local elections the governing left took 38% of the vote,
behind the mainstream right with 46%.
(Econ, 3/29/14, p.58)
2014 Mar 23, France provided
new satellite data showing possible debris from Malaysia Airlines
Flight 370, missing since March 8, as searchers continued combing a
remote part of the southern Indian Ocean.
2014 Mar 24, France-based
Airbus Defence & Space captured images showing 122 potential
objects in a 400-sq-km (155-sq-mile) area in the southern Indian
2014 Mar 27, A French court
ordered Closer magazine to pay 15,000 euros for publishing photos of
what it said was a helmeted President Francois Hollande visiting an
actress for a secret tryst. Julie Gayet had sued the magazine for
violation of privacy.
2014 Mar 30, France held a
second round of voting in local elections that are set to result in
a breakthrough by the far right and trigger a reshuffle of the
beleaguered Socialist government. 155 towns swung to the
center-right UMP and the far-right National Front claim 11.
(AFP, 3/30/14)(AP, 3/31/14)
2014 Apr 1, In France Manuel
Valls took up the post of President Francois Hollande's prime
minister, replacing Jean-Marc Ayrault who resigned in the wake of
the ruling Socialists' rout in local elections at the weekend.
2014 Apr 5, In France Anne
Hidalgo (54), the first female mayor of Paris, took office, hailing
a "great advance for all women" and saying she feels the weight of
responsibility in her new job.
2014 Apr 7, Swiss-based Holcim
and its French counterpart, Lafarge, two of the world's largest
suppliers of building materials, announced plans for a merger of
2014 Apr 8, In France Manuel
Valls used his first speech to parliament as prime minister to
announce corporation tax cuts and outline public spending savings.
2014 Apr 9, A French court
blocked the extradition of exiled Kazakh oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov,
an opposition figure wanted on embezzlement charges. Russia alleges
Ablyazov embezzled $5 billion (3.6 billion euros). Ukraine accuses
him of pilfering another $400 million.
2014 Apr 10, A French judicial
source said billionaire industrialist and senator Serge Dassault
(89) has been charged with vote buying in Corbeil-Essonnes, where he
was mayor from 1995 to 2009.
2014 Apr 12, France's foreign
minister arrived in Cuba for a brief but historic visit, the first
by such a high-ranking French official in 30 years and a sign of the
quickening pace of improving ties between the European Union and
2014 Apr 14, French police
demanded that male students and staff at a high school in western
France — 527 people in total — give DNA samples as they searched for
the assailant who raped a teenage girl in La Rochelle. Investigators
had exhausted all other leads in the Sept. 30 rape of the girl in a
dark bathroom at the school.
2014 Apr 15, Imperial Tobacco
announced the closure of factories in Britain and France with the
loss of 900 jobs, citing declining sales, tougher anti-smoking
measures and the growth of contraband sales.
2014 Apr 16, Jacques Servier
(92), the founder of France's second-largest pharmaceutical group,
died. He and his lab were ensnared in a scandal in which the
diabetes drug Mediator was alleged to be responsible for the deaths
of hundreds of people.
2014 Apr 16, The ultra-deep
Angolan offshore oil project called Kaombo generated the third huge
contract in three days when French group Total picked two firms to
carry out underwater engineering worth $3.5 billion.
2014 Apr 17, In Mali French
Special Forces backed by helicopters freed five humanitarian aid
workers who had gone missing on Feb 8.
(SFC, 4/18/14, p.A2)
2014 Apr 24, Four French police
officers were held in custody on suspicion of raping a 34-year-old
Canadian woman at their Paris headquarters. The alleged rape took
place overnight April 22-23 at the headquarters of the Paris police
2014 May 5, A Paris court found
a South African artist guilty of sexual exhibitionism after a
performance in Paris that saw him dance with a rooster tied to his
penis. But the criminal court imposed no penalty on the artist
Steven Cohen (51), noting that no complaint had been filed against
him and that he had not engaged in sexual acts.
2014 May 6, In France Helene
Pastor, whose family built a real estate empire in Monaco with
wealth rivaling that of the royal family, was shot after visiting
her son in a hospital in Nice. Pastor and her chauffer died some
days later. The attackers fled. Police in June detained 23 people in
the case including the son-in-law and daughter of Pastor.
2014 May 8, France said it will
deploy 3,000 soldiers to combat Islamist violence in the vast and
largely lawless Sahel region to pursue counter-terrorism in north
Mali, the north of Niger and in Chad.
2014 May 13, In Central African
Republic the body of French journalist Camille Lepage (26) was found
by a patrol of French peacekeeping troops in the Bouar region.
Lepage was with the anti-balaka militia as part of her efforts to
report on the conflict when they were attacked on May 12.
2014 May 14, In France the
Grace Kelly melodrama "Grace of Monaco" kicked off the 67th annual
Cannes Film Festival.
2014 May 17, France and five
African countries (Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria)
declared war on the Boko Haram extremist Islamic sect. West African
leaders met in Paris to improve cooperation in the fight against
Boko Haram and other militant groups.
(Reuters, 5/17/14)(SSFC, 5/18/14, p.A5)
2014 May 19, European law
enforcement officials announced that police worldwide, acting on an
FBI tipoff, have arrested 97 people in 16 countries suspected of
developing, distributing or using malicious software called
BlackShades that allows criminals to gain surreptitious control of
personal computers. French detectives said they arrested more than
two dozen people during their May 13 raids.
2014 May 25, In France Marine
Le Pen’s populist National Front (FN) won 25% of the European
elections vote. The center-right opposition UMP came in 2nd with 21%
and the ruling Socialist won 14%.
(Econ, 5/31/14, p.45)
2014 May 26, French President
Francois Hollande said his Socialist government won't resign and
will press forward with tax cuts and other reforms despite a record
victory for the far right in European parliament elections.
2014 May 28, France's highest
administrative court annulled the decree setting wind power feed-in
tariffs, marking the end of a complex legal procedure that has
stifled investment in the French onshore wind sector.
2014 May 28, French police
raided makeshift camps in the English Channel port of Calais,
clearing out ramshackle shelters that housed hundreds of illegal
migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and Africa.
2014 May 30, French police in
Marseille arrested Mehdi Nemmouche (29) over the May 24 killings at
a Belgian Jewish museum after he arrived on a bus from Amsterdam.
Nemmouche had spent about a year in Syria and claimed responsibility
for the shootings in a video.
2014 May, Wiko, a 2-year-old
French company, introduced its smartphone in Britain. Prices in
France started at about €70 ($96).
(Econ, 4/5/14, p.57)
2014 Jun 6, Russian President
Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's newly elected leader Petro Poroshenko
met in France at the sidelines of ceremonies to celebrate the 70th
anniversary of the D-Day landing in Normandy. They spoke of their
desire for a quick end to hostilities in southeastern Ukraine.
2014 Jun 11, Taxi drivers
staged protests in London, Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid and Paris.
Cabbies and train workers walked off the job, leaving traffic
snarled, as they protested changes to the travel industry that they
say could endanger passengers and give untested upstarts an unfair
2014 Jun 12, French trade
unions said they will extend for another day a strike that has
caused the worst disruption to the country's rail network in years,
following an inconclusive meeting with the transport minister.
2014 Jun 13, In France a Roma
boy named Darius (16) was beaten into a coma in the town of
2014 Jun 17, French riot police
clashed with striking train workers, who hurled bottles and blocked
traffic in anger over a bill to reform the state-run railway system.
2014 Jun 19, Growing numbers of
French railway employees returned to work after lawmakers voted to
approve the broad outline of a railway reform that has triggered a
2014 Jun 23, General Electric
was declared the winner for the energy business of Alstom, a French
engineering group. A day earlier the French government said it would
take a 20% stake in Alstom.
(Econ, 6/28/14, p.53)(http://tinyurl.com/n3hbmn7)
2014 Jun 24, France's top
administrative court ordered an end to the treatment of a comatose
man — a decision blocked hours later by the European Court of Human
2014 Jun 24, The Paris Club of
creditor nations announced Israel's induction, bringing the club's
membership to 20 countries. It was created in 1956, and has worked
out loan deals for 90 countries.
2014 Jun 25, A French doctor
was acquitted of poisoning charges after giving lethal injections to
seven terminally ill patients. Relatives of Dr. Nicolas
Bonnemaison's patients had testified in his favor.
2014 Jun 26, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that France had violated the rights of a child
born to a surrogate mother — and of two other children similarly
born — by refusing to recognize the parent-child relationship. It
ordered France to pay 5,000 euros in damages.
2014 Jun 27, British
authorities ordered Eurotunnel to stop running its ferry service to
France on grounds of unfair competition.
2014 Jun 30, France said the
leaders of Russia and Ukraine have agreed to work on the adoption of
a ceasefire in Ukraine as well as the establishment of effective
2014 Jun 30, BNP Paribas,
France’s largest bank, pleaded guilty in a New York state court
admitting that it had transferred billions of dollars on behalf of
Sudan, Cuba and Iran, all blacklisted by the US. The bank agreed to
pay $8.9 billion to settle the charges.
(SFC, 7/1/14, p.D2)(Econ, 7/5/14, p.58)
2014 Jul 1, Former French
President Nicolas Sarkozy was held for questioning over suspicions
he used his influence to secure leaked details of an inquiry into
alleged irregularities in his 2007 election campaign.
2014 Jul 1, The European Court
of Human Rights upheld France's law banning face-covering Muslim
veils from the streets.
2014 Jul 2, Former French
President Nicolas Sarkozy was placed under formal investigation on
suspicions he tried to use his influence to thwart an investigation
of his 2007 election campaign.
2014 Jul 4, In southern France
the mother of a pupil at a pre-school in Albi stabbed a teacher (34)
to death in front of her class on the last day of the school year.
2014 Jul 5, England began
hosting the first three stages of the three-week Tour de France race
before it enters France.
2014 Jul 9, In France Yoo
Somena, daughter of billionaire Yoo Byung-eun, faced extradition to
South Korea based on suspicions of embezzling $8 million between
2004 and 2013. Yoo Byung-eun is the South Korean fugitive
businessman believed linked to a deadly April ferry disaster.
2014 Jul 10, Arianespace
launched a rocket from French Guiana carrying four satellites that
will help provide Internet and mobile connectivity to people in
nearly 180 countries.
2014 Jul 11, A Paris court
convicted nine people of belonging to a terrorist network that
trained in Afghanistan and reportedly planned attacks in France.
Three of the defendants were tried in absentia, with one in custody
in Turkey and two at large.
2014 Jul 13, France said its
military offensive that freed northern Mali from the grip of
Islamists would be replaced by an operation spanning the wider,
largely lawless Sahel region to combat extremist violence.
2014 Jul 14, In France soldiers
carrying the flags of 76 countries marched down the Champs-Elysees
in Paris, as the traditional Bastille Day military parade
commemorated the centenary of World War I.
2014 Jul 14, In northern Mali a
French soldier died from wounds in a suicide bombing.
2014 Jul 17, French President
Francois Hollande began a visit to Ivory Coast to boost economic
ties with a nation emerging from a long conflict that divided it and
set back production. Ivory Coast still hosts hundreds of French
companies. His 3-day tour proceeded to Niger and Chad.
(AFP, 7/17/14)(Econ, 7/19/14, p.45)
2014 Jul 17, France's
parliament adopted a law calling for more use of probation and other
measures to reduce overcrowding in a creaking prison system.
2014 Jul 18, Palestinian
president Mahmud Abbas reached out for French help to lobby Hamas's
regional allies to influence it into accepting a truce with Israel.
France has asked Qatar, which has close links with Hamas, to use its
influence with the Palestinian Islamist group to reach a ceasefire
in the conflict in Gaza.
(AFP, 7/19/14)(Reuters, 7/18/14)
2014 Jul 19, French police
clashed with thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters who defied a
ban on a Paris demonstration over the Israeli offensive in Gaza.
2014 Jul 20, A French rally
against the deadly Israeli offensive in Gaza once again descended
into chaos as protesters looted shops and riot police lobbed tear
gas and rubber bullets into the crowds.
2014 Jul 23, Air France and
Germany's two largest airlines canceled more flights to Tel Aviv
because of ongoing safety concerns amid the fighting between Israel
2014 Jul 24, President Francois
Hollande announced an 11-million-euro ($14.8 million) aid package to
the besieged Gaza Strip.
2014 Jul 24, Air Algerie Flight
5017 carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital
disappeared from radar early today over northern Mali after heavy
rains were reported. Air navigation services lost track of the MD-83
about 50 minutes after takeoff from Ouagadougou. Half the dead were
from France. Others included at least 19 Lebanese citizens. On June
29, 2017, Spanish plane leasing company Swiftair was charged in a
French probe into the crash.
(AP, 7/24/14)(SSFC, 7/27/14, p.A4)(AFP, 6/29/17)
2014 Jul 26, In France
Pro-Palestinian protesters clashed with police in central Paris when
thousands of marchers defied a ban by French authorities to rally
against Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip.
2014 July, France launched
Operation Barkhane, an anti-Islamist operation in Africa's Sahel
region. This was a re-organization of some 3,000 French troops
already stationed in the Sahel.
2014 Aug 2, Air France
cancelled some of its short and medium-haul flights from airports
across France due to a strike by ground staff on one of the busiest
travel days of the year.
2014 Aug 5, France passed a
sweeping gender equality law that eases current restrictions on
abortion, encourages paternity leave and promotes gender parity at
home and in the workplace.
2014 Aug 5, In France police
intervened in clashes between Sudanese and Eritreans migrants as
they massed in Calais in a bid to cross the English Channel to
Britain. This was their 3rd clash in 48 hours.
(SFC, 8/6/14, p.A2)
2014 Aug 13, France said it
would start supplying arms to the Kurdish forces fighting Sunni
extremists from the Islamic State group.
2014 Aug 13, In France 6
mountain climbers wee reported dead after falling hundreds of feet
during their descent from l’Aiguille d’Argentiere in the Mont Blanc
(SFC, 8/14/14, p.A2)
2014 Aug 17, In France heavily
armed robbers attacked the motorcade of a Saudi prince in Paris,
making off with 250,000 euros ($335,000) in cash and reportedly
stealing "sensitive" documents.
2014 Aug 19, Air France said
some of its flight crews were refusing to board planes bound for
Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria over fears of the Ebola outbreak.
2014 Aug 25, French Pres.
Francois Hollande dissolved the government after open feuding among
his Cabinet over the country's stagnant economy.
2014 Aug 31, In France a
four-story building in a northeastern Paris suburb collapsed after
an explosion. At least 7 people were killed.
(Yahoo News, 8/31/14)
2014 Sep 1, In Canada Jacobus
Marinus van Nierop, a fugitive Dutch dentist, was arrested in
Nackawic, New Brunswick, following an int’l. manhunt. He was accused
of mutilating dozens of French patients.
2014 Sep 3, President Francois
Hollande's office said France is suspending the delivery of a
hulking warship to Russia amid security concerns about Moscow's
actions in neighboring Ukraine. The Vladivostok, the first of two
Mistral-class helicopter carriers ordered by Russia, was to be
delivered by late October.
2014 Sep 9, French carmaker
Renault said it has signed a deal with conglomerate Bollore to build
a three-seater version of the four-seater Bluecar electric vehicle
used in Bollore's 'Autolib' self-service auto hire scheme in France.
Until now, Bollore's Bluecars were all built in Italy under a joint
venture with its designer Pininfarina.
2014 Sep 10, French authorities
arrested Mourad Fartes (30), a suspected top recruiter of jihadists
for the civil war in Syria.
(SFC, 9/12/14, p.A2)
2014 Sep 13, French police
detained Kemi Seba (aka Stellio Capo Chichi), a convicted
anti-Semite and radical black power activist, after he arrived in
Paris to promote a new book. Seba had been living in Senegal.
2014 Sep 15, In France world
powers backed military measures to help defeat Islamic State
fighters in Iraq, boosting Washington's efforts to set up a
coalition, but made no mention of the tougher diplomatic challenge
next door in Syria. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said French
aircraft would begin reconnaissance flights over Iraq. Iran ruled
out working with any international coalition and rejected American
requests for cooperation against the militants.
(Reuters, 9/15/14)(AP, 9/15/14)
2014 Sep 15, French flag
carrier Air France scrapped half of its flights as pilots began a
strike against the company's plan to develop its low-cost
2014 Sep 16, In France a pilots
strike at Air France entered its second day, with the two sides
appearing no closer to resolving a dispute over cost cuts that has
forced the airline to cancel 60 percent of flights.
2014 Sep 17, An estimate by the
French national auditor showed that fraud in France's indebted
welfare system costs the country between 20-25 billion euros ($26-32
billion) per year and only a tiny fraction of that amount is ever
2014 Sep 17, French prosecuting
judges in Paris dropped all charges of money laundering and fraud
against nine people close to an exiled Iranian opposition group more
than 10 years after they were arrested on terrorism charges. The
five women and four men were among 167 sympathizers of the People's
Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI) who were rounded up in 2003
during a police raid on the outskirts of Paris.
2014 Sep 18, French President
Francois Hollande said he's agreed to Iraq's request for air support
against Islamic State fighters who've captured swathes of the
country. Hollande ruled out carrying out any military action against
Islamic State militants in Syria.
(AP, 9/18/14)(Reuters, 9/18/14)
2014 Sep 19, France said it has
joined American forces in military action in Iraq by conducting its
first airstrikes against the militant Islamic State group,
destroying a logistics depot that it controlled.
2014 Sep 20, French air pilots
voted to extend their walkout until at least Sep 26 to protest
Air-France-KLM’s new strategy to shift much of its European
operation to Transavia, a low-cost subsidiary.
(SSFC, 9/21/14, p.A3)
2014 Sep 21, The Algerian group
Jund al-Khilifa (Soldiers of the Caliphate) kidnapped Herve
Pierre Gourdel (55), a French national. They threatened to kill the
hostage within 24 hours unless Paris halts air strikes on the
Islamic State in Iraq. On Sep 24 Jund al-Khilifa posted a video and
claimed to have beheaded Gourde.
(AFP, 9/23/14)(AFP, 9/24/14)
2014 Sep 23, A French court
suspended a probe into corruption and influence-peddling targeting
former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, days after he dramatically
announced a political comeback.
2014 Sep 24, The Algerian group
Jund al-Khilifa (Soldiers of the Caliphate) beheaded Herve
Pierre Gourdel (55), a French national. His body was reported found
on Jan 15, 2015.
(Econ, 10/4/14, p.53)(AP, 1/15/15)
2014 Sep 25, French fighter
jets struck targets in Iraq and the US and its allies stepped up air
raids in Syria against Islamic State militants. The strikes
reportedly killed 14 Islamic State fighters and at least 5
civilians. US-led airstrikes targeted Syrian oil installations held
by the extremist Islamic State group.
(Reuters, 9/25/14)(AP, 9/25/14)
2014 Sep 25, Airbus sent its
latest jet up for its first flight above the skies of southern
France, amid high demand for the single-aisle A320neo and its
promised fuel economy.
2014 Sep 26, The head of
Interpol, based in Lyon, France, said an international database of
foreign fighters that started 18 months ago with little fanfare —
and just three countries participating — has expanded to include 33
countries and 1,300 names.
2014 Sep 28, Air France's
leading pilots union announced an end to a 14-day strike that
grounded roughly half of the airline's flights, stranded passengers
worldwide and led to stern shows of frustration by the French prime
minister. The union was ending the walkout so that service could
resume and negotiations continue peaceably.
2014 Oct 2, In France a
helicopter that took off from neighboring Switzerland crashed in the
yard of a home in eastern France, killing at least 5 people in the
town of Bart.
2014 Oct 5, In France tens of
thousands took to the streets in Paris and Bordeaux to demonstrate
for what protesters called "traditional family values" and against
assisted pregnancies and surrogacy. It was organized by the "Manif
pour Tous" ("Protest for Everyone") group.
2014 Oct 8, France said it will
soon provide weapons and military equipment to the Lebanese army as
part of a $3 billion grant from Saudi Arabia to help it fight
jihadis encroaching into Lebanon from Syria.
2014 Oct 9, Patrick Modiano
(69) of France won the 2014 Nobel Prize in literature. He has made a
lifelong study of the Nazi occupation and its effects on his
country. Modiano's novel "Missing Person" won the prestigious Prix
Goncourt in 1978 and is among the more than 40 of his works
published in French.
2014 Oct 13, French economist
Jean Tirole won the Nobel economics prize for showing how to
encourage better products and competitive prices in industries
dominated by a few companies.
(AP, 10/13/14)(SFC, 10/14/14, p.D1)
2014 Oct 14, French Foreign
Minister Laurent Fabius and South African Tina Joematt Pettersson
signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in nuclear
energy development which is necessary for any commercial deal.
2014 Oct 20, In Russia
Christophe de Margerie, the charismatic CEO of Total SA, was killed
at a Moscow airport late today when his private jet collided with a
snowplow whose driver, Vladimir Martynenko, was reportedly drunk. 3
French crew members also died when the Dassault Falcon 50 burst into
flames after it hit the snowplow. Relatives said Martynenko was
sober in the morning and that he doesn't drink at all due to chronic
heart disease. On July 28, 2016, Martynenko and the engineer in
charge of snow clearing, Vladimir Ledenev, admitted in a Moscow
court to causing the deaths through safety breaches and negligence.
(AP, 10/21/14)(Reuters, 10/21/14)(AFP, 7/28/16)
2014 Oct 22, French oil giant
Total SA named Patrick Pouyanne as chief executive to replace
Christophe de Margerie, who was killed Oct 20 in a plane crash in
2014 Oct 25, French police
arrested 14 teenagers dressed as the pranksters, carrying pistols,
knives and baseball bats in the port town of Agde. The phenomenon of
dressing up as an evil clown and terrifying passers-by cropped up in
the north of France in early October.
2014 Oct 26, In France Remi
Fraisse (21) died in the early hours during violent clashes between
security forces and protesters against the Sivens dam project on the
river Tescou in the southwestern Tarn region. On Oct 31 authorities
decided to suspend work on a controversial dam.
(AFP, 10/31/14)(Econ, 11/8/14, p.56)
2014 Oct 27, In France the new
Fondation Louis Vuitton museum, designed by Frank Gehry, opened in
(Econ, 10/11/14, p.90)
2014 Nov 4, France and Saudi
Arabia signed an agreement for Paris to provide the Lebanese army
with $3 billion worth of weapons paid for by Riyadh.
2014 Nov 5, In southern France
flamenco guitarist Manitas de Plata (93) died. His “Gypsy
Flamenco" album was released in 1963. He had sold nearly 100 million
records worldwide and broke boundaries for Gypsy musicians.
(AP, 11/6/14)(Econ, 11/15/14, p.94)
2014 Nov 8, The French military
said 24 jihadists were killed in a recent operation carried out in
northern Mali that left one French soldier dead. A news release from
Operation Barkhane said that two other extremists had been captured
during the late October offensive in the region of Kidal.
2014 Nov 13, In France hundreds
of students barricaded school entrances across Paris and
demonstrated in protests against alleged police brutality, just as a
major union of police officers staged its own rally to demand more
personnel and equipment.
2014 Nov 13, Alexander
Grothendieck (86), French mathematician, died. He was an opinionated
and reclusive giant of 20th-century mathematics who shunned
accolades and supported pacifist and environmental causes. In 1966,
he was awarded the Fields Medal, but refused to travel to Moscow to
accept it for political reasons.
2014 Nov 16, French President
Francois Hollande said he would not be pressured into delivering two
warships to Russia, after delaying their handover due to the Ukraine
2014 Nov 17, France's top
security official said Maxime Hauchard (22), a young Frenchman, is
believed to be among the killers on an Islamic State propaganda
video showing a beheaded American aid worker and the deaths of more
than a dozen Syrian soldiers.
2014 Nov 19, In northern Iraq
French Rafale jets struck Islamic State targets alongside coalition
planes near Kirkuk to help breach the group's frontlines. France
said it was sending six fighter jets to Jordan to ramp up its
2014 Nov 20, France formally
opened a terrorism investigation into three French recruits of the
Islamic State group calling for attacks back home in a propaganda
2014 Nov 21, French junior
minister Kader Arif stepped down after he was accused in a
preliminary investigation of favoring relatives in the award of
2014 Nov 25, France suspended
the delivery of a warship to Russia, after months of speculation
about what would be the biggest arms sale ever by a NATO country to
2014 Nov 25, Pope Francis spoke
before delegates of the EU Council in Strasbourg, France. He warned
them that Europe had become too fearful and self-absorbed urged them
to focus on poverty, immigration and joblessness.
(SFC, 11/26/14, p.A2)
2014 Nov 27, French President
Francois Hollande said France will eliminate export credits for
energy projects in developing countries which involve coal, the most
polluting fossil fuel.
2014 Nov 28, British scientists
announced trials on a 15-minute Ebola test in Guinea as France's
Francois Hollande arrived in Conakry, becoming the first Western
leader to visit one of the countries devastated by the epidemic.
France has pledged 100 million euros ($125 million) in the fight
against the epidemic focusing its efforts on Guinea.
2014 Dec 1, In Creteil, France,
three armed assailants broke into an apartment around noon and tied
up a Jewish couple before proceeding to steal bank cards and
jewelry. They then raped the 19-year-old woman. The assailants
declared: “you Jews, you have money," as they forced their way into
the couple’s home. Four suspects were arrested within the month.
2014 Dec 2, France’s lower
house of Parliament in a non-binding vote (339-151) urged the
government to recognize a Palestinian state.
(SFC, 12/3/14, p.A2)
2014 Dec 3, In France Faouzi
Lamdaoui, an adviser to President Francois Hollande, resigned after
being summoned to answer charges of fraud by a Paris criminal court.
Lamdaoui, an equality and diversity advisor, was suspected of
misusing corporate assets, money laundering and forgery from 2007 to
2008 related to a transport company he founded.
2014 Dec 5, A French-US fund announced it
will pay thousands of Holocaust survivors and family members in the
United States and elsewhere will be entitled to compensation from a
2014 Dec 6, French President
Francois Hollande met with Russian President Putin in Moscow.
2014 Dec 9, President Francois
Hollande said that Serge Lazarevic (50), the last French citizen
held hostage since 2011 by Al Qaeda's north African arm, has now
been freed. Five prisoners in Mali were reported exchanged for the
2014 Dec 14, French Defence
Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that French forces have either
killed or captured nearly 200 jihadists in the Sahel region of west
Africa in the past year.
2014 Dec 15, France’s the
interior ministry said the UberPop transport service will be banned
in France from Jan. 1 to avoid unfair competition.
2014 Dec 15, French police
dismantled a network sending jihadist fighters to Syria in a series
of dawn raids that saw them nab 10 suspects across the country.
2014 Dec 18, French regulators
fined 13 consumer-products makers about 950 million euros ($1.2
billion) for price fixing on goods like shampoos, detergents and
2014 Dec 20, In France Bertrand
Nzohabonayo, born in Burundi in 1994, was shot dead after entering a
police station in the central town of Joue-les-Tours armed with a
knife, seriously wounding two officers. Police viewed the attack as
motivated by radical Islamist motives.
2014 Dec 20, Burundi's National
Intelligence Service detained Brice Nzohabonayo in the capital
Bujumbura shortly after his brother Bertrand Nzohabonayo attacked a
police station in Joue-les-Tours, France.
2014 Dec 21, A Frenchman
(b.1974) in Dijon ploughed into pedestrians shouting "Allahu Akbar"
and left 13 people injured before he was shot dead. He had been to
psychiatric hospital 157 times and had no known links to jihadist
2014 Dec 22, In France a driver
ploughed into a Christmas market in western France, injuring 10
people in Nantes. The driver stabbed himself in the chest "at least
nine times", causing himself serious, but not life-threatening,
2014 Dec 22, France-based
Airbus delivered its first next-generation A350-900 plane to Qatar
Airways in a formal ceremony that kickstarts its bid to erode rival
Boeing's dominance in the lucrative long-haul market.
2014 Dec 22, The Algerian army
killed Abdelmalek Gouri, the head of a militant group that beheaded
French tourist Herve Gourdel in September after it had pledged
allegiance to the Islamic State group. 2 other militants were also
killed in the operation in Isser.
2014 Dec 24, A French court
ordered gossip magazine Closer to pay 20,000 euros ($24,400) in
damages for "invasion of privacy." Earlier this month, the magazine
published four pages of photos taken in Vienna of the far-right
National Front’s Vice President Florian Philippot with a "television
journalist" presented as his boyfriend.
2014 Dec 28, Long queues of
vehicles lined routes to French ski slopes for a second day after
snow, ice and heavy traffic forced some 15,000 people into emergency
2014 Dec 31, In France a 50
percent tax paid by employers on income earned above one million
euros ($1.22 million) ended today. Socialist President Francois
Hollande's 75% super tax had been rejected by a court and re-written
2014 Douglas Coupland authored
“Kitten Clone: Inside Alcatel Lucent."
(Econ, 10/25/14, p.88)
2014 Andrew Hussey authored
“The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and Its Arabs."
(Econ, 2/22/14, p.83)
2014 A French parliamentary
report said some 60% of the country’s prison population is Muslim.
(Econ, 1/17/15, p.22)
2014 America fined Alstom, a
French industrial group, $772 million in the largest FCPA (Foreign
Corrupt Practices Act) criminal penalty to date.
(Econ, 5/9/15, p.62)
2015 Jan 1, France's Interior
Ministry said 940 cars were set alight by revelers ringing in the
New Year, 12 percent fewer than the 1,067 set aflame last year.
2015 Jan 7, In France heavily
armed gunmen shouting Islamist slogans stormed a Paris office of
satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and shot dead 10 staff and 2
police officers in the deadliest attack in France in four decades.
The masked attackers reportedly hijacked a car and sped off. Al
Qaeda in Yemen later claimed responsibility for the attack.
Cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier (47) was among those killed.
(AFP, 1/7/15)(AP, 1/7/15)(Reuters, 1/14/15)(Econ,
1/10/15, p.45)(Econ, 1/17/15, p.90)
2015 Jan 7, French writer’s
Michel Houellebecq “Soumission" was published. It depicted a near
future (2022) in which Islamists win France’s presidency and
compromise its freedoms.
(Econ, 1/10/15, p.7)(Econ, 1/10/15, p.46)
2015 Jan 8, In France Amedy
Coulibaly killed a policewoman on the southern edge of Paris,
killing her and injuring a nearby street sweeper before fleeing. He
later claimed to have coordinated with the two gunmen who attacked
the Charlie Hebdo magazine on Jan 7.
(AP, 1/8/15)(AFP, 1/11/15)
2015 Jan 8, In northern France
police and counter-terrorism officers searched for the two armed
suspects, Said and Chérif Kouachi, who are brothers, the chief
suspects in the deadly Jan 7 attack in Paris on the offices of
Charlie Hebdo. A third suspect, Hamyd Mourad, turned himself in at a
police station in a small town northeast of Paris after learning his
name was linked to the attack.
2015 Jan 9, In France a
hostage-taking at a Jewish deli left four hostages and the gunman,
Amedy Coulibaly, killed.
2015 Jan 11, In France at least
3.7 million people took part in marches of support for Charlie Hebdo
and freedom of expression. World leaders linked arms to lead more
than one million people through Paris in an unprecedented homage to
the victims. 17 people were killed in three days of violence that
began when two Islamist gunmen burst into Charlie Hebdo's offices.
2015 Jan 12, Ukraine, Russia,
Germany and France scrapped plans to hold a summit in Kazakhstan
later this week because of the failure to implement a four-month-old
ceasefire agreement fully and there was no sign of when it might be
2015 Jan 14, In France the
first edition of Charlie Hebdo after the Jan 7 attack by Islamist
gunmen sold out within minutes.
2015 Jan 14, Notorious French
comedian Dieudonne was arrested for condoning terrorism over a
comment suggesting he sympathized with one of the Paris attacks
gunmen, in a move that sparked a debate about free speech.
2015 Jan 14, In France a
28-year-old attacker forced the front door of his neighbors' house
in the picturesque village of Beaucet near Avignon just after
midnight shouting "I am your god, I am your Islam" before repeatedly
stabbing to death Mohamed El Makouli. The man was soon charged with
murder, attempted murder and possession of drugs, before being
committed to a psychiatric hospital in nearby Montfavet.
2015 Jan 14, France ordered
prosecutors around the country to crack down on hate speech,
anti-Semitism and those glorifying terrorism. Authorities said 54
people have been arrested since the terror attacks in Paris last
(SFC, 1/15/15, p.A2)
2015 Jan 15, In Belgium two men
believed to have fought in Syria were shot dead after opening fire
on police with assault weapons in Verviers. Fifteen suspects were
soon arrested after a dozen raids around Brussels and in Verviers.
Two of those under arrest were seized in France.
2015 Jan 16, French police
arrested 12 people suspected of helping militant Islamist gunmen in
last week's killings in Paris. An armed man who took several
hostages at a post office northwest of Paris surrendered with no one
2015 Jan 20, In southern France
a local mayor said five Russians from Chechnya have been arrested,
including one with a cache of explosives in Beziers. Four other men
appeared at a court in Paris, the first to face charges in the Paris
2015 Jan 21, France announced
sweeping new measures to counter homegrown terrorism, including
giving security forces better weapons and protection, going on an
intelligence agent hiring spree and creating a better database of
anyone suspected of extremist links.
2015 Jan 21, In four-way talks
in Berlin involving Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France foreign
ministers agreed a "demarcation line" between pro-Russian fighters
and Kiev's forces from which withdrawal of heavy weapons could
start. There were no details.
2015 Jan 25, In France rescue
workers found the bodies of six skiers who went missing a day
earlier after being carried away by an avalanche.
2015 Jan 26, Poland led EU
criticism of bilateral farm deals with Moscow following a French
accord with Russia to lift its ban on live pig and pork imports.
2015 Jan 27, Police in Belgium
and France arrested suspected militant Islamists in dawn raids; 5 in
France and 3 in Belgium.
2015 Jan 28, France unveiled a
video and web site designed to dissuade potential jihadists from
joining Islamist fighting groups in Syria and Iraq.
2015 Jan 28, France's highest
court ruled that a gay French-Moroccan couple are allowed to marry
despite the North African kingdom's refusal to recognize marriages
between two men.
2015 Jan 30, France pledged
tanks and armored vehicles to bolster NATO forces in Poland, where
leaders are increasingly uneasy about Russia.
2015 Feb 5, The leaders of
Germany and France announced a new peace plan for Ukraine, planning
to fly together to Kiev and Moscow with a proposal to resolve the
2015 Feb 6, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande arrived in
Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the
2015 Feb 8, French police
detained six people suspected of recruiting potential jihadists,
just days after another operation saw five charged on similar
2015 Feb 10, In France a
three-day trial began for Pierre Le Guennec and his wife, Danielle.
They claimed that the artist, or his wife, gave them 180
lithographs, collages and paintings and 91 sketchbook drawings
around 1970 when Le Guennec began working as a general handyman for
2015 Feb 12, France and Egypt
agreed a deal worth more than 5 billion euros ($5.7 billion) for the
sale of Dassault Aviation-built Rafale fighter jets, a naval frigate
2015 Feb 12, Germany, France,
Russia and Ukraine agreed a deal on that offers a "glimmer of hope"
for an end to fighting in eastern Ukraine after marathon overnight
talks in Belarus. The deal envisages a ceasefire between Ukrainian
forces and Russian-backed separatists starting on Feb 15, followed
by the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line and
constitutional reform to give eastern Ukraine more autonomy.
2015 Feb 15, In France some 250
graves were found vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in Sarre-Union.
Five teens were later arrested and admitted to the destruction in
the Alsace region.
(SFC, 2/19/15, p.A2)
2015 Feb 16, The leaders of
France, Germany and Ukraine said that observers from the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) must have
"free access" for their work in eastern Ukraine.
2015 Feb 17, The French
government passed the Macron law by decree for fear of not winning a
majority. It allowed intercity coaches to compete with railways,
relaxed Sunday trading restrictions and lifted barriers to becoming
(Econ., 2/21/15, p.51)
2015 Feb 19, The French victim
of a racist incident, involving Chelsea soccer fans in the Paris
metro on Feb 17, lodged an official complaint with police. He had
not initially know the incident had been filmed and widely
(Reuters, 2/19/15)(SFC, 2/19/15, p.A2)
2015 Feb 19, A German
government spokesman said Russian President Vladimir Putin has
agreed in a conference call with the leaders of France, Germany and
Ukraine to use his influence on separatists to start an agreed
prisoner swap with Ukraine.
2015 Feb 21, French Foreign
Minister Laurent Fabius arrived in Chad as part of a 48-hour trip to
countries affected by Boko Haram's insurgency. He will travel to
Cameroon and Niger next.
2015 Feb 23, A French aircraft
carrier launched operations in the Gulf against the Islamic State
group as the new Pentagon chief summoned top generals and diplomats
to Kuwait to review war efforts.
2015 Feb 24, French president
Francois Hollande and Italian PM Matteo Renzi signed an agreement
for a long-standing rail project to ease transport of freight across
the Alps. The line would not open before 2028.
2015 Feb 24, In Yemen gunmen
kidnapped Isabelle Prime, a Frenchwoman (30) working for the World
Bank, and her Yemeni driver as she was on her way to work in Sanaa.
The Houthis said that Pres. Hadi had lost his legitimacy as head of
state and was being sought as a fugitive from justice. Prime and her
translator arrived in France on August 7.
(Reuters, 2/24/15)(Reuters, 2/25/15)(SFC, 8/8/15,
2015 Feb 25, France outlined
plans for a broader dialogue with its Muslim minority after the
faith's official council proved unable to deal with the challenges
presented by Islamist radicalization.
2015 Feb 25, French police
arrested three Al Jazeera journalists for illegally flying drones in
(SFC, 2/26/15, p.A2)
2015 Feb 27, Britain and France
dismissed any suggestion of restoring relations with Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad, saying this would likely end all hope of
a political transition and push moderates into the arms of radical
2015 Mar 1, In France 15 pieces
of art were stolen from the the Chinese Museum at Fontainebleau
(SFC, 3/2/15, p.A2)
2015 Mar 3, A French court
fined a British journalist 1,000 euros ($1,100) for flying a drone
over central Paris and confiscated the machine.
2015 Mar 4, France's highest
appeals court paved the way for the extradition to either Russia or
Ukraine of jailed Kazakh tycoon Mukhtar Ablyazov, accused of
embezzling up to $6 billion from his former bank BTA.
2015 Mar 4, France, Portugal
and Spain sealed the agreement on boosting energy cooperation in
Madrid as a major step toward breaking Europe's dependence on
Russian gas supplies.
2015 Mar 9, French police
detained five Greenpeace activists after they dangled from a bridge
in Paris and unfurled banners on the Seine River that call for cuts
in nuclear power.
2015 Mar 11, In France a group
of armed thieves attacked two secure vans carrying jewels at a
motorway toll overnight, making off with a haul worth some nine
million euros ($11 million).
2015 Mar 12, France’s
competition authority hit eleven companies with $203 million in
fines for fixing prices on many yogurt-related goods.
(SFC, 3/13/15, p.A2)
2015 Mar 13, Japan and France
signed an arms transfer agreement, paving the way to develop drones
and other unmanned equipment together as Japan seeks to play a
greater international military role.
2015 Mar 17, Germany, France
and Italy followed Britain in announcing that they plan to join the
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a proposed Chinese-led Asian
regional bank, swinging Europe's biggest economic powers behind a
project that is viewed with concern in Washington.
2015 Mar 18, A French court
handed controversial comedian Dieudonne a two-month suspended jail
sentence for condoning terrorism after a comment suggesting he
sympathized with one of the jihadists who attacked Paris.
2015 Mar 19, In France
employees at Radio France went on strike to protest a cut in public
subsidy and an attempt to control Radio /France’s deficit.
(Econ., 4/11/15, p.50)
2015 Mar 19, The International
Agency for Research on Cancer, a French-based research arm of the
World Health Organization, reclassified the herbicide glyphosate as
a result of what it said is convincing evidence the chemical
produces cancer in lab animals and more limited findings it causes
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in humans. The glyphosate-containing
herbicide Roundup has been a mainstay of industrial agriculture.
This raised more questions for an aerial spraying program in
Colombia that is the cornerstone of the US-backed war on drugs.
2015 Mar 21, The mayor of
Paris, France, said the number of cars on the road will be cut in
half beginning March 23. Public transit will be made free to combat
a spike in pollution that has obscured even the Eiffel Tower under a
2015 Mar 22, France held the
first round of council elections. Victory will determine which
candidates can contest a second vote March 29.
2015 Mar 24, An Airbus A320
Germanwings airplane, operated by Lufthansa, crashed in the French
Alps as it flew from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. 150 people were
killed. On March 26 investigators said Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz of
the doomed Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and
"intentionally" sent the plane full speed into a mountain in the
(AP, 3/24/15)(Reuters, 3/26/15)
2015 Mar 26, Airlines rushed to
change their rules so as to require a second crew member in the
cockpit at all times, hours after French prosecutors suggested
co-pilot Andreas Lubitz (27) had barricaded himself alone at the
controls of a German jetliner and crashed it on purpose.
2015 Mar 29, France held
elections for local councils. Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative UMP
party and its allies won 46 percent of the vote. The left captured
32 percent of the vote and the National Front won 22 percent with 62
of 4,108 available seats.
2015 Apr 2, In France two men,
who worked as cleaners for a pair of elderly sisters, were detained
for stealing hundreds of thousands of euros the women kept in cash
in their home near Lyon. A two-year police investigation had begun
shortly after the bodies of the sisters were discovered in their
home in the suburb of Bron in April 2013.
2015 Apr 5, In France an
18-day-old dispute at Radio France stemmed from concerns over job
losses and service reductions aimed at reining in a budget deficit.
The longest strike in a decade at France's public radio broadcaster
has left paralyzed news stations playing music and shows no sign of
ending after weekend talks failed to defuse a standoff over cost
2015 Apr 6, In Mali French
special forces, in an operation that killed several jihadists,
rescued Dutch train driver Sjaak Rijke, kidnapped in November, 2011,
in Timbuktu by Al-Qaeda's north Africa arm.
2015 Apr 7, The French
presidency under Francois Hollande announced the declassification of
archives on Rwanda for the period 1990-95. In 2017 France's highest
court ruled that researcher Francois Graner could be denied
access to sensitive archives concerning the 1994 genocide in Rwanda
because of a law protecting presidential archives for 25 years
following the death of a head of state. As former Pres. Mitterrand
died in 1996, his archives should become available in 2021.
2015 Apr 8, French air traffic
controllers launched a two-day strike over working conditions.
Hundreds of flights were cancelled in and out of the country.
2015 Apr 8, In France
Jean-Louis Cremieux-Brilhac (98), a Jewish member of the French
Resistance in charge of propaganda during World War II, died in
2015 Apr 8, In France hackers
purporting to be supporters of Islamic State knocked out channels
belonging to public television station TV5Monde and posted material
on its social media feeds to protest French military action in Iraq.
The network signal was restored the next day but only for recorded
(Reuters, 4/9/15)(SFC, 4/10/15, p.A2)
2015 Apr 9, In France the
Eiffel Tower closed, many school kids had no classes and air traffic
controllers were staying off work in a nationwide day of protests
and strikes to air an array of grievances against the government.
2015 Apr 9, France announced
the cancellation of $68.7 million (64.8 million euros) in debt owed
by Mali. The debt from 1984 was initially the equivalent of 229
million euros and was due to its rejoining the CFA franc backed by
the French treasury.
2015 Apr 13, In France Arlette
Ricci (73), the heiress of the Nina Ricci fashion and perfume house,
was sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay heavy fines and
back taxes for having hidden millions of euros in HSBC bank accounts
2015 Apr 15, Finland-based
Nokia said it is to buy ailing French telecom company Alcatel-Lucent
for around 15.6 billion euros ($16.5 billion) through a public
exchange of shares in France and the United States.
2015 Apr 16, France's top
administrative court overturned a ban on the display in a pastry
shop of "racist" cakes in the shape of a naked man and woman coated
in dark chocolate.
2015 Apr 17, French PM Manuel
Valls unveiled a 100-million-euro ($108-million) plan to fight
rising racism and anti-Semitism, notably through tougher punishment.
2015 Apr 19, In France Sid
Ahmed Ghlam (24) was arrested after police stumbled upon his plans
to attack churches when he called paramedics saying he had
accidentally shot himself in the leg. An arsenal of four Kalashnikov
rifles, several handguns and bulletproof vests were discovered in
his car and at his student flat as well as jihadist literature
mentioning Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group. His DNA was linked
to the murder of Aurelie Chatelain (32), a young mother in
Villejuif, who was found shot dead today in the passenger seat of
(AFP, 4/23/15)(SFC, 4/24/15, p.A2)
2015 Apr 20, Lebanon received
the first installment of $3 billion worth of French weapons paid for
by Saudi Arabia, part of a four-year plan to help arm Beirut in its
battle against jihadi groups.
2015 Apr 22, French President
Francois Hollande acknowledged for the first time that France will
have to give Russia a refund if it doesn't receive the Mistral-class
warship whose delivery has been suspended last year because of the
conflict in Ukraine.
2015 Apr 27, French
investigators provided details to AFP of their year-long probe into
the finances of Rifaat al-Assad, the younger brother of Syria’s late
dictator Hafez al-Assad. He was under investigation for amassing a
90-million-euro fortune, including a stud farm and luxury
apartments, despite being kicked out of Syria "with nothing" 30
2015 Apr 29, A report in the
Guardian newspaper said fourteen French soldiers are implicated in a
probe into the alleged rape of children in the Central African
Republic, in what could be a potentially devastating scandal for the
(AFP, 4/30/15)(SFC, 4/30/15, p.A2)
2015 May 4, In Qatar the CEO of
French aerospace firm Dassault, Eric Trappier, signed a
6.3-billion-euro ($7-billion) deal with Qatari defense officials in
Doha. The agreement includes an order for 24 Rafale fighter jets,
with an option on a further 12. French President Francois Hollande
oversaw the signing.
2015 May 5, In France four
robbers looted 17.5 million euros in jewelry and watches from a
boutique in the resort town of Cannes at the Cartier boutique on the
beachfront promenade known as the Croisette.
2015 May 11, Francois Hollande
became the first French president to visit Cuba, using a one-day
trip to build business and diplomatic relations five months after a
detente between Havana and Washington.
2015 May 12, French President
Francois Hollande arrived in Haiti to sign cooperation agreements
and support reconstruction efforts that continue since the deadly
2015 May 15, A French court
sentenced Gilles Le Guen (60) to eight years behind bars for
fighting alongside an Al-Qaeda group in Mali. The former member of
the French merchant navy was arrested by special forces in late
2015 May 15, Russia said it
wants 1.163 billion euros ($1.32 billion) from France in
compensation for cancelling a contract to deliver two Mistral
helicopter carriers. Paris was offering to pay 785 million euros.
2015 May 18, French police
arrested around a dozen suspects in connection with a spectacular
robbery on the convoy of a Saudi prince in Paris last year that
netted the thieves 250,000 euros.
2015 May 18, France, Germany
and Italy agreed to develop a European drone program for
reconnaissance and surveillance, seeking to inject momentum into a
proposal first considered in 2013.
2015 May 20, CERN scientists
operating the world's biggest particle collider set a new energy
record ahead of the massive machine's full restart in June. The
Large Hadron Collider is located in a 27-km (16.8-mile) tunnel
beneath the Swiss-French border.
2015 May 24, In France the 68th
Cannes film festival came to a close. The Grand Prix went to “Son of
Saul," directed by Laszlo Nemes. The Palme d’Or went to “Dheepan,"
directed by Jacques Audiard. The Jury Prize went to “The Lobster,"
directed by Yorgos Lanthimos.
(Econ, 5/30/15, p.84)
2015 May 28, In France
thousands of doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel
demonstrated in central Paris to protest planned working-hours
changes they say will result in more burnout and worse patient care.
2015 May 28, A French court
sentenced photographer Francois-Marie Banier to three years in
prison and ordered him to pay $174 million in damages and a $383,000
fine for swindling millions from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt
(SFC, 5/29/15, p.A2)
2015 May 28, French and Spanish
police detained two people and found weapons and explosives in a
raid on a villa in southwest France targeting Basque separatist
2015 May 31, India said it will
only buy 36 Rafale fighter jets as they are "way too expensive."
Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said the previous government's
plans to buy 126 French jets from Dassault were "economically
unviable and not required".
2015 Jun 2, In France police
evacuated hundreds of migrants from a makeshift tent camp near a
major train station and tourist area in Paris, then bulldozed their
leftover debris from a patch of pavement that had become a symbol of
Europe's migrant crisis.
2015 Jun 5, Europe's rights
court backed the decision of a French court to allow a man in a
vegetative state to be taken off life support.
2015 Jun 12, In France ex-IMF
chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (66) was acquitted of sex crime
accusations by a court in Lille, the final chapter in a
transatlantic scandal that destroyed the political ambitions of a
man once tipped to become his country's president. The court also
acquitted the owner of a string of Belgian bordellos nicknamed "Dodo
the Pimp", who was accused of providing prostitutes at sex parties
attended by Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
(Reuters, 6/12/15)(AFP, 6/12/15)
2015 Jun 12, France's data
privacy agency ordered Google to remove search results worldwide
upon request, giving the company two weeks to apply the "right to be
2015 Jun 14, Italy threatened
to turn to a Plan B to deal with migrants which "would hurt Europe"
if the country is not given greater help with the crisis, as Austria
and France expelled asylum seekers back onto Italian soil.
2015 Jun 17, France said it
will create 11,000 more places in centers for asylum seekers and
housing for refugees as part of a plan to help deal with the flow of
thousands of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
2015 Jun 18, The Russian
government condemned the freezing of Russian accounts in France and
Belgium as part of an effort to enforce a $50 billion judgment for
the destruction of the Yukos oil company.
2015 Jun 19, In France the
families of surrogate children who have been effectively denied
French citizenship went to the country's highest court to challenge
the law denying birth certificates for babies born abroad. Europe's
top human rights court ordered France to change the law last year.
2015 Jun 19, In France the
hulking shell of "Harmony of the Seas," the world's largest cruise
ship, slid into the waters at Saint-Nazaire. Workers aimed to have
the ship, owned by Royal Caribbean International cruise lines, ready
for a 2016 inaugural trip.
2015 Jun 23, Bosnian and French
police arrested 15 members of a human trafficking ring that forced
women and children to beg and steal in cities across France. Seven
suspects were arrested in Bosnia and eight in France.
2015 Jun 23, Eurostar said it
has canceled all passenger trains for the rest of the day through
the tunnel that links France and England, after striking ferry
workers swarmed the train line setting tires alight.
2015 Jun 23, Wikileaks revealed
that America’s NSA had spied on three French presidents from
(Econ, 6/27/15, p.42)
2015 Jun 24, French lawmakers
voted to create a $60-million fund to compensate Holocaust victims
transported by French state rail firm SNCF to Nazi concentration
camps in a move also intended to protect the company from future US
2015 Jun 25, Protests in France
against ride-booking app Uber turned violent as taxi drivers burned
cars and blocked access to airports and train stations.
2015 Jun 26, In southeastern
France a decapitated body daubed with Arabic writing was found at a
US gas company after an assailant rammed a car into the premises,
triggering an explosion. Suspect Yassim Salhi (35) was arrested
minutes later while opening canisters containing flammable
chemicals. His wife, sister and a fourth person were also detained.
Salhi confessed on June 28 and his wife and sister were released. On
Dec 22 Yassin Salhi hanged himself with an electric cable.
(Reuters, 6/26/15)(Reuters, 6/27/15)(Reuters,
2015 Jun 29, French police
brought in two executives from US technology company Uber for
questioning as the government clamp down on the taxi and
ride-sharing service intensifies.
2015 Jun 29, In France
employees of a ferry service recently sold by Eurotunnel renewed a
blockade of the northern port of Calais after a court rejected their
bid to extend the service's charter contract with Eurotunnel.
2015 Jun 30, Striking ferry
workers invaded the railroad tracks leading to the Eurotunnel
linking France and England, and train service across the Channel was
suspended until further notice.
2015 Jun, British-Indian artist
Anish Kapoor installed his "Dirty Corner" sculpture in the gardens
of France's Palace of Versailles. Kapoor has described the piece as
"the vagina of a queen who is taking power." The piece was soon
sprayed with yellow paint.
2015 Jul 2, A French court
reinstated Jean-Marie Le Pen as a member of the far-right National
Front party he founded decades ago, delivering a biting blow to his
daughter and party president Marine Le Pen, who had suspended him
after a series of controversial and anti-Semitic statements.
2015 Jul 5, In France at least
150 detonators and a stock of plastic explosives were stolen from
into the vast army logistics base in Miramas near Marseille,
triggering immediate probes into a theft that put authorities on
2015 Jul 5, In France a boy
(14) accidentally shot his twin brother dead during a family meal
while playing with guns that he did not know were loaded in the town
2015 Jul 7, A French court
jailed a woman for conning thousands of Chileans into buying a kit
to make "magic cheese" they could sell back to French cosmetics
firms for use in luxury beauty products. Gilberte Van Erpe (74) was
given a six-year prison sentence -- three years suspended -- and a
250,000-euro ($270,000) fine for her scam. The scam. Which began in
2005, collapsed in July 2006 and Van Erpe was arrested in the French
Riviera city of Nice in 2008, but it was not possible to extradite
2015 Jul 8, A French court
suspended a postal ballot organized by the far-right National Front
on whether to scrap founder Jean-Marie Le Pen's post as honorary
2015 Jul 10, In France the
leader of a banned group was sentenced to nine years in jail on
terrorism charges after police raids found weapons and a list of
Jewish targets in his personal files. Mohamed Achamlane (37) was one
of 14 people tried on charges of criminal conspiracy related to a
terrorist enterprise. Forsane Alizza (Horsemen of Pride in Arabic)
was banned in 2012.
2015 Jul 10, European
plane-maker Airbus flew its E-fan plane from Lydd, England, to the
French port of Calais. About 12 hours before Airbus' Channel flight,
French pilot Hugues Duval took his two-engine, one-seat Cricri
electric plane from Calais to Dover and back.
2015 Jul 14, France celebrated
Bastille Day with a spectacular display of fighter jets and with
anti-terror forces marching in the yearly parade in Paris for the
2015 Jul 14, French sources
said two explosions which sparked huge fires at a petrochemical
plant in in Berre-l'Etang near Marseille-Marignane airport early
today are believed to have been the result of a "malicious act".
2015 Jul 18, Formula One driver
Jules Bianchi (25) died in a French hospital from head injuries
sustained in a crash at the Oct 5, 2014, Japanese Grand Prix.
2015 Jul 23, Angry French
farmers blocked the Mont Saint-Michel causeway and highways leading
to the Alps to denounce low milk and meat prices.
2015 Jul 24, France’s
Constitutional Council approved a law giving its intelligence
services sweeping new spying abilities.
(SFC, 7/25/15, p.A2)
2015 Jul 25, King Salman of
Saudi Arabia arrived in France for a Riviera beach holiday at the
family's seafront villa in Vallauris, bringing with him no fewer
than 1,000 people from his entourage.
2015 Jul 26, French police
searched for the driver of a car that smashed through a security
barrier in central Paris near the finish line of cycling's Tour de
France. Witnesses saw two men and two women leaving the
bullet-ridden car. Two people soon surrendered including a woman
injured in the crash.
(AFP, 7/26/15)(AP, 7/27/15)
2015 Jul 26, French police
discovered nearly six tons of cannabis resin, known as hashish, in a
villa in the southern city of Marseille and arrested three men.
2015 Jul 26, In eastern France
433 hot air balloons lifted off from fChambley-Bussieres air base
and soared straight into the record books. The previous record was
set at the same spot in 2013 when 391 balloons went up.
2015 Jul 27, French farmers
angry over low prices turned back hundreds of trucks at the German
border, looking for cargos of foreign meat and milk products.
2015 Jul 28, French
archaeologists said two students have found a human tooth from about
560,000 years ago in a famous prehistoric cave at Tautavel in
southwestern France, the oldest human body part ever discovered in
2015 Jul 29, In France one man
died as overwhelmed authorities for a 2nd night fought off some
2,000 desperate attempts by migrants to enter England through the
Channel Tunnel, prompting France to beef up its police presence.
(AFP, 7/29/15)(SFC, 7/30/15, p.A4)
2015 Jul 30, A Kremlin aide
said Russia has reached a compensation deal with France for the
non-delivery of two Mistral warships, but Paris the next day refused
to confirm a final agreement.
2015 Jul 31, France’s
Constitutional Council confirmed the ban on the creation of new
cockfighting rings — called cockpits. The law, dating back to 1964,
aims to gradually get rid of all cockpits and therefore,
2015 Aug 1, French riot police
sprayed migrants with a chemical irritant as they tried to storm the
Channel Tunnel. Some 200 migrants broke down several security fences
but were forced to retreat by riot police as they attempted to
breach the final fence near the entrance of the 50-km (30-mile)
tunnel under the English Channel.
2015 Aug 2, Britain and France
vowed that a cross-Channel migrant crisis was their "top priority"
in a united front that belied simmering anger over an issue which
has become a political hot potato.
2015 Aug 4, Migrants in France
made hundreds of attempts overnight to penetrate the Channel Tunnel
to get to Britain overnight, as an unidentified "anomaly" in the
tunnel slowed traffic.
2015 Aug 20, In France
Jean-Marie Le Pen (87) was excluded from the far-right National
Front, which he had founded, following a disciplinary hearing.
(SFC, 8/21/15, p.A2)
2015 Aug 21, In northern France
two people were wounded in the struggle to subdue a
Kalashnikov-toting attacker aboard a high-speed train from Amsterdam
to Paris. US servicemen Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos, American
Anthony Sadler and French-American Mark Moogalian were among the
passengers who stopped the gunman, later identified as Ayoub el
Khazzani (26) of Morocco and known to European authorities as a
suspected Islamist militant. Khazzani had boarded the train in
Brussels. Moogalian, who wished to remain anonymous was the first
person to discover the attacker leaving a restroom with a
Kalashnikov slung over his shoulder. He tried to tackle him before
the attacker fired several shots with a hand gun. Moogalian was
hospitalized with a bullet wound. Stone and another passenger
suffered knife wounds.
(Reuters, 8/22/15)(Reuters, 8/23/15)(SFC,
8/22/15, p.A3)(Reuters, 8/24/15)(AP, 8/25/15)(SFC, 8/27/15, p.A5)
2015 Aug 24, French President
Francois Hollande awarded France's highest honor, the Legion
d'honneur, to three US citizens and Briton Chris Norman, who on
August 21 helped disarm a suspected Islamist militant on a train.
2015 Aug 25, In northern France
a police officer and 3 other people, including a woman and a baby,
were killed in a shootout in a Gypsy camp in the Somme department.
The attacker was injured in the melee.
(SFC, 8/26/15, p.A2)
2015 Aug 27, French police
cleared out one of the country’s biggest Roma camps, dismantling a
sprawling network of makeshift shelters next to a Paris region
highway under pouring rain. The camp had housed 200-300 people for
at least three years.
2015 Aug 27, Two French
investigative journalists were arrested and soon charged in Paris
with trying to blackmail the king of Morocco out of two million
euros ($2.2 million) in hush money. Eric Laurent and Catherine
Graciet were working on a book about King Mohammed VI, which was due
for release early next year.
2015 Aug 29, The leaders of
France, Germany and Russia backed a new ceasefire in eastern Ukraine
in a three-way phone call.
2015 Sep 2, Hundreds of
migrants poured overnight onto the high-speed railway linking Paris
with London near the French port of Calais, stranding thousands of
passengers in darkness for hours aboard Eurostar trains.
2015 Sep 2, In France 8 people,
including 2 children, were killed in a fire in a Paris apartment
building that investigators believe may have been started
deliberately. Police arrested a man in his 30s who might have been
at the scene.
2015 Sep 3, France and Germany
agreed that the European Union, facing an unprecedented influx of
migrants, should impose binding quotas on the numbers member states
2015 Sep 3, In France more than
1,000 tractors descended on Paris in a boisterous protest by farmers
who blocked highways to express their anger over falling prices for
their goods and high taxes.
2015 Sep 6, In France ministers
and diplomats from 57 countries gathered in Paris to discuss the
make-or-break issue of finance in a climate rescue deal to be sealed
in the French capital in December.
2015 Sep 7, President Francois
Hollande said France is ready to take in 24,000 refugees as part of
EU plans to welcome more than 100,000 in the next two years.
2015 Sep 7, France’s culture
ministry agreed to demands by artist Anish Kapoor that anti-Semitic
graffiti not be cleaned off a giant sculpture, dubbed the “queen’s
vagina" at Palace of Versailles.
2015 Sep 8, France carried out
its first surveillance flights over Syria to prepare possible
attacks on Islamic State jihadists.
2015 Sep 15, In France 7 people
were killed when an avalanche swept them away at the Snow Dome in
the Alps' Massif des Ecrins.
2015 Sep 15, Russian state news
agencies said French supermarket chain Auchan has been fined over
$370,000 by Russian officials over alleged food safety violations.
2015 Sep 17, In France PM
Manuel Valls signed a decree authorizing the extradition to Russia
of jailed Kazakh tycoon Mukhtar Ablyazov. Ablyazov was notified in
October at the prison where he is being held outside Paris. The
businessman accused of embezzling up to $6 billion from his former
bank BTA planned to lodge an appeal.
2015 Sep 17, France said it
will use a new European opt-out scheme to ensure a ban on the
cultivation of genetically modified crops in the country remains in
2015 Sep 17, French startup
Blablacar, which hooks up travelers who want to share a car for
long-distance trips, announced it has raised $200 million in new
funds from US and other investors as it seeks to ramp up global
expansion. The company soon boasted some 20 million users in 19
(AP, 9/17/15)(Econ, 10/24/15, p.61)
2015 Sep 19, French President
Francois Hollande arrived in Morocco for a two-day visit aimed at
strengthening cooperation against terrorism and boosting economic
partnership with the former colony.
2015 Sep 19, In France a judge
ruled that anti-Semitic graffiti must be removed from Anish Kapoor’s
funnel-like sculpture at the Palace of Versailles. The ten-meter
high structure, dubbed the "queen's vagina" but officially called
"Dirty Corner," was first vandalized in June and then cleaned.
2015 Sep 21, France's labor
court ordered the national railway to pay 150 million euros ($169
million) in compensation after finding that Moroccans had faced
discrimination in benefits compared with their French colleagues.
2015 Sep 21, French police
fired tear gas as they broke down several makeshift camps around the
port city of Calais, leaving nearly 400 people, mostly Syrian
refugees, without shelter.
2015 Sep 22, Spain’s Interior
Ministry said in a statement that ETA leaders David Pla and Iratxe
Sorzabal were detained in a country house in the western mountain
town of Saint-Etienne-de-Baigorry, a few km (miles) from the Spanish
border, in a joint operation by French and Spanish police.
2015 Sep 23, Egypt agreed to
buy two Mistral warships which France built for Russia before
scrapping the sale over the Ukraine crisis, showing Paris
increasingly values Cairo as a stable partner in a chaotic region.
2015 Sep 25, A report in Le
Monde newspaper cited a French intelligence source saying French
jihadist Salim Benghalem was currently part of the Islamic police of
IS and participated in executions and corporal punishments. He was
named along with Mehdi Nemmouche, who carried out a fatal attack on
the Jewish Museum in Brussels last year, as suspected jailers for
the Islamic State group.
2015 Sep 27, France launched
its first air strikes against Islamic State in Syria in an act of
"self-defense" to stop to the militant group from carrying out
attacks inside France.
2015 Sep 27, Paris, France,
held its first car-free day.
(Econ, 9/26/15, p.53)
2015 Oct 2, The leaders of
France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine met in Paris to consolidate a
fragile peace in Ukraine. The Organization for Security and
Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said monitors have spotted a Russian
mobile TOS-1 'Buratino' weapons system in rebel-held Ukraine this
(AFP, 10/2/15)(Reuters, 10/2/15)
2015 Oct 4, French authorities
said violent storms and flooding along the chic French Riviera
overnight have killed at least 16 people and left another five
2015 Oct 5, Air France
executives fled an angry mob after having their shirts ripped off by
striking workers. Seven people were hurt, including a security guard
who was knocked unconscious. The company has proposed job cuts,
believed to involve 300 pilots, 900 air hostesses and stewards, and
1,700 ground staff.
2015 Oct 8, In France trash
piled up on Paris streets because of a garbage collectors' strike.
Workers occupied a city building amid frustration over spending cuts
across the French economy.
2015 Oct 9, France launched a
new air strike overnight in Syria against an Islamic State training
camp and said further strikes will follow.
2015 Oct 10, Egypt signed a
deal with France to buy two Mistral warships originally ordered by
Russia as French PM Manuel Valls began an Arab tour.
2015 Oct 12, In France police
arrested several Air France workers at their homes as investigators
tracked down protesters who hounded executives from a meeting about
mass job cuts last week and tore the clothes of two fleeing
2015 Oct 13, France and Saudi
Arabia announced signed deals worth 10 billion euros, the latest
example of the deepening alliance between the two nations.
2015 Oct 16, In France
executives of ten of the world's largest oil and gas companies
decided not to take a common position on the price of carbon because
of differences among the groups' members.
2015 Oct 18, France's finance
minister said police made the country's biggest drug seizure in two
years when they found 7.1 tons of hashish in Paris' chic 16th
2015 Oct 18, The parents of
French saint Therese of Lisieux -- dubbed "The Little Flower" --
were raised to sainthood, in a move Pope Francis hopes will
underscore the importance of the family. Louis (d.1894) and Zelie
Martin (d.1887) had nine children, four of whom died at a young age,
while the other five all became nuns.
2015 Oct 22, French Pres.
Francois Hollande arrived in Athens for a two-day visit, as Greece
seeks help from European rescue lenders for relief on its massive
2015 Oct 23, In France at least
43 people on a bus carrying elderly day-trippers were killed early
today when the bus hit a truck head-on and caught fire near
Puisseguin in the Gironde region.
2015 Oct 24, French pilots
Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos arrived in France after escaping from
the Dominican Republic, where they were convicted and sentenced to
20 years in prison for possession of cocaine with intent to traffic.
They denied the charges. Two other Frenchmen who were also convicted
in connection with the same case remained in the Dominican Republic.
(Reuters, 10/27/15)(Reuters, 10/28/15)
2015 Oct 25, It was reported
that carbon nanotubes have been found in the lung fluid of asthmatic
children living in Paris. The nanomaterial has only recently been
used to manufacture items such as bicycle parts, sporting goods and
(SSFC, 10/25/15, p.D16)
2015 Nov 2, China and France
agreed to push for long-term monitoring of a UN accord to combat
climate change due in Paris next month by reviewing cuts in
greenhouse gas emissions every five years.
2015 Nov 2, A young French
fisherman was among eight people arrested on suspicion of helping
migrants cross the Channel to Britain in a high-speed inflatable
boat. The fisherman had been smuggling migrants to Britain "for
several months" on an inflatable Zodiac boat that could carry some
20 people at a time.
2015 Nov 4, France said it will
lift a ban on gay men giving blood, but only if they abstain from
sex in the months beforehand, an exclusion denounced as
discriminatory by rights groups.
2015 Nov 5, France announced it
would deploy an aircraft carrier to boost its fight against the
Islamic State group, which has seized control of large parts of Iraq
2015 Nov 8, In France more than
60 environment and energy ministers tasked with inking a global pact
in December to rein in climate change, met in Paris seeking to
narrow political rifts.
2015 Nov 9, In eastern Syria
the French army bombed an oil supply center near Deir Ezzor held by
the Islamic State group, targeting part of an oil distribution
station and secondly a gas separation plant.
(AFP, 11/9/15)(AFP, 11/10/15)
2015 Nov 9, In France President
Francois Hollande met with with Bolivian President Evo Morales, who
approved buying a radar system from France that will be used to
fight drug trafficking. Thales Air Systems will provide the
2015 Nov 9, French philosopher
Andre Glucksmann (78) died. He bridged the intellectual worlds of
Jean-Paul Sartre and Michel Foucault and was a towering fighter
2015 Nov 10, In France riot
police and migrants camped near the port of Calais clashed in
overnight violence that aid workers said reflects the growing
frustration of refugees' inability to smuggle themselves aboard
trucks and trains bound for England.
2015 Nov 13, In France eight
gunmen and bombers attacked restaurants, the Bataclan theater and a
sports stadium in Paris, killing 129 people in what a shaken
President Francois Hollande called an unprecedented terrorist
attack. Seven gunmen, all of whom were wearing suicide vests packed
with explosives, died in the multiple assaults. The first to be
identified was named as Ismael Omar Mostefai, a 29-year-old who
lived in the city of Chartres, southwest of Paris. Two others were
later named as Samy Amimour (28) and Brahim Abdeslam. The death toll
rose to 130 on Nov 20 as one of the wounded succumbed to injuries.
Foued Mohamed-Aggad (23) was later identified as one of three
Islamist gunmen who killed 90 people at the Bataclan.
(Reuters, 11/13/15)(Reuters 11/15/15)(AP,
11/20/15)(Reuters, 12/9/15)(Econ, 11/21/15, p.21)
2015 Nov 14, In France a
high-speed train derailed into the Marne au Rhin canal during a test
run near Strasbourg. At least 11 people were killed and 5 were
(AFP, 11/15/15)(SSFC, 11/15/15, p.A3)
2015 Nov 14, The Islamic State
group claimed responsibility for a wave of attacks in Paris that
killed 127 people.
2015 Nov 14, Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad said that French policy had contributed to the
"spread of terrorism" that culminated in attacks claimed by the
Islamic State group which killed 128 people in Paris.
2015 Nov 15, Seven people were
detained in Belgium in connection with the Nov 13 deadly attacks in
Paris as the city entered three days of mourning for the 129 people
killed in the worst violence in France in decades.
2015 Nov 16, French police
raided homes of suspected Islamist militants across the country
overnight arresting 23 people. Investigators identified Abdelhamid
Abaaoud, a Belgian national living in Syria, as the possible
mastermind behind the Nov 13 attacks in Paris.
(Reuters, 11/16/15)(SFC, 11/17/15, p.A4)
2015 Nov 17, France made an
unprecedented demand that its EU allies support its military action
against the Islamic State group. EU nations unanimously backed the
French request. French police named two of the Nov 13 French
attackers as Ismael Omar Mostefai, 29, from Chartres, southwest of
Paris, and Samy Amimour, 28, from the Paris suburb of Drancy.
(AP, 11/17/15)(Reuters, 11/17/15)(AFP, 11/17/15)
2015 Nov 17, France and Russia
staged air strikes on Islamic State targets in northern Syria,
punishing the group for the Nov 13 attacks in Paris and against a
Russian airliner on Oct 31 that together killed 353 people.
2015 Nov 17, The head of
Russia's FSB security service said a homemade explosive device
brought down a Russian passenger plane over Egypt last month.
President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian navy in the
Mediterranean to establish contact with its French counterparts and
(AP, 11/17/15)(AFP, 11/17/15)
2015 Nov 18, In France a woman
suicide bomber, Hasna Aitboulahcen (26), blew herself up and another
militant died when police raided an apartment in the Paris suburb of
St. Denis seeking suspects in last week's attacks in Paris. Seven
people were arrested in the operation in which nearly 5,000 bullets
were fired. Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a cousin of Aitboulahcen and
the suspected Islamic State mastermind of the Paris attacks, was
identified the next day as the 2nd dead militant. On Nov 20
authorities said a 3rd body had been found at the site.
(Reuters, 11/18/15)(Reuters 11/19/15)(AP,
11/20/15)(SSFC, 11/22/15, p.A25)
2015 Nov 18, The Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said French and
Russian bombardments on Raqqa have killed at least 33 Islamic State
militants over the past three days.
2015 Nov 19, France's lower
house of parliament extended a state of emergency imposed after
attacks in Paris for three months and toughened a series of security
measures which date back to 1955.
2015 Nov 21, A Turkish official
said a Belgian man of Moroccan origin has been arrested on suspicion
of involvement in Islamic State's Nov 13 attacks in Paris that
killed 130 people. Ahmet Dahmani (26) was arrested at a luxury hotel
in the southern coastal city of Antalya after traveling from
Amsterdam on Nov 14.
2015 Nov 24, President Francois
Hollande of France arrived in Washington for talks with US President
Barack Obama on how to confront the threat posed by the Islamic
State group in the wake of the Paris attacks.
2015 Nov 26, French President
Francois Hollande arrived in Moscow for talks on Syria with Russia's
Vladimir Putin. They agreed to tighten cooperation in the fight
against the Islamic State group, although they remained at odds over
their approach toward Syrian President Bashar Assad.
(AFP, 11/26/15)(AP, 11/27/15)
2015 Nov 27, A Swiss court
convicted in absentia Herve Falciani, a former French employee with
international bank HSBC, for economic espionage and sentenced him to
five years in prison. France does not extradite its own citizens and
Falciani appears unlikely to serve the sentence.
2015 Nov 29, French riot police
fired tear gas at climate change protesters at the Place de la
Republique in central Paris, near where climate change activists had
earlier formed a human chain.
2015 Nov 29, Tens of thousands
of people from Sydney to London joined one of the biggest days of
climate change activism, telling world leaders gathering for a
summit in Paris there is "No Planet B" in the fight against global
2015 Nov 30, World leaders
arrived in Paris for UN climate change talks. Over the next two
weeks, negotiators will hammer out the strongest international
climate pact yet.
2015 Nov 30, In Thailand Andre
Cabau (39), a French drug trafficker, was arrested in Bangkok. He
was part of a notorious international network that authorities say
copied tactics from Hollywood's "Fast and Furious" films.
2015 Dec 1, President Francois
Hollande said France will give African countries two billion euros
($2.1 billion) over the next four years to develop renewable energy
and replace climate-harming fossil fuels.
2015 Dec 5, In France
negotiators from 195 nations delivered a blueprint for a pact to
save mankind from disastrous global warming. Negotiators agreed to a
draft accord that still leaves hundreds of points of dispute for
ministers to resolve next week.
(AFP, 12/5/15)(Reuters, 12/5/15)
2015 Dec 6, France's far-right
National Front was tipped for historic gains as regional polls were
held under a state of emergency just three weeks after Islamic
extremists killed 130 people in Paris. Marine Le Pen's
anti-immigration National Front chalked up scores that reached 40
percent of the vote in several regions.
(AFP, 12/6/15)(AP, 12/7/15)
2015 Dec 8, Air France said it
will resume flights to Tehran for the first time in more than seven
years, as part of resuming European trade with Iran following a
hard-fought deal to curb its nuclear activities.
2015 Dec 9, French hosts of
195-nation climate rescue talks released a crucial new blueprint,
reporting important progress but some sticking points two days ahead
of the deadline for a UN deal.
2015 Dec 11, In France an armed
man robbed the famed Parisian jeweler Chopard, making off with gems
worth around 1 million euros ($1.1 million). The robbery took place
across the street from the Elysee palace.
2015 Dec 11, France detected a
case of the highly pathogenic H5N9 bird flu in the
Pyrenees-Atlantiques region, taking to five the number of regions
affected by the outbreak in the country's southwest.
2015 Dec 12, French Foreign
Minister Laurent Fabius presented a landmark global climate accord.
The 31-page draft text creates a system for ensuring countries make
good on voluntary domestic efforts to curb emissions, and provides
billions more dollars to help poor nations cope with the transition
to a greener economy.
2015 Dec 13, French voters
flocked to runoff polls in regional elections as the far-right
National Front (FN) looked for a historic win in regional elections.
Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front did not win any region.
(AFP, 12/13/15)(Reuters, 12/14/15)
2015 Dec 14, The Paris Club of
creditor nations, led by France, announced a deal under which
creditors will cancel $8.5 billion in overdue interest payments in
exchange for a promise by Cuba to pay off $2.6 billion of the
original debt over the next 18 years.
(SFC, 12/15/15, p.A3)
2015 Dec 15, French police
arrested two men and a woman in connection with deadly Islamist
militant attacks on Paris last month and in January.
2015 Dec 15, The French air
force used its first cruise missiles against Islamic State group
targets. The jets targeted buildings in the Al-Qaim area of western
2015 Dec 15, Thomas Fabius, the
son of French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, was taken into
custody as part of a probe into forgery, fraud and money laundering.
2015 Dec 15, France's
competition regulator fined 20 package delivery companies, including
the French operations of FedEx and DHL, a total of 672 million euros
($740 million) for colluding on price increases over a period of six
2015 Dec 16, In France the wife
of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi accepted the European
Parliament's prestigious Sakharov human rights prize on his behalf,
urging Arab countries to abandon theocratic diktats and embrace free
2015 Dec 18, French livery
drivers protested a drop in their rates, again striking out against
what they say an unfair decision by Uber and other companies to
drive down their earnings.
2015 Dec 19, In France an
attack plot targeting representatives of state forces was foiled and
two men were arrested in the region of Orleans, southwest of Paris.
2015 Dec 20, French forces in
Mali killed about 10 extremists over the last 24 hours and recovered
arms and explosives after heavy fighting in the country's north.
2015 Dec 22, Belgium police
detained a 9th man, identified as Abdoullah C. (30), in connection
with the Nov 13 attacks in Paris.
(SFC, 12/25/15, p.A3)
2015 Dec 24, In Syria French
national Charaffe al Mouadan (26) was killed in a US-led coalition
air strike. He had "direct" ties to the alleged mastermind of the
Nov 13 Paris attacks.
2015 Dec 27, France banned
demonstrations in part of the Corsican capital Ajaccio following two
days of anti-Arab protests and sectarian tensions.
2015 Dec 28, France opened
police and legal archives from the collaborationist Vichy regime
(SFC, 12/25/15, p.A2)
2015 Dec 28, In France DNA
traces helped police identify and arrest a Frenchman (40) suspected
of 33 rapes or attempted rapes in a suburban Paris forest from 1995
2015 Jonathan Fenby authored
“The History of Modern France: From the Revolution to the Present
(Econ, 7/25/15, p.68)
2015 Robert Gildea authored
“Fighters in the Shadows: A New History of the French Resistance."
(Econ, 8/29/15, p.67)
2015 Sudhir Hazareesingh
authored “How the French Think: An Affectionate Portrait of an
(Econ, 6/13/15, p.79)
2015 The construction of a
$10-20 billion new airport was planned to begin near Chartres,
southwest of Paris.
(WSJ, 6/6/96, p.A11)