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French report French report
by Euro Reporter
2009-07-08 09:19:50
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Far right lose critical town hall election

France's far-right National Front party lost a chance Sunday to take its first town council in more than a decade.  Jean-Marie Le Pen's party list seemed poised to win the northern town of Henin-Beaumont, after a convincing victory in the first round of voting.
But in the second round left-wing candidate Daniel Duquenne won the town hall, defeating the National Front's Steeve Briois. Duquenne took 52.38 percent of the vote to defeat Briois, on 47.62 percent, according to figures from local authorities. The National Front said later they would contest the result.
The winning candidate was attacked by a group and sprayed with teargas as he left a party celebrating his victory late Sunday. Henin-Beaumont has not had a mayor since April after the incumbent Socialist was charged with embezzling four million Euros (5.6 million dollars), nepotism and other offences. The National Front has not won control of a town hall in France since local elections in 1995 gave its candidates several councils in the south.

About time!


Police arrest three suspected ETA members

French police arrested Saturday three suspected members of the outlawed Basque separatist group ETA near the southern city of Pau, close to the Spanish border. The two men and one woman, all carrying a firearm, were picked up for driving a stolen vehicle in the Pau suburb of Idron, police said.
They were identified as Asier Borrero, Itziar Plaza and Iurgi Garitagoitia -- all three of whom were among the most wanted ETA figures still at large, according to Spanish media. A judicial source described the arrests as "fortuitous", explaining that the suspects had been in a fast-food restaurant when "their suspicious behaviour... caught the attention of a police officer.  "Police carried out checks on their vehicle and found it to be stolen," the source added.

Imported terrorism from Spain!


Sarkozy, Swedish PM hold talks on Europe

French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Stockholm Friday for talks on Europe with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country has just taken over the EU presidency. Sarkozy, on the first visit by a French president to Stockholm in nine years, was accompanied by Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and the new junior minister for European affairs, Pierre Lellouche, who was appointed last week.

The talks would be covering matters of European interest, including institutions, climate change, financial regulation and enlargement of the European Union, according to the French presidency.

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