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French report French report
by Euro Reporter
2012-05-21 07:37:38
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Hollande to make Eurobond proposals at EU summit

French President Francois Hollande said on Saturday he would make proposals for eurobonds at an upcoming European summit as he outlines his ideas to stimulate growth and help ailing economies within the euro zone. "I will outline all growth proposals at this informal meeting on May 23," Hollande told reporters at the end of a G8 leaders meeting in Camp David. "Within this packet of proposals there will be eurobonds and I will not be alone in proposing them. I had confirmation on this at the G8."

The Brussels meeting is expected to focus on the French president's call for measures to kick start growth across the 27-country bloc, especially in the 17-nation euro zone, while maintaining efforts to cut budget deficits. Hollande has said he will press Berlin to lift its veto on issuing common euro zone bonds -- debt issued for the whole currency and implicitly guaranteed by countries such as Germany, or to allow the European Central Bank to lend directly to governments. Both ideas are "red lines" for the centre-right German government, although Merkel has not ruled out euro zone bonds as a long-term prospect if Europe takes more steps towards a tighter political and fiscal union.

Hollande appeared to have had a political success at the G8 with the leading global industrialized nations, including the United States, Russia and Germany, agreeing to balance austerity with a new dose of U.S.-style stimulus. "We had a frank discussion on growth, but budgetary commitments are not under question. There's no reason to think any country was isolated," Hollande said when asked if the meeting had marginalized Merkel. "If we want to move forward we have to do it with everybody that counts in Europe, Germany naturally, but also the rest of the world."

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France may nationalize Mortgage Lender CCCIF

France may nationalize Caisse Centrale Credit Immobilier de France, one of its largest mortgage lenders citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter. A purchase of CCCIF by a competitor may be another option and HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) has been asked to find a buyer. Calls by Bloomberg News to the offices of CCCIF and its parent company CIFD today went unanswered.

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New justice minister commits to prison reform

Christiane Taubira has been appointed justice minister in the new French government. Taubira's first public engagement was a prison basketball tournament, which signals reforming France's overcrowded prisons is her top priority.
Guyanese-born Christiane Taubira is now one of the most powerful women in France. She was appointed Justice Minister this week. The Justice Ministry oversees the running of the courts, public prosecutions, presidential pardons and prisons. Taubira has been a regional councillor for the French overseas territory of Guyana since 2010 and a member of the French National Assembly since 1993. She also ran as a candidate for the Left Radical Party in the 2007 presidential elections in which she won 2.32 per cent of the vote in the first round. She campaigned under the slogan, Equal opportunities. On Friday for her first public engagement Taubira attended the national prisons basketball championships in Paris, where she stressed the importance of rehabilitation.

“It's an encounter that shows trust and respect between prisoners and personnel. The prisoner remains a human being, a citizen. He has needs and we have to work more on training and reinsertion,” Taubira told RFI. Tensions between prisoners and staff often result in violence. A phenomenon that has been blamed on overcrowding. The prison population in France is at a record high of 67,161 inmates, according to figures released by the prison authority, L’administration pénitentaire last month. The prisoner capacity of France is 57,170.

Prison governors and unions representing prison staff have welcomed Taubira’s appointment. She is credited with backing improved conditions for Guyana’s largest prison, Rémire-Montjoly. The reforms helped curb violence in the prison and the spread of HIV. In February a law was passed in France to build an additional 24,000 prison places by 2017, at a cost of 3 billion Euros. Taubira cautioned that her ministry would need to review the budget for prison reforms. “We'll have a quick look at proposed prison construction projects and then reorient budgets,” she said. Traditionally the Socialist Party has favoured alternatives to imprisonment such as electronic tagging and community service, particularly for young offenders. So the reorientation of the prison budget by Taubira may put less emphasis on punishment and more on rehabilitation.



        
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