Rédoine Faïd Escapes from Lille Prison, Manhunt Ensues

In what CNN described as an event “that went as if scripted for a suspense film,” notorious French gangster Rédoine Faïd escaped from a Lille prison where he had served the past two years of his most recent sentence.  A wanted criminal in the 1990s after a series of armed-truck robberies, Algerian-French Faïd famously drew […]

Did the “Bobo” Ever Really Die?

A 2008 article in The Observer (a British paper, as my French colleagues would have me point out) declared the end of the French “Bobo”—a compound acronym for “Bourgeois Bohemian”—with a mixture of intrigue and bratty glee. “For nearly a decade the Bourgeois Bohemians have been France’s favourite hate figures.  Urban, wealthy, left-wing, conscious of […]

Tensions High on Eve of Cyprus Bailout Deadline

Updated March 25: After striking a pre-dawn agreement with representatives from the E.U. and IMF to avoid imminent bankruptcy, Cypriot officials announced Monday March 25 that several of the nation’s largest banks will remain closed this week to avoid a public run on these financial institutions.  Uninsured Cypriot bank accounts may see up to a 30% […]

European Parliament Rejects Austerity Budget

After a November deadlock and subsequent 24-hour “marathon” of talks in the European Parliament, lawmakers in Brussels rejected a slate of proposed spending cuts in a vote on Wednesday, March 13. The first set of proposed spending cuts in the European Union’s history, the €960 billion ($1.2 billion) budget was overwhelmingly rejected 506 to 161.  […]

Frenchwoman Florence Cassez Released From Mexican Prison

Over seven years after her arrest near Mexico City, Frenchwoman Florence Cassez has been released from the Mexican prison where she had been serving a 60-year-sentence for kidnapping. In December 2005, Cassez was arrested and later prosecuted after several hostages were found at a ranch where she had been staying.  France 24 reports that Cassez […]

London Calling? Rumors Swirl of Possible Sarkozy Move

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy may be planning to establish a $1.2 billion private equity firm in London, if rumors are to be believed. Mediapart, a “respected investigative website”—according to U.K. publication The Telegraph—reported this week that documents found in Sarkozy’s Paris residence and offices suggest the former head-of-state is in an “exploratory phase” of […]

French Regulators Take On Birth Control Amid Side-Effect Concerns

French health authorities have proposed a restriction on so-called “newer-generation” contraceptive pills citing health risks –namely of blood clot and stroke—reported France’s Agence France-Presse on Friday, January 8. Urging other European countries to follow suit, French Health Minister Marisol Touraine indicated she would request that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to amend its approval of […]

French Employers, Unions Reach Labor Agreement

In an unprecedented and surprising move, French employers and labor unions reached an agreement on Friday, January 11 that is expected to bring major reforms to a heavily burdened and recession-bruised French labor market. Reuters reports that the proposed reforms will address concerns “often cited by credit ratings agencies” that the French work force is […]

Depardieu’s Exit Spotlights French Film Industry Salaries

In the aftermath of French Actor Gérard Depardieu’s very public departure from France —and subsequent bid of “Zdravstvujtye!” to Russian citizenship —Vincent Maraval, founder of French film distribution company Wild Bunch S.A., has entered the controversial dialogue surrounding high-earning individuals facing large tax raises under President François Hollande. Casting light onto the source of French […]

Comrade Depardieu? Putin Grants Actor Russian Citizenship

Following his highly publicized exit from his native France, Academy Award-nominated French actor Gérard Depardieu can now send love from Russia as the country’s newest citizen. On January 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin—a close friend of Depardieu’s—signed a decree granting citizenship to the Cyrano de Bergerac (1990) star. Depardieu’s expatriation follows a proposed French tax […]