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    Sarkozy Seals Ruling Party Nod for French Election

    French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy was formally selected as the governing Union for a Popular Movement's presidential candidate, setting up a battle with Socialist Segolene Royal to lead a nation struggling with unemployment, record debt and angry suburban youths.

    Sarkozy, 51, won more than 229,000 votes, as 69 percent of UMP members took part in the ballot, the party announced today at a rally in Paris. His was the only name on the ballot as rivals such as Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie declined to challenge him.

    The overwhelming vote belies a fractured party that may make it harder for Sarkozy to defeat Royal, 53, in elections that begin in April. The two are currently neck and neck in polls. De Villepin has so far refused to endorse Sarkozy, and President Jacques Chirac, 74, hasn't ruled out seeking a third term.

    ``Small score-settlings and alternative scenarios must end now,'' UMP Senator Francois Fillon, who advises Sarkozy, told a cheering crowd at the rally. Sarkozy ``is the man of the hour.''

    Sarkozy and Royal are competing to lead Europe's third- biggest economy where the 8.7 percent jobless rate remains the highest among the 13 nations sharing the euro. Rising welfare spending, the 35-hour work week, and a retirement age of 60 boosted the country's debt a record 66.6 percent in 2005.

    Sarkozy, who's pledging to crack down on crime, limit immigration, and urging his fellow citizens to work more, proposes scrapping levies on overtime. He wants to do away with most inheritance taxes and shift some labor charges onto polluters. He's proposed looser firing rules in exchange for more government spending on training, research and education. He also wants to trim taxes on small companies.


    Royal plans to provide details of her platform next month. The Socialists want to increase levies on rich households, subsidize job creation, make firing rules more rigid, and extend the 35-hour week to small companies.

    Prime Minister de Villepin briefly showed up at today's rally to shake hands of UMP supporters side by side with Sarkozy, who had earlier urged the crowd to applaud everybody. De Villepin didn't attend the official nomination of the interior minister. Chirac, who masterminded the creation of the UMP in 2002, didn't attend today's event, nor did he send any message.

    The rally in Paris was attended by about 100,000 people, according to former Prime Minister Alain Juppe, who brought his backing to Sarkozy side earlier this week.

    Everything Becomes Possible'

    The governing party unveiled its campaign poster, which features a close-up of Sarkozy posing in dark suit before a green, hilly landscape and a light blue sky, with a slogan saying, ``Together, everything becomes possible,'' and a Web link .

    Today's nomination caps a week when Chirac and de Villepin sought to seize the policy initiative as their terms wind down. The first round of the presidential elections is set for April 22, with the decisive round May 6.

    In an interview with Les Echos published Jan. 12, the prime minister said UMP's platform is a ``good'' one that must be ``enriched.'' He rejected Sarkozy's proposal to scale back debt reduction plans by two years and to scrap short-term labor contracts. He also proposed a ``free'' year of training for unskilled workers, more generous scholarships for students and a government grant for poor youngsters.

    In Jan. 3 remarks, Chirac indirectly criticized Sarkozy. He urged the cabinet to resist criticism of the government's record and to make sure that the campaign doesn't interfere with ministerial work. He also advised against overhauling the constitution, in contrast to Sarkozy, who proposes to make the president more accountable to the parliament.

    Chirac's Proposals

    The next day, Chirac proposed lowering taxes on corporate profits to 20 percent from about 33 percent.

    ``The government's work is well ahead of that of the parties,'' de Villepin told reporters on Jan. 4. The prime minister has said he can't endorse back Sarkozy before Chirac announces whether he plans to seek a third term.

    ``We've got 3 1/2 months of campaigning, so all ideas are welcome,'' UMP Senator Roger Karoutchi told journalists today. ``If the prime minister says that he's backing Nicolas Sarkozy at the beginning of March, we'll be delighted.''

    Chirac and de Villepin are seeking to sabotage Sarkozy, according to 37 percent and 40 percent, respectively, of the French, an OpinionWay/LCI/Le Figaro poll showed. OpinionWay, which surveyed 1,001 eligible voters on Jan. 9 and 10, didn't provide a margin of error.

    The relationship between Sarkozy and Chirac has been stressed since 1995 when then-Budget Minister Sarkozy backed Edouard Balladur, the early favorite in the campaign to succeed President Francois Mitterrand. Chirac overtook Balladur in the closing weeks of the campaign and then won a runoff against Socialist Lionel Jospin.

    Several allies of Chirac, including former prime ministers Juppe and Jean-Pierre Raffarin, and Defense Minister Alliot-Marie have joined Sarkozy's camp in recent days and weeks.

  • #2
    From Royal to Clinton, 2007 Is the Year of Strong Women

    It has already happened in Berlin -- and Paris and Washington may be next. Women are getting ready to take political power. Meanwhile, their male rivals, most of them from the usual tired caste of political functionaries, are having trouble keeping up.

    It's as if American senators were kings, complete with their own little kingdom. They reside "up on the Hill" -- as the neighborhood that surrounds the Capitol in Washington is popularly referred to -- in long, sumptuously decorated rooms with plenty of flags. They travel a great deal, accompanied by a large, court-like entourage. Each of their assistants aspires to be the next national security advisor, secretary of state or powerful, behind-the-scenes advisor in the White House.

    After all, almost every senator believes he or she will be the next president -- especially now that the position will soon be available again. But here's the rub: The last man who traded the office of senator directly with the presidency was John F. Kennedy -- and that was in 1960.

    Last week, the 33 newly elected men and women -- overall, there are 16 female and 84 male senators -- took their oaths at the Capitol -- a sublime ceremony in this country so enamored of symbolism. Most of the attention was focused on Hillary Rodham Clinton, the 59-year-old senator from New York. She began her career in politics when her husband Bill left the White House in January 2001. Since becoming a senator, she's won respect for herself -- even from some of her former adversaries. She has also transformed herself politically -- no longer the disparaged left-wing politician, she now stands firmly in the very place where US elections are won: the political center, the mainstream.

    All that's missing is her official declaration that she wants to throw her hat in the ring as a candidate. But there is little doubt that Clinton wants to become Madame President, the first woman to rule the superpower from the Oval Office. She's got a long road ahead of her -- 22 months remain before American voters go to the polls on Nov. 4, 2008.

    Fifty-three-year-old Ségolène Royal, on the other hand, has only four months to go until the French elections this April. She was a model mother and wife over the holidays, as is expected of women around Christmas and New Year's Eve, when the state apparatus grinds to a temporary halt in France. She has four children, which gets her plenty of space in the tabloids. Indeed, the press loves her more than any other presidential candidate -- precisely because she has so much new to offer.

    France is practically swooning over the highly attractive woman. The French admire her build in photographs showing her wearing a bikini. They can't get enough of the heart-warming story of how her husband Francois Hollande, the leader of the Socialist Party, had to take a step back for her sake. Both the country and her political party are offering her the chance to move into Elysée Palace. And she's taking advantage of this opportunity in a careful yet determined way.

    It's a history-making coincidence that female candidates are setting their sights on the highest offices their countries have to offer in both France and the United States. Ironically, both countries tend to be structurally conservative. Women have made it to the leading positions of all sorts of corporations, like Hewlett-Packard or the French national railway SNCF, but they haven't yet entered the countries' highest political office. This seems to be a propitious moment for them to do just that. "We're ready for something new," Senator Barack Obama, who wouldn't mind becoming the next president either, says of the mood in the United States. His assessment seems to hold true for the French as well.


    • #3
      French Visit to Tehran, Seen as Diplomatic Faux Pas, Is Aborted

      PARIS, Jan. 16 — At a time when most world powers have forged a united front against Iran because of its nuclear program, President Jacques Chirac arranged to send his foreign minister to Tehran to talk about a side issue, then abruptly canceled the visit earlier this month in embarrassing failure.

      Mr. Chirac’s troubles stemmed from his deep desire to help resolve the crisis in Lebanon before his term runs out in May. To that end, he decided to seek the support of Iran, which, along with Syria, backs the radical Shiite organization Hezbollah, three senior French officials said in describing the effort.

      So he planned to send Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy to Tehran, only to call off the trip two days before it was to have taken place, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly on diplomatic issues.

      Both Mr. Douste-Blazy and senior Foreign Ministry officials concluded that such a trip was doomed to fail and that it would send the wrong signal just weeks after the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved sanctions intended to curb Iran’s nuclear program, they added.

      That put Mr. Douste-Blazy in the uncomfortable position of having to tell Mr. Chirac that he did not want to go, one senior official said.

      “This is not French diplomacy at its best,” the official said of the initiative, which was disclosed in the newspaper Le Monde on Tuesday afternoon.

      When Mr. Douste-Blazy visited Saudi Arabia and Egypt this month, the foreign ministers of both countries also informed him that they strongly opposed any such initiative.

      Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, was so determined to stop the visit that he spoke to Mr. Douste-Blazy in uncharacteristically blunt terms — “I am going to tell you, do not go” — according to a senior official familiar with the conversation.

      The French plan contradicted the Bush administration strategy of trying to isolate and punish Iran. Rather than negotiating with Tehran, the United States is building up American forces in the Persian Gulf, persuading many international businesses to cut off dealings with Iran and trying to curtail Iranian operations in Iraq.

      The Bush administration apparently was not consulted in advance about the plan, and Stephen J. Hadley, the Bush administration’s national security adviser, protested to Jean-David Levitte, France’s ambassador in Washington.

      In subsequent communications with R. Nicholas Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs, and Craig R. Stapleton, the American ambassador to France, the Foreign Ministry gave assurances that it was trying hard to ensure that Mr. Douste-Blazy did not travel to Iran.

      Iran, meanwhile, has officially expressed its displeasure that the trip was canceled.

      For the moment, Jean-Claude Cousseran, a former head of France’s foreign intelligence service and former ambassador to Egypt, is planning to make the trip to Tehran, leaving open the face-saving possibility that the foreign minister could follow at a later, unspecified, date, a senior French official said.

      But the initiative is so ad hoc and divisive that one senior official said even Mr. Cousseran’s trip might not take place.

      Mr. Chirac’s initiative is surprising because he has consistently taken a hard line against Iran and its nuclear program, privately expressing the view that the Islamic republic cannot be trusted. While other global players, including Russia and China, regularly send senior officials to Tehran, France had joined with Britain, Germany and the United States in pressuring Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities or face sanctions in the Security Council. In fact, France largely drafted the initial resolution in tough language that was watered down in the end.

      French officials stressed that discussion of Iran’s nuclear program was not part of the new initiative, and that Mr. Chirac was simply trying anything he could think of to help Lebanon, where about 1,700 French troops are stationed as part of a United Nations peacekeeping force.

      Mr. Chirac’s interest in Lebanon is described by some of his close aides as an obsession, and he seems driven to help bolster its weak government before his presidential mandate ends, even if it means courting Tehran.

      Specifically, Mr. Chirac would like Iran’s help to curb the activities of Hezbollah. He also wants to win Iran’s support for an international tribunal to try the killers of Lebanon’s former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, who was a close friend.

      Mr. Chirac has repeatedly ruled out any dialogue with Syria, which he blames for Mr. Hariri’s assassination.

      On Jan. 25, Mr. Chirac is playing host to an international donors’ conference for the reconstruction of Lebanon, and he is determined that it be a success. Neither Iran nor Hezbollah, which is part of the Lebanese government, have been invited.

      But Hezbollah and its backers in Lebanon have relentlessly criticized the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, saying it has lost its legitimacy and calling on it to resign.

      Mr. Douste-Blazy’s visit would have been a diplomatic coup for Iran. The last time France sent a senior delegation to Tehran was in October 2003, when Dominique de Villepin, who was then foreign minister, spent less than a day there along with his British and German counterparts.

      The trio announced an ambitious nuclear plan aimed at rewarding Iran with political, economic and security incentives in return for the suspension of its uranium enrichment activities. The plan foundered after Iran rejected international demands to stop making enriched uranium, which can be used to make energy or nuclear weapons.

      The French initiative on Iran underscores the disarray of French foreign policy as Mr. Chirac nears the end of his second term as president.

      It had been developed inside Élysée Palace by Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Mr. Chirac’s national security adviser. When Mr. Gourdault-Montagne met with Iran’s foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, on the fringes of a security conference in Bahrain last month, Mr. Mottaki suggested that Mr. Douste-Blazy visit Tehran.

      Mr. Douste-Blazy met with Mr. Mottaki twice last year, in Lebanon and at the United Nations. But Mr. Douste-Blazy concluded that it would be impossible to meet with him in Iran, particularly after he was told that Mr. Mottaki was the Iranian official who opened a conference on Holocaust denial in Tehran that was condemned around the world.


      • #4
        ژاک شيراک رئيس جمهور فرانسه روز پنج شنبه خبرنگاران را فراخواند و اظهارات گذشته خود را در مورد سلاح هسته ای ايران پس گرفت. شيراک روز دوشنبه در حضور خبرنگاران نيويورک تايمز، اينترنشنال تريبون و نوول آبزرواتور گفته بود, دسترسی به يک يا اندکی بعد دو بمب خيلی خطرناک نيست. ايران ميخواهد اين بمب ها را کجا بيندازد؟اسرائيل؟ بمب ها هنوز به 200 متری اتمسفر نرسيده که تهران با خاک يکسان خواهد شد., او اضافه کرده بود: ,خطر اصلی توليد سلاح هسته ای توسط ايران اين است که کشورهای منطقه مثل سعودی و مصر هم دنبال آن خواهند رفت,

        اما روز بعد شيراک خبرنگاران را به کاخ اليزه فراخواند و حرف های خود را پس گرفت. او اين بار گفت:,اشتباه از من بود و من نمی خواهم اين را انکار کنم. من بايد توجه ميکردم که چه ميگويم و اينکه شايد اين حرف ها منتشر شود. اين ساده کردن قضيه بود. من اين فرمول بندی را پس ميگيرم.,

        به گزارش خبرنگاران آمريکا سعی کرد حرف های شيراک بازتاب زياد پيدا نکند. تونی اسنو سخنگوی بوش گفت,واقعيت اين است که موضع ما در مورد ايران روشن است. آن ها نبايد به سلاح اتمی دست پيدا کنند و بعلاوه بايد غنی سازی اورانيوم و فعاليت های فراوری را متوقف کنند. اين فقط موضع اعلام شده ما نيست، بلکه موضع متحدان ما، از جمله فرانسه نيز در رابطه با ايران همين است.,

        روشن است که شيراک بعد از فشارها و معاملات پشت پرده حرف های خود را پس گرفته است وگرنه او آنچه را که به آن معتقد بود بر زبان آورده بود. به عبارت ديگر نه فقط رژيم اسلامی ايران بلکه نيروهای غربی نيز اساسا مساله هسته ای را بهانه کرده اند و با بزرگ کردن آن با سرنوشت مردم ايران و منطقه بازی ميکنند. به عبارت روشن تر ممکن است ,به دست آوردن يک يا دو بمب توسط رژيم ايران, آن تهديدی نباشد که هردو طرف جهان را با آن ميترسند و هردو طرف ميدانند که رژيم حتی اگر بمب هم به دست آورد در مقابل سلاح هسته ای پيشرفته اسرائيل با آن کاری بيش از ويرانی ايران نميتواند بکند، تهديد جدی و واقعی برای مردم ايران ، خود اين بازی خطرناک است که دو طرف با بی اعتنايی کامل به سرنوشت مردم پيش گرفته اند.


        • #5
          PARIS, Feb. 2 — When President Jacques Chirac said this week that he would not be overly worried if Iran obtained a nuclear weapon, he inadvertently said aloud what some policy makers and arms control experts have been whispering: that the world may have to learn to live with a nuclear Iran.

          Mr. Chirac quickly retracted his words, and Élysée Palace reaffirmed France’s commitment to preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear-weapons state. But in veering from the prepared script and letting the veil of caution fall, he became the first Western leader to imply that containment of a nuclear Iran is preferable to other options, especially war.

          “Jacques Chirac said things that many experts are saying around the world, even in the United States,” Hubert Védrine, foreign minister from 1997 to 2002, said on LCI television on Friday. “That is to say, that a country that possesses the bomb does not use it and automatically enters the system of deterrence and doesn’t take absurd risks.”

          The logic of the argument goes this way: Iran is making enriched uranium, which can be used either for making electricity or, with additional enrichment, nuclear weapons. If Iran masters that process for military purposes, it may be able to build a bomb or two in the next few years.

          Under that thinking, the only realistic goal is to slow down the process as long as possible. But even if Iran has the bomb, it will be subject to the same classic doctrine of nuclear deterrence that restrained the nuclear powers during the cold war.

          “There is a growing realization that the international community is failing to stop Iran from acquiring a uranium enrichment capability,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. “The U.S. government wouldn’t accept it, but it’s becoming a fait accompli. Can the next step — a nuclear weapon — be prevented? Chirac skipped over that question and cut to the chase in saying, ‘We can live with a nuclear-armed Iran.’ ”

          The Bush administration has made stopping an Iranian bomb the object of an increasingly aggressive policy. But administration officials are concerned that the Iranians have learned from North Korea — which ignored Washington’s warnings and detonated a nuclear device last year. Iran, they fear, is on the same path.

          So the administration is pressing reluctant European governments to curtail support for exports to Iran and to block transactions and freeze the assets of some Iranian companies. In Iraq, the administration has pursued Iranian agents it believes to be involved in attacks against American and allied forces.

          Among the Europeans, there is an overwhelming consensus that the American-led war in Iraq has been a disaster and that Washington’s Iran strategy could end in an even more destabilizing military confrontation.

          It was Mr. Chirac who led Europe’s opposition to the war in Iraq, and in an I-told-you-so speech last month he said that his predictions that the war would spread more chaos, regional instability and terrorism had come true.

          In his remarks this week, he could have been speaking for most of Europe when he said that what he called “the Iraq affair” had “shifted red lines” and made the region dangerous.

          Even inside the Bush administration, some officials have acknowledged over the past year that Iran eventually may get a nuclear weapon — or at least the technology and components to assemble one quickly. In the United States, the view that the world might have to coexist with a nuclear Iran was laid out in an ambitious study by two government-financed scholars at the National Defense University in 2005.

          “Can the United States live with a nuclear-armed Iran?” the report asked. “Despite its rhetoric, it may have no choice.” The report added that the costs of rolling back Iran’s nuclear program “may be higher than the costs of deterring and containing a nuclear Iran.”

          In a sense, Mr. Chirac was trying to make just that point when he said in an interview with three publications, including The New York Times, that a bomb would do Iran little good because it would never be able to use it without facing swift retaliation.


          • #6
            Mr. Chirac also stressed his belief that Iran should not be completely humiliated and isolated, but encouraged to become a positive regional player. “How can we impose sufficiently strong constraints on Iran?” he asked in the Monday interview. Calling the Islamic Republic “a bit fragile,” he said, “One has to know what Iran can withstand or not.”

            The following day, in retracting his statements about a nuclear Iran, he stressed the importance of having a “dialogue” with Iran, which he said had an important role to play in helping to stabilize the region.

            In the past several years, Mr. Chirac has tried to navigate a middle course between the United States and Iran.

            It was France, in the months after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, that conceived a diplomatic initiative joined by Britain and Germany in which Tehran would freeze its uranium enrichment activities in exchange for political, economic and technological incentives.

            The European trio suspected that the United States was moving toward an open confrontation with Iran, much the way it did with Iraq.

            But the initiative failed, even after the United States, Russia and China joined in. Sanctions, even in the unlikely eventuality that they can be tightened substantially, are not likely to be tough enough to change Iran’s behavior.

            Tehran insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes. It views United Nations sanctions to punish it for enriching uranium as unjust and a violation of its rights as a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. It justifies its presence in Shiite-controlled Iraq as necessary to preserve its own national security interests and to protect itself should Iraq dissolve into chaos.

            On Thursday, Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said that his nation was becoming a “superpower” and that the United Nations sanctions would not deter it from pursuing its nuclear program.

            Indeed, the Iranians are well aware that possession of the bomb would immediately transform the country into the dominant power in the Middle East, give it even greater influence over Iraq and allow it to threaten and blackmail its enemies.


            • #7
              سفير جمهوری اسلامي، فرانسه
              تاريخ 28-2-2007

              آقای سفير

              اجازه دهيد که بنام اتحاديه "س ژ ت" نسبت به عدم پذيرش سفر هيات نمايندگی اتحاديه ما به ايران از طرف مقامات ايراني، اعتراض شديد خود را به اطلاع شما برسانم.
              با وجود اين که ما از اوائل فوريه اقدامات لازم را جهت دريافت ويزا انجام داديم و دعوت کنندگان ما نيزاقدامات ضروری را بعمل آوردند، سه روز قبل از سفر ما به ايران از دادن ويزا به ما امتناع کردند.
              ما با کمال تآسف شاهد بهانه های واهی از طرف وزارت امور خارجه ايران و عدم پذيرش ويزا بدون آنکه دليل موجه ای ارائه دهند، هستيم.
              برای ما هيچ شکی وجود ندارد که در رابطه با هدف هيآت ما که بررسی جنبش سنديکايی بوده و همچنين موقعيت دعوت کنندگان ما بعنوان سنديکای شرکت واحد که يک تشکل مستقل است، يک اقدام سرکوبگرانه صورت پذيرفته است.
              ما قبلآ از سرکوب های فعاليت سنديکايی از جانب مقامات ايرانی مطلع شده بوديم. اما فکر نمی کرديم اين نقض حقوق سنديکايی حتا به ممنوع کردن سفر هيات ما به ايران بيانجامد.
              بار ديگر ما شاهد آن هستيم که شما به يک جنبش سنديکايی مستقل که تنها هدفش دفاع از حقوق کارگران در ايران می باشد، اجازه فعاليت و رشد نمی دهيد.
              مااين اقدامات و مواضع غير قابل قبول شما را به اطلاع کارگران و زحمتکشان فرانسوی و هم چنين اتحاديه ها و نهادهای کارگری دنيا می رسانيم.

              بدينوسيله مراتب تآسف ما را بپذيريد.

              ژان فرانسوا کوربه، مسئول امور بين المللی اتحاديه س ژ ت

              ترجمه و تکثير از :اتحاد بين المللی در حمايت از کارگران در ايران


              • #8
                The boss of French oil giant Total is being questioned by police as part of a probe into alleged corruption in Iran.
                Total said Christophe de Margerie was being interviewed about the company's role in the South Pars natural gas project in Iran.

                The inquiry concerns allegations that illegal payments were made to win the gas contract in 1997.

                Mr de Margerie was also placed under investigation last year over claims he paid bribes to win bids in Iraq.

                A number of global figures have been caught up in the so-called oil-for-food scandal.

                A French judge is investigating separate claims that Mr de Margerie paid illegal kickbacks to win favours for his company between 1996 and 2002.

                Mr de Margerie was Total's head of exploration and production before taking the role of chief executive.

                The oil-for-food scandal damaged the reputation of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who took personal responsibility for failures at the programme last year.


                • #9
                  مبارزات انتخاباتی اولین دور انتخابات ریاست جمهوری فرانسه، رسما از روز دوشنبه9 آوریل شروع شده است.
                  اولین دور انتخابات، دو هفته دیگر یعنی در تاریخ 22 آوریل برگزار می شود.

                  دوازده نامزد پست ریاست جمهوری باید مقرراتی را که در ارتباط با پوسترهای تبلیغاتی و برنامه های رادیو و تلویزیون است، رعایت کنند.

                  نظرسنجی اخیر نشان می دهد که نیکولا سارکوزی، که از حزب راست میانهUMP است نفر اول و سگولن رویال رقیب سوسیالیست وی نفر دوم در فهرست کاندیداها هستند.

                  فرانسواز بیرو، کاندیدای میانه رو، نفر سوم و ژان ماری لوپن رهبر راست های افراطی، که در انتخابات ریاست جمهوری فرانسه در سال 2002 موفق شد وارد دومین دور رای گیری شود نفر چهارم در لیست کاندیداها هستند.

                  صبح روز دوشنبه پوسترهای انتخاباتی در خارج 85 هزار مرکز اخذ رأی در سراسر فرانسه نصب شد.

                  به کاندیداها از نظر مدت زمان شرکت در برنامه های تبلیغاتی رادیویی و تلویزیونی، فرصت مساوی داده شده است.

                  از آنجا که تصورنمی شود هیچیک از کاندیداها موفق شوند در دور اول رای گیری 50 درصد آرا را به دست آورند، پیش بینی می شود که انتخابات به دور دوم رای گیری کشیده شود.

                  برخی بررسی ها حاکی از این است که هنوز 42 درصد رای دهندگان کاندیدای مورد نظر خود را انتخاب نکرده اند.

                  مسئولین برگزاری انتخابات می گویند شمار کسانی که برای اخذ رای ثبت نام کرده اند بیش از 44 میلیون است که رقم بی سابقه ای است.

                  اما- جین کربی، خبرنگار بی بی سی می گوید به دلیل اینکه بسیاری از فرانسوی ها نگرانند که در انتخابات آینده، سناریوی انتخابات قبلی که در آن ژان ماری لوپن به دور دوم رای گیری راه یافت، تکرارشود، شور و هیجان سیاسی با نزدیک شدن تاریخ انتخابات، به ناگهان افزایش یافته است.


                  • #10
                    وزير خارجه فرانسه اطلاعيه ايران درباره توليد اورانيوم غني*‏شده در مقياس صنعتى را محكوم كرد.

                    به گزارش خبرگزارى شينهوا، فيليپ دوست بلازى در بيانيه*‏اى گفت: اطلاعيه دوشنبه ايران (درباره دستيابى به فناورى سوخت هسته*‏اى) را كه نشانه بدى است، محكوم مي*‏كنم و بار ديگر از تهران درخواست مي*‏كنم به قطعنامه*‏هاى شوراى امنيت سازمان ملل متحد كه خواستار تعليق همه فعاليت*‏هاى هسته*‏اى حساس است، عمل كند.

                    دوست بلازى از تهران خواست مذاكره با كشورهاى 1+5 را آغاز كند. پيشنهادى كه كشورهاى مذكور زمان تصويب قطعنامه 1747 در 24 مارس (4 فروردين) به ايران پيشنهاد كردند.
                    ژان باتيست ماتر سخنگوى وزارت خارجه روسيه نيز سه شنبه در كنفرانس خبرى گفت: اطلاعيه ايران مبهم است و اكنون قابل راستى آزمايى نيست.

                    باتيست ماتر افزود: تا زمانى كه آژانس بين*‏المللى انرژى اتمى گزارش جديد خود را درباره مساله هسته*‏اى ايران را ارايه نكند، جامعه بين المللى به اطلاعيه ايران پاسخ نمي*‏دهد.

                    وى در پاسخ به اين پرسش كه آيا فرانسه از اقدام نظامى عليه ايران حمايت مي*‏كند، گفت: پاريس بر اين باور است كه مساله هسته*‏اى ايران بايد از طريق اقدامات ديپلماتيك و مذاكره حل و فصل شود.


                    • #11
                      French rival attacks Sarkozy over Holocaust remark

                      French centrist Francois Bayrou on Friday accused his rightist presidential rival Nicolas Sarkozy of sending a chilling message to EU partner Germany with recent remarks on the Holocaust.

                      Bayrou, who has narrowed the gap with frontrunners Sarkozy and Socialist Segolene Royal in recent opinion polls, said the rightist candidate was trying to lure far-right National Front voters with his comments.

                      "(There are) many signs, many comments that show Nicolas Sarkozy has decided to get closer to the National Front in the first round" of elections on April 22, Bayrou told France 2 television.

                      "He has said things for example about Germany, imputing to the German people the responsibility for the final solution, the Shoah, the extermination of Jews, which makes one shiver in terms of future relations within the European Union."

                      At a rally in the southern city of Nice last month Sarkozy said France should not be ashamed of its history: "It has not carried out a genocide. It did not invent the final solution. It invented human rights and it's the country in the world which has fought the most for freedom."

                      The comments, carried on the website of the ruling centre-right UMP party, come on top of comments Sarkozy made in a recent interview with a leading French philosopher.

                      "It's an enigma that a great democratic people could participate, through elections, in the Nazi madness," Sarkozy said in the April edition of Philosophie Magazine.
                      "There are a lot of nations across the world which have gone through social, monetary and political crises and who have not invented the final solution, nor decreed the extermination of a race," he said in an interview with philosopher Michel Onfray.

                      Sarkozy has pledged to make Berlin his first port of call should he win election on May 6, in a bid to inject new life into the Franco-German relationship and seek to break a deadlock over EU institutional reform.

                      Bayrou said Sarkozy's Holocaust comments were outrageous and boded ill for European cooperation in the future. Germany is France's biggest trading partner.

                      "How do you expect the German people and the German government not to shiver at such forthright accusations, which take the German people back to the drama and crime of Hitler?" Bayrou said.

                      Former French presidents would not have talked in that manner to German chancellors of their day, he said.

                      "Can you imagine (Charles) de Gaulle saying that of the German people when he was in touch with (Konrad) Adenauer? Or (Francois) Mitterrand with Helmut Kohl or (Valery) Giscard (d'Estaing) with (Helmut) Schmidt?" Bayrou said.

                      France's presidential election campaign has increasingly focused on questions of national identity and crime recently.

                      Sarkozy has proposed creating a ministry for immigration and national identity, and Socialist Royal has called on compatriots to keep a French flag at home and wave it on public holidays.

                      Recent opinion polls show Sarkozy leading over his rivals ahead of the April 22 first round of the vote.


                      • #12
                        French secret services produced nine reports between September 2000 and August 2001 l

                        French secret services produced nine reports between September 2000 and August 2001 looking at the al Qaeda threat to the United States, and knew it planned to hijack an aircraft, the French daily Le Monde said on Monday.

                        The newspaper said it had obtained 328 pages of classified documents that showed foreign agents had infiltrated Osama bin Laden's network and were carefully tracking its moves.

                        One document prepared in January 2001 was entitled "Plan to hijack an aircraft by Islamic radicals", and said the operation had been discussed in Kabul at the start of 2000 by al Qaeda, Taliban and Chechen militants.

                        The hijack was meant to happen between March and September 2000 but the planners put it back "because of differences of opinion, particularly over the date, objective and participants," Le Monde said, citing the report.

                        The attacks on U.S. cities that eventually took place on September 11, 2001 killed almost 3,000 people.

                        Le Monde said the French report of January 2001 had been handed over to a CIA operative in Paris, but that no mention of it had ever been made in the official U.S. September 11 Commission, which produced its findings in July 2004.

                        The newspaper quoted a former senior official at France's DGSE secret service agency as saying that, although France thought a hijack was being planned, the DGSE did not know that the plot involved flying aircraft into buildings.

                        "You have to remember that a plane hijack (in January 2001) did not have the same significance as it did after September 11. At the time, it implied forcing a plane to land at an airport and undertaking negotiations," said Pierre-Antoine Lorenzi.

                        Le Monde said the documents showed the French believed bin Laden was still receiving help from family members and senior officials in Saudi Arabia ahead of September 11, 2001, despite attempts to clamp down on the network after al Qaeda's attacks on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998.


                        • #13
                          France starts voting in presidential election

                          PARIS (Reuters) - Voting began in France's presidential election on Sunday, with right-wing front-runner Nicolas Sarkozy widely expected to face a run-off vote next month against Socialist Segolene Royal.

                          Sarkozy, a former interior and finance minister, had a narrow lead over Royal in most opinion polls before the end of campaigning but neither was on course to obtain an absolute majority, making a run-off all but certain on May 6.

                          Surprises cannot be ruled out because the surveys suggested up to a third of the 44.5 million voters were not sure of their choice, giving hope to third-placed centrist Francois Bayrou and veteran far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen.

                          "Anything can happen!" Le Parisien newspaper declared on its front page. Le Journal du Dimanche ran the headline "Gripping!".

                          Royal, 53, is hoping to become France's first woman president but trailed Sarkozy, 52, throughout the campaign.

                          Campaigning was dominated by calls for change after 12 years of rule by Jacques Chirac and by economic concerns such as high unemployment, especially among alienated youths who rioted in deprived housing estates less than two years ago.

                          But the campaign has also focused as much on personality as policy.
                          Sarkozy, the son of a Hungarian immigrant, has taken a tough line on crime and illegal immigration and is considered the most business-friendly candidate by financial markets. He is portrayed as dangerously authoritarian by his rivals.

                          "We need a new Renaissance," Sarkozy told election rallies.

                          FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT?

                          Royal vows to raise the monthly minimum wage and pensions and to create 500,000 jobs for young people, but says she will not raise overall taxes. Opponents say she is incompetent.

                          She has promised to build a "fairer and stronger" France, in which all citizens would be equal: "A France that does not discriminate against a job seeker because he does not have the right skin color, the right name, the right address."

                          Bayrou, 55, hopes voters disillusioned with the traditional right-left split in French politics will turn to him in the hope of securing a real break with the past.

                          Le Pen, 78, shocked France in the last election in 2002 by eliminating the Socialist candidate in the first round, only to lose a second round run-off against Chirac.

                          Voting in the first round of the election began in some of France's overseas territories on Saturday. The first opinion polls indicating a result are expected at the close of voting at 8.00 p.m..

                          The BVA and Ipsos research institutes on Friday showed Royal narrowing the gap on Sarkozy but forecast he would go on to win the May 6 run-off. A CSA poll for Le Parisien daily made the race a dead heat and put Le Pen in third place ahead of Bayrou.


                          • #14
                            Today France is voting in the first round of presidential election to select the two candidtaes for the presidency among whom the president will be chosen on may 6th 2007. In a campaign which was full of surprise, the last straw has yet to be drawn.

                            Among the 12 candidates president-to-be, only four according to the polls have the possibility of being in the last two selected. The three leading candidates have tried to seduce their respective camps by using slogans such as "renewal=hope" for the Socialists' Ségolène Royal; "ambition=assertiveness" for Nicolas Sarkozy of the right-wing UMP, and "filling the gap=crossing the divide" for François Bayrou of the centrist UDF.

                            The fourth candidate, far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen of the National Front surprisingly came second in the first round of election in 2002, ahead of Lionel Jospin (then the Socialist prime minister) by 200,000 votes. Jacques Chirac ended up beating Mr Le Pen in a second-round landslide thanks to the mobilization of the left and the right centrists in voting against Le Pen.

                            There is some fear that the scenario of Le Pen being in the second round may be repeated. But this time the surprise could be more plausible from François Bayrou the third in the opinion polls. French citizens find themselves somewhat psychologically squeezed by the main candidates who have advised them to think twice and vote efficently; meaning that if you do not want the 2002 scenario to be repeated, do not vote for small, extremist and/or marginal candidates. François Bayrou is branded generally as a marginal candidate, for as a right wing politician, he was expected to joint the Sarcozy team like many of his comrads of UDF who has declared supporting Nicolas Sarcozy.

                            Nicolas Sarkozy the right-wing frontrunner, who has remained the leading figure in opinion polls during the whole campaign, has been accused by his/her rivals of mounting secret deals with the far-right nationalist party of Jean-Marie Le Pen. His sympathy for far-right themes are definitely the weakest point of his campaign and will repulse many of those from the second and third generation immigrants.

                            Mr Sarkozy was Born on 28 January 1955 in Paris 17ème, from a Hungarian father and a French Jewish mother. He is a graduate in public law and political science, and is a barrister by profession. He has occupied numerous elected positions, such as the Mayor of the wealthiest town in France (Neuilly- sur-Seine), National Assembly Deputy (~Congressman), to name a few. He has also occupied different ministerial position such as Minister for the Budget in 1993, Minister of Economy in 2004, and Minister of Interior in 2005 during the riots in the suburbs of Paris, which resulted in more than a thousand cars burned.

                            Nicolas Sarkozy's far right tendencies find their origin in part in his frequentation of one of his long time friends namely Eric Raoult (Vice President of the French National Assembly).

                            In 1997 during the campaign for the legislatives, Nicolas Sarkozy and his comrade Eric Raoult had declared on French national TV that they have known each other since their National Military Service in 1978-79, where as simple soldiers, they both guarded the house of Ayatollah Khomeiny during his stay in Neauphle-le-Château in France.

                            From a simple soldier taking in charge Ayatollah Khomeiny's safety in Neauphle-le-Château, to a president-to-be flirting with Bush, life's twists and turns are often puzzling.


                            • #15
                              سرکوزی و رويال به دور دوم انتخاب فرانسه راه يافتند
                              رای دهندگان فرانسوی با مشارکت 84 درصدی خود نيکولا سرکوزی راستگرا و سگولن رويال چپگرا را به دور دوم انتخابات رياست جمهوری فرانسه فرستادند.
                              به گزارش خبرگزاری فرانسه، سرکوزی از مجموع آرای دور اول 30 درصد و رويال 26 درصد را حايز شدند و در روز 6 می برای احزار پست رياست جمهوری با هم رقابت خواهند کرد.
                              سرکوزی به هواداران شادمان خود گفت که می خواهد مردم فرانسه را در يک "رويای جديد" متحد کند.
                              انتخاب دو نامزد کاملا متفاوت نمايانگر شکاف بين رای دهندگان فرانسوی در دوسوی چپ و راست است.
                              رويال در اشاره به دو پروژه کاملا متفاوت برای جامعه فرانسه گفت که او پيشگام مردمی خواهد بود که "معتقدند می توان اصلاحات فرانسه را بدون جراحی های سخت پيش برد".
                              خانم رويال گفت که او به آرمانی می انديشد که در آن ارزشهای انسانی بالاتر از سهام بورس می نشيند و مردمی که می خواهند رشد دردناک ناامنی را درمان کنند.
                              از ميان ده نامزد ديگر، فرانسوا بايرو ميانه رو از رقابت باز ماند و در جای سوم قرار گرفت و ژان ماری لوپن نامزد راست افراطی که انتظار داشت به دور دوم راه يابد به جای چهارم قناعت کرد. باقی نامزدها بيش از 5 درصد آرا به دست نياوردند.
                              انتخاب رويال اسباب آسودگی بسيار برای اپوزيسيون سوسياليست شد که بيم آن داشتند که اين بار نيز به مانند سال 2002 که ليونل ژوسپن رای نياورد مورد اقبال رای دهندگان قرار نگيرند. در آن سال برتری لوپن بر نامزد سوسياليست ها همگان را دچار شگفتی کرد.
                              مشارکت 84 درصدی مردم فرانسه در طول 45 سال گذشته بی سابقه بوده است و تنها کمی از ميزان مشارکت مردم در انتخابات 1962 پايين تر است. موضوعی که اشتياق مردم را به داشتن نسل تازه ای از رهبران سياسی با کنار رفتن ژاک شيراک 74 ساله نشان می دهد. مردم در هوای داغ بهاری در صف های طولانی برای رای دهی منتظر ايستادند و مشکلاتی که رای گيری ماشينی داشت سبب گله و شکايت های وسيعی بود.
                              سرکوزی 52 ساله که وزير پيشين کشور بوده قول داده است که از سنت سياسی فرانسه فاصله بگيرد و شمار کارکنان دولت را کم کند، به محدود کردن قدرت اتحاديه ها بپردازد و اقتصاد را با کاهش ماليات ها آزاد کند.
                              رويال 53 ساله که اولين زن فرانسوی است که دارای بخت جدی برای رياست جمهوری می شود وزير پيشين محيط زيست بوده است. مانيفست 100 بندی او از جمله شامل هزينه های تازه در زمينه رفاه عمومی است و او قول داده است که مدل خدمات اجتماعی فرانسه را که دست و دلبازانه است حمايت کند.