Politics

Paris Mayor Hopeful Makes Waves With London Comments

Socialist Anne Hidalgo, running hard to become Paris' first female mayor, created headlines in France and abroad with barbed comments about London when she met with the AAPA at her campaign headquarters Jan. 17.   During a lively meeting with 25 AAPA members, the popular first deputy mayor defended the track record of outgoing mayor Bertrand Delanoé, who she pledged to follow if elected. In…


Le Pen Predicts the Demise of “Bi-polar” Politics in France

  It was a classic performance by Marine Le Pen when she met with the AAPA on Jan. 19.   Ever-combative and dynamic but with a twist of selective moderation that fits the new image of the National Front leader as she tries to reshape the image of her far-right party, she is embarking on a skilful marketing campaign ahead of upcoming French municipal and European elections.   Ms. Le…


French PM Hosts AAPA for a Second Time

  Prime Minister Jean-Mark Ayrault once again took time from his busy schedule to talk to AAPA members on May 23 over lunch at the Hôtel Matignon. As with the previous session on April 11, Mr. Ayrault requested that his remarks be off-record. The conversation covered a wide area, including the French and German political scenes and the controversial "marriage pour tous" legislation, and…


P.M. Ayrault Discusses Strategy, Challenges with the AAPA

Despite a hectic schedule and pressing affairs of state, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault took time out to host a lunch for AAPA members at Hotel Matignon on April 11 during which he explained the priorities for his government and addressed some of the challenges facing France and Europe today. In a relaxed atmosphere in one of the dining rooms at his prestigious residence, Ayrault, in combative…


Fabius Hosts Round-Table Meeting with the AAPA

    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius met February 6 with close to 40 AAPA  members to discuss France’s priorities and concerns in the foreign policy domain. In an ornate setting at the Quai d’Orsay, Fabius went “off the record” to explain his government’s concerns about Europe, Syria, Lebanon, Mali, Iran, the Middle East Peace Process and many other topics. For about 90 minutes,…


French Minister Confident UK’s Future Lies In EU

 Amid widespread reports that Britain was gradually easing out of European Union obligations and might block the next proposed EU budget, European Affairs Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told some twenty five of us over breakfast Nov. 13 that intense efforts were underway to resolve critical issues with London in anticipation of the key EU summit meeting Nov. 22-23.   He urged an agreement at the…


Euro Zone's Leaden Feet Frustrate Britain's Envoy

  British Ambassador Peter Ricketts sipped Earl Grey tea with two dozen AAPA members over breakfast at the top of the Paris Thomson Reuters building, displaying his diplomatic knack for giving very little away and only letting the genteel demeanor slip briefly while expressing Britain’s frustration with the slowness of euro zone leaders to come up with a convincing solution to the debt…


“Danny The Red” Meets The AAPA

If the 27-nations of the European Union want to re-launch their stagnating economies and EU political integration, it must be a collective effort and not that of one or even several leaders, and it will probably take years, according to Daniel Cohn-Bendit.   Speaking to some 20 AAPA members at the Paris headquarters of the European Parliament March 5, the outspoken leftist European deputy…


A Field Guide for Global Reporting

A Field Guide for Global Reporting “Whenever you see hundreds of thousands of sane people trying to get out of a place, and a little bunch of madmen struggling to get in, you know the latter are newspapermen.” It was this astute observation by iconic reporter H.R. Knickerbocker that Mort Rosenblum uses as a peg for his latest book: "Little Bunch Of Madmen," designed as a field manual for global…


AAPA Members Meet New Head Of UNESCO

Credit photo: UNESCO/Michel Ravassard Some thirty members had a first-hand chance to probe Irina Bokova’s background, experience and plans for UNESCO following her successful election as Director General of the Paris-based agency, in a newsworthy, lively event on Oct. 7. Our breakfast meeting with Bokova, still at that time Bulgaria's ambassador to France, took place at UNESCO headquarters,…