Consumer prices: French consumer prices dipped 0.2 percent in January because of the winter sales but inflation remained at 1.8 percent over the past 12 months according to INSEE Statistics Institute.
Libya: Britain and France requested an arms embargo and financial sanctions for Libya from the United Nations. The United Nations Security Council voted 15-0 in favor of sanctions against Libya and its leader, Moammar Gadhafi on Saturday.
France’s Total has halted much of its Libyan oil production due to this unrest. Crude oil prices have already risen to over $120 per barrel. Libya supplies France 16 percent of its oil.
France closed its embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli, and evacuated the French Ambassador and the staff on Saturday to Paris. Diplomatic ties have been cut.
A French military plane transported 122 foreigners out of Libya, 28 of whom were French. France’s air force evacuated 498 French people earlier in the week, leaving only a few who wished to remain in the crisis-hit country.
On Sunday, February 27th at 8:00 p.m., President Sarkozy will make a televised address about the international situation.
Turkey: President Nicolas Sarkozy, a firm opponent of Turkey’s joining the European Union, met with Turkish leaders Friday during a brief visit to Ankara. It was the French President’s first visit to the country since he took office in May 2007, and Sarkozy was there in his capacity as current president of the Group of 20 forum rather than on a state visit.
French politics: There’s talk of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, running for president of France in 2012. DSK has not thrown his hat into the ring and says he “has a job.” François Hollande would be his primary opponent and the two Socialists are engaged in discussions.
On Thursday, former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin criticized President Sarkozy’s attitude towards Islam and the Middle East. M. Villepin, who intends to stand against M. Sarkozy in next year’s presidential elections, was invited to the Elysée to discuss France’s presidency of the G8 and G20. The two men emerged from the meeting smiling.
It looks possible that French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie may be fired. She’s in trouble over a series of gaffes during the uprising in Tunisia. She and her partner, also a minister, holidayed there as deadly protests were raging. Her family has also been linked to a real estate deal with a Tunisian associate of deposed President Ben Ali.
Let’s hope there’s better news to report next week. Undoubtedly, President Sarkozy’s head is reeling as is those of people throughout the world.
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