News that Cecilia Sarkozy is divorcing her husband, President Nicolas Sarkozy, is all over the U.S. press. But there is another woman in the Sarkozy constellation who matters more than Cecilia. She is Christine Lagarde, the 51-year- old French finance minister. At a recent meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations, Lagarde outlined her plan to cut marginal taxes on labor, lower the tax rate on investors by boosting research tax credits, lower the share of citizens' total income that can go to income taxes to 50 percent or less, and end a requirement that all patents be translated into French. Amity Shales writes that Lagarde is the one most likely to seduce investors away from the U.S. and to France.
New French President Nicolas Sarkozy hopes his party's striking victory in the first round of parliamentary elections on Sunday will provide a strong mandate to govern and seal his ideological win over the French socialism.
Report from the Washington Institute that considers the possibility that the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France may usher in a less accommodative EU policy towards Hezbollah. The report says that Sarkozy appears to see Hezbollah in a different light than his predecessor, Jacques Chirac. In a September 2006 closed-door session with Jewish leaders in the United States, for example, Sarkozy reportedly referred to Hezbollah as a "terrorist organization"—a sentiment unlikely to be stated by Chirac. During last summer's war between Hezbollah and Israel, Sarkozy defendedIsrael's right to defend itself against an organization he described as the "one aggressor" in the conflict. He also stated that France should have committed troops to Lebanon more quickly during the war.
Charles A. Kupchan, CFR’s top Europe expert, says Nicolas Sarkozy “is in pretty good shape” for the presidential runoff and it remains to be seen if Royal can cut substantially into the centrist vote to emerge victorious.
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