Paris

French government gives businesses one week on bonus payments

French government gives businesses one week on bonus payments Paris - The French government has delivered an ultimatum to companies on proposing a framework for bonus and other payments to their executives or the state will impose santions, a close adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday.

The companies have until March 31 to come up with proposals, Henri Guaino told France Inter radio. "This is not an invitation; it's an ultimatum.

ROUNDUP: No more bonuses in case of failure, Sarkozy says

No more bonuses in case of failure, Sarkozy says Paris - French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday said that there should be no more severance payments or bonuses to executives of French firms who have performed badly.

"There must be no more 'golden handshakes'. There must be no more bonuses or rewarding of free shares or stock options in a company that receives state aid, that undertakes massive job cuts or resorts to putting large numbers of its employees on short-time work," Sarkozy said in an address in the northern city of Saint Quentin.

Huge severance payment provokes French government anger

Huge severance payment provokes French government anger Paris - The French government has reacted with anger to the report that the outgoing head of the auto equipment supplier Valeo is to be given 3.2 million euros (4.34 million dollars) as severance payment, French media reported on Tuesday.

Government spokesman Luc Chatel said that the state, which owns 8 per cent of the company's capital, would at the upcoming shareholders' meeting vote against the payment to outgoing CEO Thierry Morin.

No Europe-wide supervision of banks, says Gordon Brown

No Europe-wide supervision of banks, says Gordon Brown Paris - Despite errors by banks that provoked the global finance and economic crisis, authorities in individual nations must retain control of supervision of their banks, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was quoted on Tuesday as saying.

"We are agreed with (having common regulations across Europe). But as for the individual supervision of banks, national authorities retain the supervision and I think it should remain like that," Brown said in an interview published in the French daily La Tribune.

French government to pay 10 million euros to nuclear test victims

French government to pay 10 million euros to nuclear test victims Paris - The French government will pay out at least 10 million euros (13.62 million dollars) to people with health problems as a result of French nuclear tests carried out in the Algerian Sahara and in Polynesia, Defence Minister Herve Morin was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

"About 150,000 civilian and military employees are theoretically concerned, as well as the people who lived in the Sahara and Polynesia at the time of the tests," Morin said in an interview published in the daily Le Figaro.

ESA’s GOCE satellite completes early orbit phase

ESA’s GOCE satellite completes early orbit phaseParis, March 21: The European Space Agency's GOCE satellite has completed its early orbit phase.

During the critical Launch and Early Orbit Phase, beginning with separation from its booster on March 17, GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) was checked out to confirm that all of its control systems are operating normally.

The end of the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) came overnight after GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) was switched to Fine Pointing Mode.

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