Paris

Sarkozy insults three world leaders over lunch

Sarkozy insults three world leaders over lunchParis (France), Apr. 17 : French president Nicholas Sarkozy has managed to insult three of his country''s closest allies over a brief lunch at the Elysée Palace.

Sarkozy described U S President Obama was inexperienced and badly briefed on climate change, the Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero wasn''t very clever and German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not share his foresight about how to tackle the global financial crisis.

Sarkozy: Obama "not always at his best with decisions, efficiency"

Sarkozy: Obama "not always at his best with decisions, efficiency"Paris  - While US President Barack Obama is very intelligent and charismatic, he is "not always at his best when it comes to decisions and efficiency", French President Nicolas Sarkozy was quoted Thursday as saying.

"He has only been elected for two months and has never managed a ministry in his life," Sarkozy was quoted as saying by Liberation newspaper. There were things on which Obama had no opinion, he added.

French government negotiates to end fishing conflict

French government negotiates to end fishing conflictParis - French Farms and Fisheries Minister Michel Barnier said Thursday he was negotiating with other countries to obtain higher catch quotas in an effort to end a blockade of northern ports by French fishermen.

Barnier told RTL radio that he was working on exchanging quotas with other European countries to allow France's fishermen to catch more sole without surpassing EU-imposed quotas. French fishermen have already exhausted their quota for sole for 2009.

French navy captures pirate mother-ship and 11 pirates

French navy captures pirate mother-ship and 11 pirates Paris  - French sailors operating from a frigate in the Indian Ocean have boarded what was described as a pirate mother-ship and arrested 11 pirates, the French Defence Ministry said Wednesday.

In the operation, which took place some 900 kilometres east of the Kenyan port of Mombasa, the sailors seized the 10-meter-long ship which was carrying a large reserve of petrol and two "assault skiffs," the ministry said in a statement.

The 11 pirates were arrested and transferred to the frigate, the Nivose.

French winemaker creates "vintage Obama"

French winemaker creates "vintage Obama" Paris  - Thrilled by Barack Obama's election as US president, a French winemaker has created a red wine and named it after him, the daily Le Monde reported Wednesday.

Made from three different grapes, the Cuvee (or vintage) Obama is a wine that will only grow better over time, Angela Bousquet-Kaita, the owner of the Domaine Saint-Antoine vineyard in southern France told the newspaper.

"It will be much better served during his second term," she said.

Air France-KLM to slash up to 3,000 jobs

Air France-KLM to slash up to 3,000 jobs Paris - French-Dutch air carrier Air France-KLM said Wednesday it would cut between 2,500 and 3,000 jobs by 2011.

A spokesman for the airline said there would be no direct layoffs, but positions lost to retirement would not be refilled.

Last month, the company said it would post an operating loss of about 200 million euros (264 million dollars) for fiscal year 2008- 2009 because of the effects of the economic crisis and variations in the cost of crude oil.

That would be its first loss since the airline was created in 2003.

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