France: Friends With The Front?

Alitalia’s Higher Loss Risks Deterring Air France Investment

When Austria’s conservatives broke a Europe-wide taboo by inviting the far-right Freedom Party to join a coalition government in 2000, there was international outcry and other European Union nations sought to impose sanctions. Since then, however, conservative governments have entered coalition or parliamentary support deals with the radical right in Italy , Slovakia, Denmark, the Netherlands and other EU countries. In Austria on Sunday, the Freedom Party saw its support surge to 21 percent which almost beat the conservatives into second place. This time, however, the conservatives look likely to reject an alliance with the hard right and maintain a broad coalition with the Socialists. In France, Fillon’s critics say his outreach to the National Front has boosted the efforts of FN leader Marine Le Pen to bring the party in from the political fringe. Since taking over from her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2011, she has sought to broaden the party’s appeal, blending traditional anti-immigration rhetoric with calls to defend France’s generous social security system and protective labor laws against a perceived threat from global competition. The European Union and gay marriage have also become targets of choice for the party. Polls currently give the FN around 16 percent, putting it in third place behind the center-right with 35 percent and the Socialists with 26 percent. But while support for the traditional parties is falling, Le Pen’s is steadily rising. “There’s growing dissatisfaction and discontent among voters towards political leaders, the National Front is the party that is profiting most from that unhappiness,” says Rouquan. Mainstream politicians fearful of losing city halls to the Front in the spring have competed in recent weeks in calling for a crackdown on Roma migrants from the Balkans and Central Europe. After Jean-Marie Le Pen denounced the “itchy and smelly presence” of Roma in the Cote d’Azur resort of Nice, mainstream politicians waded in to attack the migrants, who are estimated to number around 20,000 in France. One center-right mayor suggested he’d support any of his townspeople who killed a Roma, another was reported as saying “maybe Hitler had not killed enough,” a reference to the Nazi extermination of what some estimates put at up to 1.5 million Roma, who are also known as gypsies. Fearful of appearing weak, the Socialist government has stepped up expulsions of Roma, which they had denounced while in opposition to Sarkozy. “These people have lifestyles that are very different from ours and are clearly in confrontation” with local populations,” Interior Minister Manuel Valls said during a radio interview last week.

Air France said Sept. 23 it would await more information from the Italian carriers board before committing to any move. Hiring Advisers The relatively small capital increase being sought suggests the move is only a short or mid-term solution, said Yan Derocle, an analyst at Oddo Securities in Paris. Air France has hired Lazard Ltd. (LAZ) and Mediobanca SpA (MB) as advisers to consider its options on Alitalia, Italy s Messaggero reported this week, without saying where it obtained the information. Alitalia in turn has hired Gruppo Banca Leonardo as seeks to end operating losses in 2014. While owning Alitalia would give Europes largest airline access to one of the regions biggest aviation markets and help feed trans-Atlantic routes, the need for capital comes as Air Frances domestic unit struggles to stem its own losses. The Paris-based carrier last week scrapped a target of reaching break-even at Air France as it sought to cut 2,800 more jobs. Italys Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Maurizio Lupi, met with his French counterpart yesterday to discuss the situation. He has said the government is not against Air France doubling its stake, while seeking guarantees on jobs and investments for the flagship carrier. Falling Traffic The Italian airlines passenger traffic retreated 4 percent to 10.7 million passengers in the first six months, with revenue falling to 1.62 billion euros. Net financial debt for the carrier reached 946 million euros, including 600 million euros for aircraft liabilities, it said. Alitalias board will reconvene on Oct. 3, the airline said.

CROMSOURCE Expands in France – Opens New Office

Markets open in 4 hrs 1 mins CROMSOURCE Expands in France – Opens New Office 2 hours 29 minutes ago Print VERONA, Italy, Oct. 1, 2013 /CNW/ – CROMSOURCE, an international full service contract research organization (CRO), today announced the official opening of new office premises in Paris, France. ‘CROMSOURCE continues to grow successfully as a result of our unique commitment to deliver our clients’ projects on time, on budget and to the highest quality,’ noted Oriana Zerbini, CEO of CROMSOURCE. ‘As a result we needed to increase our presence in France, and I am delighted to announce that we have done this through expansion of our team and the opening of new office premises.’ ‘With more than 33% of international phase II and III studies being performed here, France is a key strategic country for CROMSOURCE,’ said Christian Milla, Global Head of the Medical Division and Director of Operations, France. Christian is based in the new offices, which are located on the Left Bank area of Paris, close to the University of Sciences and the Paris Biopark. ‘We have been growing our activity here year on year, and we look forward to further growth in this region in years to come. With our intense client focus, comprehensive service portfolio and international reach we are a perfect development partner for the vibrant life sciences industry in France. Being on the French Ministry of Research (FMR) list of approved CROs also means that many of our clients can claim significant tax credits for R&D activities executed by CROMSOURCE on their behalf.’ Margherita Mosconi, Director of Client Project Development, added, ‘There is a high demand in France from smaller biopharmaceutical and medical technology companies for knowledgeable partners who can support them and keep within timelines and budgets. These clients appreciate the CROMSOURCE philosophy of acting as an expert addition to their team. We leverage our expertise to propose the optimal approach to each of their projects. Uniquely, we then guarantee to deliver the plan to the highest quality, on time and on budget.’ About CROMSOURCE: Founded in 1994, CROMSOURCE is a high quality ISO-certified international provider of outsourced services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, specialized in clinical development and staffing solutions. CROMSOURCE is unique in providing clients with a guarantee that projects will be delivered according to agreed timelines and within the original contract budget. SOURCE CROMSOURCE