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  • PARIS, March 31- France cut its public sector deficit less quickly than planned last year, missing the government's target and presenting a new setback for President Francois Hollande. Voters frustrated with a rising tax burden and Hollande's broken promises to turn around the economy punished his Socialist Party in a local election at the weekend.

  • *National Front wins 11 town halls. *FN leader Le Pen: party can take lead in EU elections. PARIS, March 31- President Francois Hollande was due to take soundings on a possible cabinet reshuffle on Monday after a drubbing for his Socialists in local elections handed the far-right National Front victory in a record number of towns.

  • PARIS, March 31- France cut its public sector deficit less quickly than planned last year, missing the government's target, official figures showed on Monday in a new setback for President Francois Hollande.

  • PARIS, March 26- PSA Peugeot Citroen's tie-up with China's Dongfeng was signed on Wednesday, bringing the French carmaker much-needed cash and greater access to Asia but leaving major challenges ahead.

  • PARIS, March 26- China signed a new 10- year accord on Wednesday allowing Airbus to assemble A320 planes on its soil until 2025 and unblocked orders for larger jets worth more than $6 billion, restoring ties after a row with Europe over aircraft emissions.

  • PARIS, March 26- China's President Xi Jinping and French counterpart Francois Hollande oversaw the signing of a series of industrial co-operation deals and multi-billion dollar aircraft sales in Paris on Wednesday, the business highlights of a Chinese state visit.

  • At the same ceremony Airbus is set to agree the sale to China of at least 150 aircraft worth $20 billion, and possibly as many as 200, in a deal that could include both planes and helicopters.

  • PARIS, March 25- France will use a visit from China's President this week to seek tighter business links to the world's number-two economy in a bid to boost its own anaemic one, signing big-ticket industry deals and working to cut its trade and investment deficits.

  • *Russia says wants to engage with West. THE HAGUE/ MOSCOW, March 25- Russia and the West sought to draw a provisional line under the Ukraine crisis on Tuesday after major industrialised nations warned Moscow of tougher economic sanctions if it goes beyond the seizure of Crimea.

  • 'Worst moment' for French president?     Monday, 24 Mar 2014 | 12:45 PM ET

    Douglas Yates, assistant professor of political sciences at the American University of Paris, comments on the outcome of the first round of the French local elections and what it means for the national agenda.

  • Douglas Webber, professor of political science at INSEAD, says the European elections in May could be a "major earthquake" for the French socialist party as they could lose out to far-right candidates.

  • Jonathan Fenby, director of China research at Trusted Sources, says France's National Front is winning working class voters who would have traditionally voted for left-wing parties.

  • Antonio Barroso, senior vice president at Teneo Intelligence, says the while the opposition is likely to win more votes during France's local elections, the ruling Socialist party will be able to limit the damage.

  • Edmund Shing, global equity portfolio manager at BCS Financial Group, says the French public is "disillusioned" with President Francois Hollande's left, and the political right wing in the country.

  • BRUSSELS, March 20- European leaders added 12 people to a list of those subject to travel bans and asset freezes for their part in Russia's seizure of Crimea on Thursday and begin preparations for economic sanctions if Russia expands its footprint in Ukraine.

  • *EU leaders meet on Russia, Ukraine and energy issues. *Leaders may add up to 12 names to Russia travel-ban, asset-freeze list.

  • Peugeot board set to name Gallois as chairman -sources Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 | 7:38 AM ET

    PARIS, March 18- PSA Peugeot Citroen is set to name senior French civil servant Louis Gallois as its next chairman, sources said on Tuesday as the carmaker's board met to discuss the details of its 3 billion-euro tie-up with China's Dongfeng.

  • PARIS, March 10- French companies see little hope for domestic growth this year and are stepping up efforts to cut costs and fine-tune product lines to contend with stubbornly tough market conditions.

  • People hold placards Ukrainian flags and a banner during a demonstration to support Ukraine's Pro-European protesters on March 5, 2014 in Paris.

    Crimea's parliament voted to join Russia on Thursday and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum within 10 days in an escalation of the crisis over Crimea.

  • Patience wearing thin with French reform results Thursday, 6 Mar 2014 | 10:48 AM ET

    *EU Commission subjecting France to enhanced monitoring. PARIS, March 6- France is facing pressure to deliver on long-promised, deep budget savings in the next couple of weeks to keep the increasingly strained faith of its EU partners, bond markets and ratings agencies.

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