Paris, May 24, 2012
Excerpts from the daily press briefing by Bernard Valero, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman (Paris, 24 May 2012) :
Vote in the European Parliament on the introduction of a tax on financial transactions (May 23)
In September 2011, the European Commission presented a draft directive on the introduction of a tax on financial transactions. Since then, this proposal has been the subject of sometimes difficult discussions between the member states.
In this context, the adoption of Ms. Podimata’s report yesterday in the European Parliament is of course an important political signal in terms of galvanizing public opinion and, at the same time, moving forward on this issue.
As President Hollande again reaffirmed yesterday evening during his press conference in Brussels, France is extremely attached to the introduction of a broad-based tax on financial transactions, of which a portion of the proceeds would be earmarked for spending to support growth.
We want all 27 of us to move forward on this, but we don’t exclude the possibility of pushing ahead without the involvement of all 27, if necessary.
Lebanon - Kidnapping of 13 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims in Syria
France condemns the kidnapping of Lebanese Shiite pilgrims in Syria. We call on the kidnappers to release them without delay.
France stands alongside the Lebanese authorities in their determination to preserve civil peace and to ease tensions.
We commend the responsible attitude of the Lebanese leaders from across the political spectrum who immediately sent messages to the Lebanese population calling for calm.
WHO – Margaret Chan, new term as head of the World Health Organization
France welcomes the re-election of Ms. Margaret Chan as head of the World Health Organization. We offer her our warmest congratulations and assure her of our support for her new 5-year term.
Her re-election is evidence of the renewed trust in her extensive leadership skills, as well as in her determination to strengthen the WHO, the moral authority that defends international standards and core human values.
Ms. Chan has, since taking up office, been able to give fresh impetus to the Organization by initiating a process of reforms. France supports the Director-General and her determination to refocus on the fundamental principles of global public health : primary health care, access to essential medicines and universal health coverage.
What’s your impression of the first presidential election in Egypt since the fall of Mubarak ? […]
We welcome the holding of this election which is a crucial step in Egypt’s political transition, in accordance with the aspirations of the Egyptian people.
The scale of the voting operations is commensurate with the issues at stake : more than 50 million voters registered to vote ; around 13,000 polling stations ; more than 15,000 government officials mobilized ; approximately 10,000 Egyptian and international observers ; more than 1,000 accredited international journalists.
We will be attentive to the smooth conduct of the entire electoral process, the second round of which will take place from June 16 to 17.