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France

Yearbook 2013

France. At the beginning of the year, France sent 3,000 soldiers to Mali in West Africa, where Islamist rebels controlled the northern part of the country for a period. French troops helped, among other things. government forces to take back the cities of Gao and Timbuktu.

2013 France

According to Countryaah, Budget Minister Jérôme Cahuzac resigned in March after it was discovered that he had large bank assets in Switzerland and thus avoided paying taxes in France. Cahuzac initially denied the information but then had to admit that he was lying. It was very embarrassing for the Socialist government, which made a number of obstacles to tax evasion. As a result, President François Hollande ordered all ministers to account for their assets.

2013 FranceA heated debate raged and large demonstrations were held in conjunction with a change in the law that allowed same-sex marriage to be allowed and gays got the right to adopt. Gay marriage was an important election promise for Hollande, who, according to opinion polls, had the support of a majority of the French on the issue. But the right-wing party UMP (Union for a People's Movement) and the Catholic Church blew into battle and large demonstrations were held around the country. A man shot himself to death in Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in protest, and the following day, the feminist group Femen conducted a bareback protest in Paris Cathedral in support of the law. The first wedding between two gay men in France was held at the end of May.

On the one-year anniversary of President Hollande's entry in May, leftist groups demonstrated in protest that he had failed to gain momentum on the economy and create new jobs, and to have reversed his retirement age. The support for Hollande in opinion polls was the lowest recorded for any president since World War II.

The expulsion of a 15-year-old Roman girl triggered a political crisis in October when it focused on contradictions within the government on migration policy. The girl was picked up by police during a school escape to be deported with her family to Kosovo, prompting schoolchildren to protest. President Hollande said after a week that the girl would be allowed to return to France, though without the family. Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who defended the deportation, had previously been criticized when he said that the Roma can never adapt to the French way of life.

Disclosures that the US security service NSA spied on French politicians, business representatives and others provoked great anger. According to newspaper information, the French UN delegation in New York and the embassy in Washington were intercepted, as well as millions of phone calls in France. Hollande expressed great dissatisfaction and the US ambassador was called in October to the Foreign Ministry to receive a formal protest.

In an opinion poll in October ahead of the EU elections, the National Front became the country's largest party for the first time. 24% of voters said they supported the right-wing party, against 22% for the UMP and 19% for the Socialist Party.

In December, the United Nations Security Council gave France the go-ahead to send more soldiers to protect civilians in the Central African Republic, where violent clashes between Christians and Muslims were taking place.

The head of the company PIP, which sold unauthorized breast implants to 300,000 women in 65 countries, was sentenced in December to four years in prison for fraud. The Marseille court also sentenced Jean-Claude Mas to pay EUR 75,000 in fines. The implants contained industrial jelly and cracked easily, causing major health problems for many women.

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