President Sarkozy backs Bono over aid to Africa

1st June 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 1, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday called U2 frontman Bono to pledge support for his militant campaign to fight third-world debt, poverty and disease in Africa, the presidency said.

PARIS, June 1, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday called U2 frontman Bono to pledge support for his militant campaign to fight third-world debt, poverty and disease in Africa, the presidency said.

Sarkozy congratulated the Irish rocker for his tireless commitment to African development, telling him he "shared his sense of the urgency to act," said spokesman David Martinon.

"If there were to be a catastrophe in Africa, it is Europe that would be affected," Sarkozy added, saying he was "clearly aware that our two destinies are linked."

The two men agreed to meet on Wednesday on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany.

Bono has been campaigning with compatriot and fellow rock star, Live Aid co-founder Bob Geldof, for greater global efforts to tackle poverty in developing countries.

Both have accused the Group of Eight most industrialised nations of falling far behind on generous pledges of aid to Africa made in 2005.

Sarkozy told Bono French aid to Africa currently represents 70 dollars per

inhabitant per year and that France was the second-biggest contributor to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, providing 330 million dollars in 2007.

Royal's cousin chains herself to French vineyard

BORDEAUX, France, June 1, 2007 (AFP) - A cousin of defeated French presidential candidate Segolene Royal chained herself to a prized vineyard on Friday in a 24-hour show of support for the local wine industry.

Anne-Christine Royal, who is running in the June parliamentary election as a local candidate for the far-right National Front, tied herself to a vine in the southwestern Libournais region, which is home to some of the most prestigious Bordeaux crus including Saint Emilion and Pomerol.

Royal's campaign manager said she intended "to symbolically mark her attachment to the land of the greater Libournais and to express her anger" at the European Union's "disastrous" policies towards winegrowers.

She intends to spend the night in the open, with a tarpaulin for cover from the rain, before giving a press conference on Saturday.

The winegrower -- who was not given advance warning of the protest -- agreed to let her stay on the grounds she would draw attention to the French wine trade.

French winemakers have struggled for years to respond to innovation from New World prodicers such as Australia and Chile, although there are signs they are just beginning to claw back their dominance of the global wine market.

Segolene Royal, who lost the presidency to Nicolas Sarkozy last month, is not running for a seat in parliament but has taken a front-seat role in the Socialist Party campaign for the legislatives, taking place on June 10 and 17.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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