jul 062015
 

EU and French diplomats who strongly criticize U.S. trade policies and call TPP treaty a confrontation against China.
High-ranking French official complaining about President Sarkozy’s inflammatory and inaccurate statements on WTO that no-one in government backs
French ministerial agenda for planned G7 and G20 meeting intercepted
French economy in dire straits according to intercepted communications between French Finance Minister and French Senator
Spying on French Ambassador who contemplated exposing U.S. misuse of UN Oil-for-food program in Iraq
NSA Eavesdrops as Hollande Tries End Run Around Merkel on Greek Eurozone Exit
US Intercepts of France Complaining About US Intercepts of France
US Spying On Chirac Discussing UN Appointments
US Spying on Sarkozy Talking Tough on Israel-Palestine
US Eavesdrops as Sarkozy Plots French Leadership on Financial Crisis
EU and French diplomats who strongly criticize U.S. trade policies and call TPP treaty a confrontation against China.

Date 2 August 2011
Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT//ORCON/NOFORN
WikiLeaks Synopsis
Intercepted communication between French Minister-Counselor for Economic and Financial Affiars Jean-Francois Boittin and EU Trade Section head Hiddo Houben, reveals Boittin’s discontent with U.S. approach towards a WTO pact. Additionally Houben stated that the TPP (being an American initiative) seems devised as a confrontation with China.
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EU Officials Perceive Lack of U.S. Leadership on Trade Issues, Skeptical of Pacific Initiative (TS//SI//OC/NF)

(TS//SI//OC/NF) Washington-based EU trade officials ascertained in late July that the U.S. administration is severely lacking in leadership when it comes to trade matters, as shown by the absence of a clear consensus on the future course of the WTO Doha Development Agenda (DDA). French Minister-Counselor for Economic and Financial Affairs Jean-Francois Boittin expressed astonishment at the level of “narcissism” and wasteful contemplation currently on display in Washington, while describing the idea of scrapping the DDA in favor of another plan–which some U.S. officials are seen to favor–as stupefying. The Frenchman further asserted that once a country makes deep cuts in its trade barriers, as the U.S. has done, it no longer has incentives to offer nor, as a consequence, a strong position from which to negotiate with emerging nations. Boittin’s interlocutor, EU Trade Section head Hiddo Houben, after noting the leadership void in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, declared that with regard to the disagreement within his host government on DDA, a political decision must be made about what direction is to be followed. On another subject, Houben insisted that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is a U.S. initiative, appears to be designed to force future negotiations with China. Washington, he pointed out, is negotiating with every nation that borders China, asking for commitments that exceed those countries’ administrative capacities, so as to “confront” Beijing. If, however, the TPP agreement takes 10 years to negotiate, the world–and China–will have changed so much that that country likely will have become disinterested in the process, according to Houben. When that happens, the U.S. will have no alternative but to return to the WTO. Finally, he assessed that this focus on Asia is added proof that Washington has no real negotiating agenda vis-´-vis emerging nations, including China and Brazil, or an actual, proactive WTO plan of action.

Unconventional

EU diplomatic

Z-3/OO/531614-11, 011622Z
High-ranking French official complaining about President Sarkozy’s inflammatory and inaccurate statements on WTO that no-one in government backs

Date July 2008
Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT/NOFORN
WikiLeaks Synopsis
Intercepted communication reveals discontent of head of Trade Policy Renaud Lassus regarding some statements from Sarkozy regarding a potential negative impact of a WTO trade negotiation pact on France economy.
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Sarkozy Remarks on WTO Deemed Injurious to France; Rules Clarity Sought (TS//SI//NF)

(TS//SI//NF) A high-ranking French treasury official lamented in early July recent inflammatory and inaccurate statements by President Nicolas Sarkozy, statements that the official said were certain to complicate French efforts to balance its national interests with its responsibilities as current EU President. Assuming his duties as head of the Trade Policy and Investment Office in the Treasury and Economic Policy Directorate, Renaud Lassus indicated that Sarkozy’s declaration that there will be no WTO Doha Round accord has effectively set the bar extremely high, while also increasing the chances of a dark scenario in which France finds itself as the lone dissenter on a national level, but responsible as EU President for representing the views of the entire union. The choice for France then becomes one of either capitulating or provoking a crisis within the EU. Paris is totally unprepared to deal with this scenario, Lassus confirmed, as no one wants to try to “spin” the situation in which Sarkozy has placed the country when doing so would be admitting that the President had been wrong in the first place. He further commented that Sarkozy’s assertion that a WTO pact would bring a 20-percent drop in production and the loss of 100,000 French jobs was patently incorrect and believed by no one in the government. As for those who thought that Sarkozy would dampen his rhetoric when France actually assumed the Presidency on 1 July, their hopes were dashed, Lassus insisted, by the President’s most virulent personal attack yet on the EU Trade Commissioner. In other WTO-related commentary, knowledgeable insiders believed that the 21 July WTO ministerial could be disrupted if Rules Committee chairman Guillermo Valles Galmes does not make his intentions clear in advance. If this is not done, it is possible that rules issues will be raised at the ministerial, leading to heated negotiations. In addition, fish subsidies could cause problems. India could threaten to torpedo the ministerial unless it were to get a carve-out on special and differential treatment on fish. This would leave developed countries as the only ones that would have disciplines on fish subsidies and would be unacceptable to Europe and Japan.

Unconventional

French, EU, Japanese diplomatic

Z-3/OO/5427-08, 111833Z; Z-3/OO/5416-08, 111607Z
French ministerial agenda for planned G7 and G20 meeting intercepted

Date 2012
Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT//NOFORN
WikiLeaks Synopsis
Intercepted communication reveals French Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industry Francois Baroin’s intentions to emphasize the need for the implementation of the Basel Accords on banking laws in the G7 and G20 meeting in 2012 and his support of the U.S. initiative on oil reserves.
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G-7/G-20: French Minister to Push U.S. on Banking Reform, Warn Against Stifling Growth (TS//SI//NF)

(TS//SI//NF) With some messages targeted for the United States, the French Treasury Directorate has drafted talking points for Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industry Francois Baroin to use during meetings of the Group of 7 and Group of 20 on 19 and 20 April, just before the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank. Baroin will emphasize the need to stay on schedule for implementing the Basel Accords (recommendations on banking laws and regulations), given Washington’s slowness to act. He will also support the U.S. initiative on strategic oil reserves in his remarks on the threat to global growth posed by rising oil prices. While repeatedly reminding his colleagues of the hard choices the EU has made the deal with its financial situation, he will also caution against endangering growth by acting too quickly.

Unconventional
French diplomatic

Z-3/OO/512583-12, 171712Z
French economy in dire straits according to intercepted communications between French Finance Minister and French Senator

Date 31 July 2012
Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT//NOFORN
WikiLeaks Synopsis
Intercepted communication reveals that Finance, Economy, and Trade Minister Pierre Moscovici believes the French economic situation was far worse than perceived. Additionally, he remarks about that the situation with the automotive industry was more critical than a pre-retirement unemployment supplement known as AER, which he also thought wouldn’t have had a severe impact on elections (while senator Bourquin thought would have driven voters to right-wing National Front).
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French Finance Minister Says Economy in Dire Straits, Predicts Two Atrocious Years Ahead (TS//SI//NF)

(TS//SI//NF) The French economic situation is worse than anyone can imagine and drastic measures will have to be taken in the next 2 years, according to Finance, Economy, and Trade Minister Pierre Moscovici. On 19 July, Moscovici, under pressure to re-establish a pre-retirement unemployment supplement known as the AER, warned that the situation is dire. Upon learning that there are no funds available for the AER, French Senator Martial Bourquin warned Moscovici that without the AER program the ruling Socialist Party will have a rough time in the industrial basin of the country, with voters turning to the right-wing National Front. Moscovici disagreed, asserting that the inability to reinstitute the AER will have no impact in electoral terms, besides, the situation with faltering automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen is more important than the AER. (COMMENT: PSA has announced plans to close assembly plants and lay off some 8,000 workers.) Moscovici warned that the 2013 budget is not going to be a “good news budget,” with the government needing to find at least an additional 33 billion euros ($39.9 billion). Nor will 2014 be a good year. Bourquin persisted, warning that the Socialist Party will find itself in a situation similar to that of Socialist former Spanish President Zapatero, who was widely criticized for his handling of his country’s debt situation. Moscovici countered that it was not Zapatero whose behavior the French government would emulate, but rather Social Democrat former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. (COMMENT: Schroeder, chancellor from 1998 to 2005, was widely credited with helping to restore German competitiveness. He favored shifting from pure austerity measures to measures that encourage economic growth and advocated a common EU financial policy.)

Unconventional

French diplomatic

Z-3/OO/524122-12, 271748Z
Spying on French Ambassador who contemplated exposing U.S. misuse of UN Oil-for-food program in Iraq

Date 2004
Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT
WikiLeaks Synopsis
Intercepted communication between French Ambassador in Washington Jean-David Levitte reveals his frustration towards a report he defines “scandalous” regarding a possible misuse of the UN Oil-For-Food (OFF) program by French companies during the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, while he claims some of these French companies where in fact U.S. companies’ subsidiaries and no American company was mentioned in such report. Levitte likely refers to the report filed by the US Senate that accused Russian, British and French politicians of receiving oil allocations from Iraq in exchange for their political alliance. Levitte planned to present a list of such U.S. companies to U.S. Congress and the media.
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(TS//SI) French Envoy Plans to Release List of U.S. Firms Who Allegedly Profited From OFF

(TS//SI//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR and NZL) French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte in Washington plans to respond as early as today to information in the Iraq Survey Group report regarding possible misuse of the UN Oil-for-Food (OFF) program by companies from France and other countries during the former Iraqi regime. The ambassador termed the report scandalous, since it named no U.S. companies and he claimed that many French companies with contracts under the OFF program were actually subsidiaries of U.S. firms that also profited from the business dealings. He therefore planned, with foreign ministry backing, to present a list of these U.S. companies to both the U.S. Congress and the media.

Unconventional

French diplomatic

3/OO/27079-04, 071948Z
NSA Eavesdrops as Hollande Tries End Run Around Merkel on Greek Eurozone Exit

Date 22 May 2012
Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT-GAMMA//ORCON/NOFORN
WikiLeaks Synopsis
Intercepted communication reveals that Francois Hollande has approved holding a secret meeting with French officials as well as German opposition (without the knowledge of Merkel) to discuss the euro-zone crisis.
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French President Approves Secret Eurozone Consultations, Meeting With German Opposition (TS//SI-G//OC/NF)

(TS//SI-G//OC/NF) French President Francois Hollande has approved holding secret meetings in Paris to discuss the eurozone crisis, particularly the consequences of a Greek exit from the eurozone. On 18 May, Hollande directed Prime Minister (PM) Jean-Marc Ayrault to set up a meeting at the Office of the President (the Elysee) for the following week. Hollande, Ayrault, and “appropriate ministers” would attend, and special emphasis would be given to consequences for the French economy in general and for French banks in particular. Hollande stressed that the meeting would be secret. (COMMENT: The French president seems worried that if word were to get out that Paris is seriously considering the possibility of a Greek exit, it would deepen the crisis.) In addition, secret meetings are to be held in Paris between French officlans and members of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). Hollande assured the PM that hosting the meeting at the Elysee was “doable,” although Ayrault warned the president to keep the event a secret so as to avoid diplomatic problems. (COMMENT: By “diplomatic problems,” Ayrault is referring to what could happen if German Chancellor Angela Merkel finds out that Hollande is going behind her back to meet with the German opposition.) Earlier reporting reveals that following talks last week in Berlin with Merkel, Hollande complained that nothing of substance was achieved; it was purely for show. Hollande had found the chancellor fixated on the Fiscal Pact and above all on Greece, on which he claimed she had given up and was unwilling to budge. This made Hollande very worried for Greece and the Greek people, who might react by voting for an extremist party. After meeting Merkel, the French president contacted SPD Chairman Sigmair Gabriel and invited him to Paris so that they could talk.

Foreign Satellite, Unconventional

French, German governmental

Z-G/OO/503643-12, 211549Z; Z-G/OO/503541-12, 161711Z
US Intercepts of France Complaining About US Intercepts of France

Date 24 March 2010
Classification TOP-SECRET//COMINT/NOFORN
WikiLeaks Synopsis
Intercepted communication between French Ambassador in Washington Pierre Vimont and Sarkozy’s diplomatic advisor Jean-David Levitte, reveals potential topics of discussion for a meeting between Sarkozy and U.S. President, particularly Sarkozy’s frustration regarding Washington step back on a bilateral intelligence cooperation agreement and the U.S. desire to continue spying on France.
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Sensitive Issues on the Agenda When French, U.S. Presidents Meet Next Week in Washington (TS//SI//NF)

(TS//SI//NF) French President Sarkozy intends to raise a number of sensitive topics with the U.S. President when the two leaders meet in Washington on 31 March, according to an exchange last week between the French ambassador in Washington Pierre Vimont, and Sarkozy’s diplomatic advisor, Jean-David Levitte. Vimont conveyed that the French President will express his frustration that Washington has backed away from its proposed bilateral intelligence cooperation agreement and Sarkozy intends to continue to push for closure. As Vimont and Levitte understand it, the main sticking point is the U.S. desire to continue spying on France. On the topic of Afghanistan, Levitte noted that Sarkozy is ready to authorize more military trainers but wants clarification on how many are needed, given the conflicting figures from U.S. sources. Another proposed topic was efforts by the European Aeronautic, Defense, and Space Corporation (EADS) to win a tanker aircraft contract with the U.S. military. Vimont revealed cryptically that the deal is moving forward but did not provide any details. Levitte had not expected to put the labeling dispute with Pernod Ricard (the world’s second largest spirits group) on the agenda, but Sarkozy had just spoken to the company’s chairman who had asked the president to intercede on his behalf. (COMMENT: Patrick Ricard, chairman of the Pernod Ricard board of directors, is said to be one of Sarkozy’s wealthy backers.) Vimont characterized the issue as a very political matter in the U.S., and suggested that a direct appeal to the White House might be useful. While Sarkozy intends to broach the issue with the U.S. President, Levitte will talk to the U.S. President’s Economic Adviser and Deputy National Security Adviser. Finally, Levitte expected the two leaders to discuss other pressing subjects including Iran, the Middle East Peace Process, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Sahel, Russia, China, Turkey, climate change, and the financial situation of several European countries; however, he provided no details on those topics.

Unconventional

French diplomatic

Z-3/OO/507179-10, 231635Z
US Spying On Chirac Discussing UN Appointments

Date 2006
Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT-GAMMA//ORCON/REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL
WikiLeaks Synopsis
Intercepted communication between French President Jacques Chirac and French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals that Chirac gave specific instructions to approach UNSYG Ban Ki-Moon and ask the appointment of Terje Roed-Larsen as Deputy UNSYG or another position of equal responsibility.
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(TS//SI-G//OC) French President Presses for Selection of Roed-Larsen as Deputy UNSYG

(TS//SI-G//OC/REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) French President Jacques Chirac told Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy on 23 December to work to ensure that current UN Special Envoy for the Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1559 Terje Roed-Larsen is selected as Deputy UNSYG or at least offered a position of similar responsibility. Chirac spelled out in deliberate fashion exactly how he wanted Douste-Blazy to proceed, instructing him to approach new UNSYG Ban Ki-moon and report back on Ban’s sentiments regarding the deputy post. (COMMENT: Chirac’s detailed orders may be in response to the foreign minister’s propensity, amply demonstrated in the past and the impetus behind a number of presidential reprimands, for making ill-timed or inaccurate remarks.) The President was keen on Roed-Larsen’s selection for several reasons, including his belief that the situation in the Middle East requires a skilled hand with experience in the region and the realization that–for once–France, Russia, and the U.S. all support the same man. Other considerations were that Ban intends to keep Frenchman Jean-Marie Guehenno on as head of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which is to be divided into two parts, with the newer organization handling logistics. That planned division, however, has drawn fire from Douste-Blazy, who thinks that it would be a catastrophe.

Unconventional

French leadership, UN diplomatic

G/OO/6411-06, 271650Z
US Spying on Sarkozy Talking Tough on Israel-Palestine

Date 10 June 2011
Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT-GAMMA//ORCON/NOFORN
WikiLeaks Synopsis
Intercepted communication reveals that Sarkozy was determined to resume peace talks between Israel and Palestine, possibly without the involvement of the U.S.
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Sarkozy Determined to Proceed With Mideast Initiative, May Pressure U.S. President (TS//SI-G//OC/NF)

(TS//SI-G//OC/NF) In spite of an apparent lack of interest on the part of some major players, French President Nicolas Sarkozy affirmed on 7 June his determination of go forward with an initiative to restart direct Mideast peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. It was also disclosed in a conversation between Sarkozy and his foreign minister, Alain Juppe, that consideration was given to including the Quartet in the process; however, they were wary about such an invitation because that group might not bow to Paris’s wishes. Not being a member of the Quartet, they surmised, France would have no control over what transpired in one of its meetings, and if the group elected not to support direct talks, the French initiative would be a non-starter. Another concern centered on the dynamics of the Quartet: the fear in Paris was that in any session involving the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, UNSYG Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and the U.S. Secretary of State, the last two individuals would dominate the proceedings. Finally, the president was giving thought to appealing to Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev for a possible joint initiative without the United States or, as another option, issuing an ultimatum to the U.S. President regarding Palestinian statehood. The ultimatum would demand that Washington back France’s efforts to restart the peace process, failing which Sarkozy would tell the U.S. President that Paris will not side with the U.S. in September (presumably referring to the deliberations in the UN General Assembly on Palestinian statehood).

Unconventional

French leadership

Z-G/OO/513370-11, 091416Z
US Eavesdrops as Sarkozy Plots French Leadership on Financial Crisis

Date 2008
Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT-GAMMA//ORCON/REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL
WikiLeaks Synopsis
Intercepted communication reveals that Sarkozy blamed U.S. Government’s many mistakes for the world economic crisis, and given a lack of engagement by the U.S., France, as EU president at the time, had to take the lead in devising solutions.
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Sarkozy Sees Himself as Only One Who Can Resolve World Financial Crisis (TS//SI-G//OC)

(TS//SI-G//OC/REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) French President Nicolas Sarkozy considers it his responsibility to Europe and the world to step up to the plate and resolve the world financial crisis. He further declared that he is the only one, given France’s EU Presidency, who can step into the breach at this time. The President blamed many of the current economic problems on mistakes made by the U.S. Government, but believes that Washington is now heeding some of his advice. In his view, this is the first time that the U.S. has not taken the lead in managing a global crisis and France will now take the helm. Sarkozy is determined that the mid-November financial summit, which he proposed, will bring drastic change to the world financial system. Finally, the French President was pleased by some progress made within the EU to ease the crisis and by his excellent working relationship with the British and Spanish prime ministers.

Unidentified

French leadership

G/OO/503290-08, 291640Z

Find this story at 29 June 2015