Sarkozy presents multibillion-euro plan for Paris public transport

Sarkozy presents multibillion-euro plan for Paris public transportParis  - French President Nicolas Sarkozy Wednesday presented his vision of a Greater Paris, which included a proposal to invest 35 billion euros (46 billion dollars) in the expansion of the capital's public transport system.

The idea is to expand the city so that it eventually incorporates its run-down suburban ghettos, a nest of poverty and crime, Sarkozy said.

Anti-Semitic torture trial opens in Paris

Paris, FranceParis - The trial opened Wednesday in Paris of 27 people charged in the 2006 kidnapping and torture death of a young Jewish man. The defendants, today between 21 and 35 years of age, are accused of being members of a gang which called itself the Barbarians and targeted Jews for abduction because their reputed leader, Youssouf Fofana, believed all Jews had money and would not hesitate to pay a ransom.

Paris may have a monorail system and an artificial island in future

Paris may have a monorail system and an artificial island in futureEdinburgh, April 29 : The city of Paris may see a monorail system, glass towers, or an artificial island in the future, if ten projects earmarked by the French government as part of a redevelopment project turn into reality.

According to a report in The Scotsman, the projects are included in an initial selection go on display in the Cite de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, the Paris architectural museum, where French president Nicolas Sarkozy first called for a "bold" design overhaul in September 2007.

Controversial Societe Generale board head resigns

Societe GeneraleParis - The much-criticized head of the board of directors of French bank Societe Generale, Daniel Bouton, is stepping down. "I choose to depart to protect the bank. I have become the target of incessant criticism which will end by damaging this enterprise," the 59-year-old Bouton said in an interview published Wednesday in the daily Le Figaro.

Bouton admitted making mistakes and being "clumsy" during his tenure as the bank's general director, which began in 1997, but said that the criticism had become "unbearable."

Societe Generale chairman to quit

Societe Generale chairman to quit Paris  - Daniel Bouton, chairman of the French bank Societe Generale, was to quit following criticism over risky investments and massive losses, the Le Figaro newspaper said Wednesday.

Bouton said he handed in his resignation "to protect the bank," the paper reported. "I have become the target of incessant attacks that finally damage the company that I am very attached to," he said.

The bank's director general, Frederic Oudea, was to take over Bouton's position on May 6. Bouton stressed he would not receive any severance pay.

Renault Grand Scenic in the showrooms

Renault Grand Scenic in the showroomsParis - French car maker Renault has announced that the new Grand Scenic van, which seats between five and seven people, is available in European showrooms with a starting price of 20,200 euros (26,370 dollars).

Standard equipment includes Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), six airbags, air conditioning, CD-Radio and electric parking brake.

The new generation Grand Scenic is seven centimetres longer at 4.56 metres with improved head and knee space, according to the manufacturer.