France keeps hard line before Iran nuclear talks
along with France and the U.K., as one of the three top classic films market in the world. Prospects for the U.S. market is sure to be one major debating point at a extensive panel on The New Economy and Business Models of Classic Films, which takes place Wednesday in Lyon, on the first day of the Lumiere Festivals inaugural Classic Films Market (MFC). One major challenge for U.S. classic film distribution is now the plunge in DVD and Blu-ray sales. The ability to amortize the preservation cost through a DVD or Blu-ray release is becoming less and less likely, saysJan-Christopher Horak, director of the UCLAFilm & Television Archive. The days where studios or specialty distributors would make a DVD edition with 5,000 to 10,000 copies are over. On the upside, however, the spotlight thrown onto classic films by prestigious international festivals like Cannes or Venice on classics and the digital switchover have energized this industry, especially in the U.S. Paul-Boncour told Variety. He went on to cite non-commercial circuit opportunities for distribution created by American universities and film societies, as well as art-house theaters on the East and West coast, notably the Film Forum in New York, programmed by Rialtos Bruce Goldstein, and the Alamo Drafthouse, which is opening up new theaters in New York and San Francisco. The U.S. does not suffer Frances distribution crush, which can see three-to-four re-issues every week. Carlotta Films US can also count on backing from sales agents that have moved into the classic films business.
While the US seems willing to strike a conciliatory tone, France is maintaining a harder line, according to diplomatic sources. (text) The five permanent members of the UN Security Council (the US, France, Russia, China and the UK) as well as Germany are meeting with an Iranian delegation headed by Irans foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Geneva this week. The goal is to advance negotiations over Irans nuclear programme a goal that some have seen as more realistic with a moderate like new Iranian President Hassan Rohani in office. But if the Americans appear willing to strike a more conciliatory tone following the phone conversation between Rohani and US President Barack Obama at the end of September, France is maintaining a harder line toward Iran. The French stance has been communicated by diplomatic sources to both FRANCE 24 and French daily Le Monde. French position closer to Netanyahu than to Obama? Were told that we need to reciprocate the good will Tehran has shown, an anonymous source from the French foreign ministry is quoted as saying in an article published in Le Monde on Monday evening. But what are we reciprocating? A phone call between Rohani and Obama is not enough. Indeed, France does not want to halt sanctions until it has concrete proof that Irans nuclear programme is for civil, and not military, purposes. An Iranian diplomatic source is quoted in the article as calling French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabiuss position closer to Netanyahus than to Obamas. Iran is expected to propose limiting their programme and guaranteeing access to IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) officials for more thorough inspections. But France is suspicious, especially since Rohani was the negotiator in 2003 who promised a suspension of nuclear development which the Americans took at face value while Iran continued advancing its nuclear ambitions covertly.
Air France ’50-50′ over Alitalia cash, wants more cuts: source
“We can do much better than we did here in Belgium but I think the best teams in the group are going through,” Iceland’s coach added. “Belgium were the best of all, they have at least two or three top-quality players. In the future we want to score more goals. Now we will see who we get in the draw, because in football anything can always happen.” France were left to count the cost of three successive stalemates, the last a 2-2 draw with the hosts in Tongeren. Francis Smerecki’s team took a fortunate early lead through Leander Dendoncker’s own goal but second-half strikes from Corentin Fiore and Theo Bongonda put Belgium in charge and an added-time equaliser from captain Adrien Rabiot was not enough for France. “I’m super satisfied,” Belgium coach Gert Verheyen told UEFA.com. “When you’re in a group with France you do not really expect to end up No1. I am really pleased with my team. We did what we had to do against Iceland and Northern Ireland; today it was more difficult but we reacted well in the second half and deserved a draw. I’m really happy, I never imagined we would get seven points in this group.” The home side had made sure of pole position with 2-0 victories in each of their opening fixtures. First a goal late in either half from Divock Origi and Bongonda saw off Northern Ireland on Thursday, before Origi again and Siebe Schrijvers clinched the points against Iceland on Saturday. France, beaten by Serbia in the 2013 final, had cause to regret late goals conceded in their first two matches.
Iceland spring surprise on France
Alitalia has a persistent track record of losses and requirements for new capital, said Damian Brewer, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. So if Air France refrains from putting cash in, so what? The dilutions done. But in most investors minds, its already written down to zero. Air France-KLMs stake in Alitalia, acquired in 2009, would require the airline to commit about 75 million euros to anchor its holding. The capital increase will comprise 300 million euros of the package. Little Appetite Alitalias board met yesterday. Cedric Leurquin, a spokesman for Air France, declined to comment. The airlines stance on Alitalia is preliminary and the company may reconsider its commitment if conditions change, two of the people said. The French airline gave a taste of its reluctance for an Italian bailout in September, when the board met to consider raising its stake and ended up saying it needed more information from its Italian partner before making a decision. Italys postal company Poste Italiane SpA agreed to contribute 75 million euros, UniCredit SpA (UCG) and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP) will guarantee as much as 100 million euros for eventual unopted rights in the capital increase for Alitalia, which is losing 1.5 million euros a day. Failure to invest now would dilute Air Frances stake to about 11 percent, Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said Oct. 13 in a televised interview with SkyTg24.
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Rome patched together an emergency 500 million-euro fund, persuading the state-owned post office to commit to providing 75 million euros via a capital increase and banks Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI) and Unicredit (CRDI.MI) to guarantee up to 100 million euros, while a broader consortium of banks stump up 200 million in existing and new loans. But the plan still leaves Alitalia dependent on finding at least 125 million euros from its shareholders, who have 30 days to decide whether to sign up. That gives Air France considerable leverage. The Franco-Dutch carrier was barred from a full takeover of Alitalia in late 2008 by then prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Alitalia has lost 700,000 euros a day in the intervening period and Italy’s current government and Alitalia’s shareholders are now hoping to persuade Air France to up its stake – though there is still considerable political discomfort about any merger. So far all parties have failed to agree financial commitments and business strategy. Alitalia wants to reposition itself in the higher-margin long-haul market after losing out in regional and domestic routes to competition from low-cost carriers and high-speed trains. That plan appears to clash with Air France’s demands for a much tougher restructuring and debt-cutting measures. Analysts have said the logical way to save the Italian carrier would be for Air France-KLM to take over the operating core of the airline and get rid of the entire Alitalia back-office structure, but that would mean severe cost cuts and job losses, which Rome and unions are likely to oppose bitterly. If Air France-KLM does not participate in the share issue, it could be overtaken by the Italian post office as Alitalia’s top shareholder and its own stake could drop to below 15 percent. This would effectively cost the company its veto power on any new shareholders coming in. And if Alitalia were to fail, Air France-KLM would lose access to Europe’s fourth-largest travel market. But with Air France in the middle of a tough restructuring itself, that decision will be a close call.
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