Today the live blog comes from Paris, as France digests a surge of far right support in the presidential election, but we’ll also be updating you on news from around Europe. All times Paris time.
By Tom Burgis in Paris and Esther Bintliff in London with contributions from FT correspondents around the world.
17.27 That’s about it for our live coverage from Paris today. A quick round-up of the day’s developments.
- The two remaining contenders for the French presidency began their courtship of National Front voters after Marine Le Pen recorded the far right’s strongest showing in the first round of the race
- Financial markets looked mildly askance at the early lead for Socialist François Hollande, sending up France’s borrowing costs
- A grim survey of European manufacturing and new data showing European governments had tightened their belts less than previously thought contributed to an outbreak of jitters among investors, with heavy falls on the continent’s bourses and the euro sinking against the dollar
- Europe’s political upheaval spread to the Netherlands, where Mark Rutte tendered his resignation as prime minister after the withdrawal of his far right coalition partner removed his majority in parliament
- New official figures confirmed that, for the second time since the start of the financial crisis, Spain has fallen into recession (see 14.01)
We leave you with news of a rare moment of accountability in said crisis:
Geir Haarde, the former prime minister of Iceland, has been found guilty of one count of negligence in the run-up to the country’s 2008 banking crash but will receive no punishment. The FT’s Michael Stothard reports from Stockholm:
Geir Haarde, the former prime minister of Iceland, has been found guilty of one count of negligence in the run-up to the country’s 2008 banking crash but will receive no punishment.
A special court of impeachment designed to deal with criminal charges against Icelandic government ministers found Mr Haarde guilty of failing to hold dedicated cabinet meetings ahead of the crisis.
But the court cleared him of three more significant charges that could have carried a sentence of up to two years in jail.