Austerity backlash in Europe and UN monitors in Syria

As the Dutch government falls, a socialist wins the first round of the French presidential election, and the UK slides back into recession, Brussels bureau chief Peter Spiegel and Europe editor Ben Hall discuss the backlash against Europe’s austerity politics. Read more

Welcome to our rolling coverage of the day’s developments in the eurozone.

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.

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.

The full story is hereÀ la prochaine… Read more

Nicolas Sarkozy’s legacy in French politics
With the first round of the French presidential election upon us and the second round just around the corner, the FT’s Hugh Carnegy, Ben Hall and John Thornhill join Shawn Donnan to discuss the legacy of president Nicolas Sarkozy and his chances of reelection.

Cristina Fernández holds a sample of the first petroleum extraction in Argentina as she makes the YPF announcement (Getty)

On Monday Cristina Fernández, Argentina’s president, announced the renationalisation of the oil company YPF, ousting the Spanish group Repsol as majority owner and prompting a furious response from Madrid. With Spain and the European Union pondering how best to respond, we cast an eye back at ten of the most momentous nationalisations of resource/commodity institutions. (We are omitting the across-the-board, everything-must-go nationalisations of Russia and China after their respective Communist revolutions, for reasons of space). Read more

You wait ages for a powerful and influential person to be caught trying to hide an extremely expensive watch – and then two come along at once.

Patriarch Kirill (AP Photo/Patriarchia.ru)

First it was Russian Patriarch Kirill I, whose photograph on the church’s website was digitally altered to erase a $30,000 Breguet watch from his wrist — except whoever made the change forgot about the clear reflection of the timepiece in the mahogany table. This did little to enhance the patriarch’s reputation or that of his church, which faces increasing allegations of corruption and criticism for interfering in Russian politics. Read more

Statues of North Korea's founding president Kim Il-sung (L) and his son Kim Jong-il are unveiled during a ceremony in Pyongyang on April 13 (Getty)

North Korea likes to celebrate on a monumental scale and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s founder, was supposed to be no different. But the long-range Eunha-3 rocket launched on Friday blew apart about 90 seconds into its flight.

 Read more

What to do in a race without Rick

After only one day without Rich Santorum, Mitt Romney started measuring the drapes in the White House. Meanwhile, Barack Obama solidified a key campaign issue. Read more

The World Bank presidency and Iraq’s impact on global oil markets

Alan Beattie, Xan Rice, Michael Peel and Guy Chazan join Gideon Rachman to discuss the battle for the presidency of the World Bank and the state of Iraq and its impact on the global oil market

Great expectations for Aung San Suu Kyi and the Obama administration’s healthcare bill

Gideon Rachman is joined by FT correspondents to discuss the great expectations for Aung San Suu Kyi in the upcoming by-election in Myanmar. They also examine the US Supreme Court case that will determine the fate of the Obama administration’s healthcare reform. Read more

Terrorism’s impact on the French election

With the first round of France’s presidential election a month away, how has the shock of the terrorist attacks changed the political climate? Paris bureau chief Hugh Carnegy and former Paris bureau chief Peggy Hollinger join Gideon Rachman.