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French press review 24 November 2011

The Green Party presidential candidate, Eva Joly, is all over the place this morning. Is the European economy sinking even deeper into trouble? Is there hope for Morocco? And are French youth lazy, selfish, intolerant and lacking initiative?


You'll know that Joly has recently been having a go at the Socialist pretender, François Hollande, mainly accusing him of bowing to pressure from the hugely influential nuclear power industry.

Well, now she's lost the services of her official spokesperson, Yannick Jadot, a former boss of Greenpeace, who yesterday announced his resignation because he thinks the boss is picking on the wrong people.

"The problem is not the Socialists," said Jadot on his way out the door. According to left-leaning Libération, the problem may be Eva Joly herself.

Right-wing Le Figaro is in no doubt. "Eva Joly, the wrong woman for the job" trumpets their headline.

Le Figaro says the Greens are now regretting their choice of Joly as candidate.

Yesterday in a radio interview, Joly refused to say that she would call on her supporters to vote for François Hollande in next year's second round. Which wouldn't leave them too many choices.

Last night, the directors of the European Green movement called on Joly to show a bit more team spirit.

Yesterday was a black day for the green candidate, according to popular tabloid Aujourd'hui en France.

It is now an open question whether or not she will survive until the elections next spring.

Eva Joly herself says she's determined to fight on. Several unhappy factions in the Green movement are wondering if it might not be a good idea to change the figurehead.

Libération's editorial is headlined "Madness" and reflects on the almost bottomless unpopularity of President Nicolas Sarkozy and the chance that offers to a united opposition.

Instead of which, says Libé, you have Socialist in-fighting, Green grasping of carefuilly selected secure seats and a general sense of every man for herself.

France is in deep crisis, warns Libération, and the electotate wants a change.

Let the agents of that change wake up and start acting like adults, otherwise we all face five more years of Sarko. Madness, indeed.

Business daily Les Echos looks at the French economy as the spectre of recession rears its ugly head once again.

Business leaders are less optimistic this month than in October and they weren't in great form four weeks ago; investment has effectively dried up; no new jobs are being created; and the driving force of the entire European machine, the German economy, is now slowing down dramatically.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Yesterday the German central bank had to bail out the state to prevent the sale of long-term bonds from collapsing.

Only 60 per cent of the German bonds offered for sale were taken up, meaning that Berlin is no longer able to count on its reputation for financial stability to attract investors.

It's only a tiny crack in an otherwise solid edifice, but it led to panic on the Frankfurt stock exchange which closed 650 points down, below the 5,500 mark for the first time in months.

Trading has just ended in Tokyo, on an overall decline in share values of about two per cent, most of that blamed on uncertainty about the German economy.

On the front page of communist L'Humanité, trade union leader Bernard Thibault calls on French voters to react now.

Thibault says the country is being ruined by austerity plans imposed by the financial markets, and that the electorate shouldn't wait until next year's elections to make their anger felt. A series of strikes is planned to keep us warm this winter.

Catholic La Croix looks to Morocco where parliamentary elections take place tomorrow.

There's a slight glimmer of hope that things might change for the better in a north African country eager to move forward.

But, says La Croix, too many would-be voters will abstain, convinced that the promised reforms are a smoke-screen.

The Catholic paper goes on to warn that there's an awful lot of anger and discontent bubbling under the surface.

It's not clear that any of Morocco's political leaders are aware just how explosive the situation is.

Le Monde publishes an opinion poll which shows the French to have a dim view of their own young people.

The majority of older French people find the young intolerant, selfish, lazy and lacking commitment.

But the older generations accept that finding jobs, and homes and simply making ends meet are all more difficult for today's young than for their seniors.

The only things that have improved, say the older folk, are the amount of leisure time today's youngsters have and their sex lives.


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