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French press review 30 March 2012

Here are the stories making the headlines in this morning’s French papers.

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The French presidential election campaign of course continues to dominate Friday’s French press with left-leaning Libération popping the question: "where has the crisis gone?” This, as the economy disappears from campaign speeches and apparently from the radar screens of the main candidates, despite the continuing recession.

Catholic daily La Croix comments on the shocking news concerning the fat bonuses a prominent French business chief is set to collect from his company. Maurice Lévy,  the CEO of publicity giant Publicis, is due to pick up a cheque equivalent  to 16 millions euros this year alone in bonuses for what board members describe as his outstanding contributions to the company’s international development.

La Croix calls the wages "shocking" and argues that citizens are right to believe that entrepreneurs are predators, especially in these hard times when factories are laying off workers, closing down, and relocating abroad.

Cocaine use and radical Islamic preachers entering France are becoming important campaign themes picked up in Friday morning's papers. Le Monde warns the routine use of cocaine in France is hurting public health efforts, and ravaging the image of the so-called “festive drug”

Le Figaro highlights the banning of four fundamentalist Immams from France. The conservative newspaper reports that the preachers - a Palestinian, two Saudis and an Egyptian had been due to attend the 29th annual Assembly of French Muslims scheduled in Le Bourget from the 6-9 April but have been politely advised to stay away.

Métro has a warning for the candidates vying for the Elysée. The paper says voters are clamouring for greener cities or nothing, underlining that the future of France’s urban life hinges on the ability of the country’s leaders to bring about sustainable development.

Le Parisien/Aujourd’hui en France takes up the problems posed by globalisation, pointing out that Europe now stands out as the biggest victim of unfair competition in global trade.

“Left-wing voters who are you?" asks the Communist party daily L’Humanité, as it attempts to unravel the mysteries of Jean Luc Melenchon. The popularity rating of the Left Front leader has stabilized at around 13 per cent according to the latest Ipsos poll. Up to 16 per cent of young voters, 17 per cent of civil servants and 14 per cent of private sector workers are leaning towards Mélenchon.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

The strong gains have eroded the standing of Socialist candidate François Hollande, now facing a  four point first round defeat by incumbent President Sarkozy if the election were held today, according to the latest tracking polls.

The free tabloid 20 Minutes notes, with some delight, that the French under-25s are fast becoming the “chouchous” or most-courted age group of this presidential campaign .

It's election season in France and the papers seem to be addicted to surveys. There is one today published by a pornographic magazine, Hot Video. The findings are likely to raise eyebrows across the French political spectrum. The polling agency Ifop reveals that right and center-right voters tend to enjoy a more stable and less intense sexual life than their left-leaning compatriots.

The survey ironically also discovered a greater feeling of sexual dissatisfaction among protest voters- 31 per cent of those backing Jean Luc Mélenchon and 31 per cent of voters leaning towards National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

And the sports daily L’Equipe has some words of sympathy for Olympique de Marseilles. The sports daily claims the team is suffering from a bad headache with the president furious,  the manager helpless and he club owner confused, after Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League drubbing by Bayern Munich.

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