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French press review 5 November 2012

It's time for the French economy to face the music as the Government receives a long-awaited - and much leaked - report on the country's competitiveness.


“The last stop before the terminus”. This is how the editorial in the daily Le Figarodescribes the state of the French economy this morning.

According to the paper’s editor, France suffers from a huge competitiveness problem.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

The article reveals the content of the report prepared for the government (but not yet officially submitted) by Louis Gallois, the former head EADS, a Franco-German conglomerate which makes Airbus planes.

It is time to face the truth, says the article, since Mr Gallois cannot be accused of being a liberal. He is one of the French business leaders openly affiliated with the socialists.

And the report was ordered by the French president and the Prime minister. Would François Hollande have the courage to stir up the hornet’s nest, asks the author.

If he does not, France might just end up at the back of the developed economies’ pack, concludes the editorial.

To add to the gloomy news, the popular Aujourd’hui en France gives its front pages to rather shocking numbers. 19,000. That’s the annual number of deaths resulting from domestic accidents. Falls, burns, poisoning, you name it. The French NGOs are campaigning to declare domestic accidents “the great national cause” in 2013.

The youngsters are about to take over the French conservative party. The left-leaning Libération gives a spread a portrait of two thirty-something, relatively unknown conservative politicians who are quietly preparing to take over the French conservative party.

What is intriguing in the article is the fact that, according to the paper, this obscure “Sarko generation” group has a quiet blessing from the former president, Nicolas Sarkozy.

The health section of theLe Figaro encourages you to drink a lot… of green tea. According to a study published by the paper, green tea reduces the risk of cancer of the digestive system.

After following 75,000 women over 11 years , the researchers discovered that regular consumption of green tea reduced the appearance of digestive tumors by 17% per cent. So, concludes the article, there are no more excuses not to drink a nice cup of green tea during long winter evenings.

And finally, the great comeback of the French equivalent of the great Elvis Presley. His name might not be on the tongue of our international listeners, but the energy of Johhny Hallyday's songs is still as intact as it was 40 years ago when the famous “Johnny” started his rock-n-roll career in France.

Aujourd’hui en France, the widely read French daily, has secured exclusive rights to featuring the 70-year old singer’s new album for a week.

You can listen to some of the titles on the paper’s website. The critics are unanimous: this is one of the singer’s finest albums. You would be mistaken to think that “Johnny” is going to stay in a retirement home after releasing the album. In fact, the French “Elvis” is on the road, with dazzling shows across France.

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