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French press review 1 December 2012

Dominique Strauss-Kahn makes headlines once again across the French papers; French researchers announce plans to launch clinicial trials of two promising Aids vaccines and the chaos in Egypt continues.


We begin with a twist to the Strauss-Kahn affair. According to Le Monde, Dominique Strauss-Kahn has agreed to pay Nafissatou Diallo, six million dollars (approximately 4.6 million euros) as reparations in the sexual abuse affair that stunned the world and disrupted French politics for months during a crucial presidential election year.

According to the paper, the deal will be signed on 7 December in New York. Le Monde reports that the friendly arrangement was brokered by Douglas Mckeon, the New York judge who refused to shelve the rape case filed by the 33 year old Guinean hotel maid.

Dossier: The Strauss-Kahn affair rocks France, IMF

Under the deal, Nafissatou has agreed to stop pressing the sexual assault charges she filed against DSK. Le Monde found out that the former IMF chief will borrow half of the money from an undisclosed bank, while his former wife Anne Sinclair agreed to lend him 3 million dollars.

Libération is relieved that the drama over what happened in suite 2806 at the New York Sofitel is coming to an end. It notes, however, that DSK is not off the hook just yet as he awaits the verdict of his appeal in the Carlton prostitution charges facing him. Libé has kept a head count of the number of times the DSK affair hit the front pages of newspapers around the world. Dominique Strauss-Kahn made headline news 150,000 times between the 15 and the 22 of May 2011, according to a study by the Kantar Media Institute.

Le Figaro comments about the financial transaction in sight calling it the removal of the last obstacle on Strauss-Kahn’s American ordeal. It says that the two parties knew from the onset that there was nothing to gain from pressing ahead with the procedural battles that have characterized the civil law suit.

According to the paper, DSK’s lawyers were desperate to avoid more damaging revelations about their client’s sexual life after their claims for diplomatic immunity fell flat. Le Figaro argues that Nafissatou Diallo was also weary of further revelations about her ties with a jailed drug dealer and the nightmare of a new probe on the money he sent her by a Bronx prosecutor.

In other news, Libération zooms in on the deal brokered late Friday with ArcelorMittal on the future of the Florange furnaces. The paper reports that the steel giant committed to invest ing at least 180 million euros over the next five years in the endangered site in north-eastern France.

Libé claims that the unions at Florange are accusing the government of cowardice and betrayal after it backed down on the nationalization threat wondering what happened to the possible buyer mentioned by of Industrial Renewal Minister Arnault Montebourg.

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

For Libération the decision is confirmation that the Elysée has been trapped in the tricky dossier. The paper believes that President François Hollande now risks paying the price of disowning his own minister.

Le Figaro marks World Aids Day today with the revelation that there are 150,000 people living with HIV/Aids in France. The paper reports that 6,100 new cases were diagnosed in 2011 adding that more than 15,000 others ignore that they are infected by the virus. The paper says that Aids prevention measures targeting the gay community need to be revamped as gay men make up half the new infections registered.

Le Figaro praises the high-level contributions by French researchers in the desperate hunt for life-saving vaccines and treatment of Aids after the Pasteur Institute and Sanofi announced plans to launch clinical trials on the testing of two promising vaccines.

Le Monde, Le Figaro and Libération all posted comments about the political chaos in Egypt. Supporters of President Mohamed Morsi and those against the Islamic regime continue to clash over the draft of the new constitution, that was prepared while minority groups and those against the new regime boycotted the process, and the decree made by Morsi last week giving himself powers above the judiciary.  All the papers believe that the hegemony of the Moslem Brotherhood has succeeded in reuniting the country’s opposition.


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