French weekly magazines review
Unsuprisingly, the French weeklies are all about France deploying troops to Mali.
The satirical weekly Le Canard enchaîné has the best pun intended headline: “Le stratège Hollande fait son malien”. Unfortunately the pun is hard to transtlate but it should have read "fait son 'malin'' which means bold or clever cloggs.
It has a go at conservative weekly Le Figaro for complimenting François Hollande's initiave and determination when it comes to going to war. It notes that French politicians like Dominique de Villepin and the "odious" Jean-Luc Mélenchon still prefer to view Hollande as Capitaine Pedalo ( the nickname which the latter gave him during the presidential campaigning) rather than Capitaine Bamako, or Captain Bamako.
François Hollande graces the front page of L’Express with the headline "Islamism: François Hollande’s wars". It writes the French head of state has chosen firm action to deal with Mali and Somalia, has changed military options and changed the way we look at islamist terrorism. The magazine ponders whether this has given him a regal status. The paper also warns that, should terrorist attacks occur in France, the left will have to take responsibility for the repressive policies it will implement.
There is also a three-page article on the situation in Mali entitled: "The price of duty" which warns the toughest part of the Sahel conflict is still to come. One high ranking member of the army tells the magazine that in Libya, the impact of arms proliferation and border control was under-estimated.
L’Express expects it will take many months to rid the north of Mali of the Islamic fundamentalist group Ansar Dine.
Taking things a little closer to home, L’Express looks at jihadists here in France. It writes that there aren’t many and that they are isolated cases, but they can do a lot of damage. Such was the case of Mohamed Merah who in 2012 went on a shooting rampage in Toulouse.
L'Express notes that as they often have dual nationalities through Franco-African passports, suspected jihadists can travel easily to these different regions.
The left-wing magazine Marianne is still interested in the whole Gérard Depardieu scandal, his falling out with the French state, and the actor taking up Russian nationality because of a row over taxes for the super-wealthy. Yes, Marianne promises to disclose what the French media is too scared to tell: the truth about the Depardieu scandal.
He was called "Minable" or "pitifull" by the French Prime Minister. Marianne writes that this led other French actors to back Depardieu, well at least three-quarters of them. The magazine writes the French left has so far not been able to recover and stand up to this. No one has really dared to speak out other than two or three MPs.
The magazine concludes that “the ideological era remains basically that of the French right.” Individualism and the absence of solidarity as well as depising France as a nation is something that those who back Depardieu seem to be concerned about.
Le Point is also interested in those who are fleeing France for tax reasons. They include CEOs, famous people and young people. It looks at famous actors who now live in London, Brussels, Switzerland and, of course, Russia. French-Magrehbian actor Jamel Debouze says’s he’d be the last to leave France.
Le Point has a comparative chart to examine different taxe systems and France comes across as the country with the heaviest taxes. It is therefore hardly suprising that it is not worth the trouble for high earners to live in France. Different administration systems and a "can do attitude" have attracted many scientists, businessmen or entrepreneurs to the United States or the United Kingdom.
But let’s forget about the big bad jhidaists, the evil rich people who abandon France and the evil taxman. The person we must fear is a new bread of tyrants: our children. So says Le Nouvel Observateur.
It writes that, after centuries of forbidding children to do many things, our society has now become one of over consumption where everything is possible. This has led to children having everything they could possibly want in excess, but they are not necessarily happy.