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French weekly magazines review

Do you know what you've been eating? Who's lobbying France's Socialist government? Why do rich French people love to knock their country? Could François Hollande do better? Did Sarkozy keep questionable company? And did Benedict XVI fall victim to a gay lobby?

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In the light of recent food scandals, Le Nouvel Observateur promises us “the truth about what you eat”, a detailed insight into the food industry’s appalling recipes to increase their profit margins.

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From insecticide in slices of smoked salmon to pig skin in low-fat yoghourt, the magazine reveals the hidden ingredients that show how little we really know about what we eat on a daily basis.

Le Nouvel Observateur ends its dossier with a nutritionist's list of 10 recommendations on how to avoid the traps of junk food, a positive conclusion to a quite alarming dossier.

Right-wing Le Figaro magazine investigates groups it claims have acquired new influence in France in a dossier called “Those networks which have taken power”.

From Freemasons to the gay lobby, as well as alumni associations and thinktanks, the dossier takes a detailed look at the usually discreet lobby groups in France, showing the extend of their reach and how powerful they actually are.

Left-wing Marianne focuses on the French elite and their recent tendency to criticise and denigrate their own country, to the point of handing in their passports and leaving, as French film star Gerard Depardieu has done.

The "French-bashing" trend has gotout of hand lately, according to the magazine, even among French politicians and high profiled celebrities.

The French may be known for constantly criticising, adds the magazine, but only recently have they started using that ability against themselves.

Le Point publishes a very critical portrait of President François Hollande, reviewing his work since his election in a 12-page dossier and asking, “What is he up to?”

A series of short interviews, mainly of former right-wing ministers, concludes the rather biased overview of the president’s first year in power.

L’Express, meanwhile, looks at the relationship between former president Nicolas Sarkozy and businessman Bernard Tapie with the headline “Dangerous Liaisons”.

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Well known for his problems with the law, Tapie, says the magazine, regularly met then-president Sarkozy from 2007 to 2010, meetings which are seen as somewhat suspicious, as Tapie was already under investigation for fraud and embezzlement at the time.

And finally the satirical newspaper Le Canard enchaîné wonders whether Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation had anything to do with recent sex scandals involving gay priests.

“Was Benedict XVI a victim of the gay lobby?” it asks. The seemingly absurd theory was very seriously defended by the Italian newspaper La Reppublica and, of course, immediatly refuted by the Vatican

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