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French weekly magazines review

It’s all about money and power this week in the French press, starting with the right-wing weekly Le Figaro magazine, which takes a look at old money and into the world of the French aristocracy.  

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Proud of their roots but more modern than one may think, the French aristocracy seems to resist time and survive through the ages, says the weekly. Although generally discreet, many aristocrats have established themselves in sectors such as finances and politics but also the artistic world, the nightlife industry and even fashion. 

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

To present this modern French aristocracy, the magazine published a series of portraits of some of the most famous French aristocrats, such as actors Helène de Fougerolles and Guillaume de Tonquédec or Christophe de Margerie, CEO of the French multinational oil and gas company Total.

Far from the glitter and glitz of counts and dukes, the conservative weekly Le Point focuses on issues more relevant to the ordinary French citizen with an alarmist file on the pension crisis entitled “How can we save our pensions?”.

According to the weekly, official numbers are underestimated, and the situation is far worse than officials care to admit, with a 14 billion euro deficit in 2011 and a projected
deficit of 18 million euro in 2017.

As the current socialist government fails to find a solution and apply a salutary pensions reform, the magazine takes a clear stand in favour of a right wing solution by giving a tribute to the former Prime Minister, and possible right wing presidential candidate in 2017, François Fillon.

Another attack against President François Hollande’s government this week in the centrist magazine L’Express, which led to an extensive investigation into the State’s abusive spending.

Fraud, ill-intentioned politicians, disregard for cost or unjustified high salaries, L’Express takes a look at how French taxpayers’ money is spent as François Hollande promises to reduce public expenses.

Left wing magazine Le Nouvel Observateur takes a look at the multinational firms who really rule the world in an important dossier.

According to the paper, globalization has created new superpowers and a handful of transnational firms such as Coca Cola, Apple or Samsung control everything from the food business to finance, culture and communications, defending, first and foremost,  their shareholders interests.

In 2000, the 500 top firms dealt with 70% of world trade, hiring 90 million people. In 2012, the first 2000 firms in the world generated 36,000 billion dollars of revenue and 2,640 billion dollars in profit.

And finally, left wing Marianne investigates the French bureaucracy and tries to answer the question: “Why are we always in the wrong when facing the administration”.

In a kafkaesque description of French administration, Marianne depicts different
situations of conflict in which the user is always wrong when a problem occurs, and how going against injustices can lead to years-long waiting times and frustrating law suits.

That’s all for the weekly press review, but on the bright side, today is Saint Patrick’s day; the perfect occasion to put all bad news aside and celebrate Irish culture around the world with a pint of Guinness. 

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