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French press review 17 May 2013

The news is dominated by President François Hollande’s press conference to mark his first year in office and a shocking suicide committed in front of of school children in Paris.


Aujourd’hui en France reports that the 50-year-old man with a history of family problems shot himself dead on Thursday in a primary school near the Eiffel Tower, in front of about a dozen stunned children. A psychological support team was sent to the elementary school to help the traumatised children, according to the newspaper.

The suicide occurred just hours before President François Hollande granted a press conference to mark what the press describes as a horrible first year in office.

Les Echos notes François Hollande’s spirited defence of his economic policies as well as his resolve to not increase taxes on households in 2014, but it expects. Hollande’s second year to be one without new reforms.

Libération points out that the very unpopular leader of recession-hit France has finally found the Presidential tone that has been eluding him since his election. According to Libé his determined attitude about the fight against unemployment and appeal for a politically united Europe could turn him into a soldier during his second year in office.

Aujourd’hui en France also welcomes the assertive tone adopted by the President throughout the conference and his determination to stay the course of his policies despite widespread doubts about his ability to deliver.

On its part, Le Figaro insists that “he is incapable of changing anything”, adding that Hollande is merely banking on hopes for the return of consumer confidence.

Year two will be one of total austerity, screams L’Humanité. According to the Communist party daily, Hollande's self glorification and continued assumption of pedagogy of stringency coupled with his capitulation to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Europe means there will be nothing good for struggling families.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

La Croix examines what can be done to revive the citizens’ appetite for Europe. The Catholic daily put the question to seven leading personalities including the President of European parliament Martin Schulz. They all affirmed their interest in making progress with President Hollande on the project.

The sports paper L’Equipe salutes Paris Saint-Germain and England football superstar, David Beckam who has finally announced his retirement from the game. The sports daily regret that the midfielder, who won 115 caps for England, winning 4 championship titles in 4 different countries, leaves the stage without winning any titles for England.

With a fortune estimated at 237 million euros amassed during his 13-year career, L’Equipe notes that Beckam is set to earn more in retirement as he remains a brand product of his Qatari sponsors until 2022.

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