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French press review 7 June 2013

The French dailies are dominated by reactions to the death on Thursday of a teenaged far-left French activist after a fight with far-right skinheads in Paris.

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Aujourd’hui en France runs a detailed account of how Clément Méric, an 18-year-old student at the prestigious Sciences-Po University was beaten and left brain-dead,after Wednesday's attack near a railway station in Paris city centre.

Libération
reports that a police source who confirmed Méric’s death says seven people have been arrested in connection with the homicide, including the attacker who has confessed delivering the fatal blow.

Far-right groups are being blamed for the tragedy, according to the Catholic daily La Croix.

L’Humanité
says it has no doubt it was a fascist crime. The Communist Party daily believes Méric was killed for his ideas, noting that the death has boosted calls for the banning of radical groups which have made violence their modus vivendi.

Le Figaro speaks about an outpouring of emotion and unanimous condemnation nationwide, pointing out that the "barbaric act" strongly condemned by conservatives is being marred by controversy. According to the paper, some left-wing politicians and opinion leaders are accuse organisers of the recent protests over France's legalisation of gay marriage of creating the atmosphere that led to the killing.

Le Figaro singles out businessman Pierre Bergé, who suggested on Twitter that anti-gay marriage coalition leader Frigide Barjot has now seen blood flow as she threatened it would during the demonstrations.

President François Hollande’s visit to Japan attracts comments from most of Friday’s national dailies.

Aujourd’hui en France describes the trip as a fact-finding mission, pointing out that Hollande is envious of Japan’s new economic policy and revival of growth after 20 years of stagnation.

The policies of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are indeed similar to those pursued by  Hollande according to Libération. The paper reports that Hollande is a subject of curiosity to the new authorities in Tokyo, who look forward to repair ties with Paris damaged by tensions created by the Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidency.

Les Echos reports that the trade dispute pitting the EU is intensifying as China appears poised to slap tariffs on German luxury cars. According to the economic newspaper the move is an extra retaliation measure for Brussels's decision to slap tariffs on solar import panels from China. This is coupled with Beijing announcement that it had begun an anti-dumping probe into wine imports from the bloc.

Dossier: The Strauss-Kahn affair rocks France, IMF

L’Humanité reports industrial action by hundreds of garbage collectors who gathered in Paris on Thursday to press demands for early retirement. One of the organizers told the daily their life expectancy is lower than that of workers in other professions and pleaded for a little more time away from the garbage heaps before entering their coffins.

Libération reports that the judicial noose around the neck of disgraced ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, appears to be loosening after the prosecution ruled in favour of dropping charges that he procured prostitutes for sex parties in Europe and in Washington. The paper says DSK may not be off the hook yet as the presiding magistrate still has to rule on the whether he will escape prosecution.

Strauss-Kahn remains a favourite hit with the French paparazzi. He sent the French media into a frenzy when he and his new partner appeared on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, for the premiere of Jim Jarmusch's vampire tale Only Lovers Left Alive.

It is less than a year since DSK divorced Anne Sinclair, one of France's best-loved journalists, his wife of 20 years. Earlier in the festival clips of an upcoming film on the New York sex scandal that destroyed Strauss-Kahn’s career and political ambitions appeared on the internet.
 

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