French press review 24 July 2013
The French newspapers generally resist the urge to cover the British royal baby’s birth. One might see this as a vestige of France’s rejection of monarchy. Only Le Figaro and Aujourd’hui en France put the birth of a son to the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William on their front pages.
On the other hand, there isn’t much to say, apart from publish pictures pictures of the royal couple introducing their newborn to the world’s media and the hundreds of fans and tourists gathered in front of the maternity ward of St Mary’s hospital in London.
The baby has not yet been named but all eyes will stay on him and on the royal family for a few days, says Aujourd’hui en France, which describes the media frenzy as an opportunity for Buckingham Palace to boost its popularity both in Great Britain and abroad.
In real news, Le Figaro reports on Economy and Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici’s announcement of the end of recession in France.
According to the minister, GNP will rise 0.2 per cent for the second quarter of 2013. He explains he want French business owners to go forth and invest, as France heads out of recession.
Le Figaro also takes a look at the future of assisted reproductive technology (ART) and surrogacy in France, only months after the tense debates that led to marriage equality.
Initially included in the marriage-for-all bill, ART was removed as the debate became more heated and the government promised independent discussion on the topic for 2014.
But Le Figaro reports that questionnaires sent to gynaecologists and obstetricians of the National Medical academy, which were meant to remain confidential but were leaked to the press, sparked strong reactions from the opposition, who see it as a first step towards a new bill, while the wounds from the marriage equality debate are still healing.
Left-wing daily Libération dedicates its front page to the French railway company, the SNCF.
A study comes a week after the disaster at Brétigny-sur-Orge in which six people died.
According to the paper, the tragedy shed light on the poor condition of railtrack in France. The state-owned company is struggling to make up for 30 years of neglect, it says. Customer satisfaction and general security has plummeted in recent years and employees explain that the SNCF is constantly trying to reduce costs, often at the expense of security.