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France

French press review 26 August 2013

All eyes on the French government today as President François Hollande and his ministers prepare to take on some of the most important and controversial social and economical reforms yet.

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“Now is the time for decisions”, headlines the left wing daily Libération, as a reference to Hollande’s campaign slogan “Now is the time for Change”.

After an entire summer of debates and discussions, the time has come to put things in place, says the paper.

Whether it’s about pensions, taxes or penal system reform, Libé says the government is going to have to make decisions this week that will set the tone for the rest of Hollande’s mandate.

“The Government is full of doubt”, writes the popular daily Aujourd’hui en France, which says the new tax reform is casting a shadow on the government’s back to work week.

Over-taxing is bound to kill off the weak economic recovery, says the paper, as the government is already struggling to tie up loose ends on the pension and budget reforms for next year.

The Government finds itself facing a dilemma, writes Aujourd’hui en France, especially concerning pension reforms, a sensitive and controversial topic. By the end of September, the government is set to present the reforms, which are then expected to be discussed in the French National Assembly from 7 October.

The right-wing Le Figaro, which also leads with the government’s upcoming reforms, says the announcement of a possible raise of the universal Social Security tax will be a bitter pill to swallow.

While Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says nothing is yet decided, the paper says the measure has been strongly criticized by heads of companies, some unions and some MP's within the ruling majority.

Le Figaro says the government is walking through a mine field as it has to make difficult choices which will be a series of game-changers for the socialist majority, which still lacks unity and fails to play collectively.

A few days before the new school term begins here in France, the Catholic newspaper La Croix takes a look at what’s changing in French Catholic education.

French Catholic Education in France counts about two million students in some 9,000 schools, explains the newspaper.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

They will face different changes this year, going from a reform of the program to the introduction of gender equality teaching methods, negatively referred to as the “gender theory reform”.

The paper interviews the newly elected Secretary General for Catholic Education in France on the different issues and on his projects for his upcoming three year mandate, which are certain to be dominated by the permanent fight to maintain its finances, the paper says.

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