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French press review 20 November 2014

Funding the army, poverty, and behind the scenes with the French president - all in today's papers ...


The French army is running out of money according to Libération.

The French government is trying to reduce its budget deficit. That means the Defence Ministry also has to make some sacrifices. But there is one problem, explains the left-leaning daily. "How do you manage, with more wars, less equipment and fewer troops?"

Here is what has happened: every year a certain amount of money is granted to the Defence Ministry for foreign military intervention. But with the interventions in Mali and Central African Republic last year, expenditure is rocketing.

Dossier: War in Mali

So how do you deal with this? Libération has a solution... You make the European Union pay for this, because in the long term, France is defending the entire continent.

More than 3 million children are currently living below the poverty line in France.

That's in today's L'Humanité. The communist daily explains that since 2008 and the beginning of the economic crisis, more than 440,000 children have fallen into poverty. That means 18.4% of the people under 18 are below the poverty line.

Of course, food is an issue, but that poverty also has a negative impact on the kids' education.

Sonia, who works for the voluntary agency Secours Populaire, says there is an invisible violence that comes with poverty, because the kids are ashamed.

But according to her, French society should follow the example of her agency "by always going forward, being resistant, wanting to change the world and hoping."

The left-leaning website Rue89 asked Guillaume Mazeau, a specialist of the French Revolution, what he thinks of Assassin's Creed Unity, a multi-user game that takes place in Paris during the Revolution. The game was advertised by its creators as being historically accurate.

Like secrets? Find out about the Hidden Paris

That is why Rue89 wanted to have a professional opinion.

Mazeau saw only a few mistakes, such as a hat that belonged to the 19th century. But otherwise, the historian says it looks accurate. He is even moved by the rendition of 1789's Paris. "As an historian, you see the past via fragments. This is strange, incredible, and almost exotic." he says.

Finally, French President François Hollande is back in France after a week long trip to Australia and New Caledonia.

That makes it the longest trip abroad of Hollande's mandate. Le Figaro this morning gives us a look behind the scenes of the last seven days.

There are some interesting things in the article. First, Hollande hates "being far from France" and despite the week being intense "he never complained". But that's not all, the French president still works on French topics, even when he is 15.000 kilometres away from Paris.

As usual, he cracks jokes in between meetings and speeches. But the French leader also gets poetic from time to time.

"I often think that we are like shooting stars” the French president says. “We don't even know where we are... So it's good to take your time."

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