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French press review 7 January 2015

Is France's far right rooting for a hard left victory in Greece's general election? Does unemployment drive many to suicide? Is France slipping down the economic league table? Why do museum audioguides all sound the same?


Here is some surprising news. France's far-right Front National is supporting the Greek far-left party Syriza, according to left-leaning Libération, at least.

Libération explains that Marine Le Pen's party is hoping the far-left party wins the upcoming elections in Greece.

And that's almost unnatural says Libé.

At the European parliament, Syriza and the Front National sit on opposite sides.

In France the only two parties that officialy supports Syriza are the Communist Party and the Left Party.

Pierre Laurent, the head of the Communists, told the newspaper this is a distortion of the facts.

And it's hard to imagine the Front National supporters agreeing with Syriza's proposals to naturalise immigrants.

But what's interesting for the Front National is that the Greek party is against the European Union in its present state.

"Syriza's victory won't be a victory for Marine Le Pen or Jean-Luc Mélenchon but a failure of the European commission," says Florian Philipot, number two of the far-right party.

L'Humanité explains that suicide is linked to unemployment.

The communist daily is talking about a new study published by the National Health Institute.

Apparently, when unemployment rises 10 per cent the number of suicide rises 1.5 per cent.

Between 2008 and 2010 584 people killed themselves because they were unemployed.

But it's hard to prove there is a direct link between suicide and unemployment, warns L'Huma.

In France one death out of 50 is a suicide, one of Europe's highest suicide rates.

Le Figaro is headlining on France not being the world's fifth-largest economy any more.

According to the newspaper's figures, in 2014 British GDP was higher than France's. That means France is now the sixth biggest economy in the world.

This, according to the right-wing newspaper, is bad news for François Hollande.

Just last week the French president called France "a great country, the fiftth largest economy in the world".

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

But this is really not a surprise, explains Le Figaro. The British economy has been growing much faster than the France's andits currency is stronger than the euro.

The newspaper waxes dramatic on this topic but French GDP is really close to the British GDP.

Have you ever used an audioguide while visiting a museum?

Slate France is asking why the audioguides all sound the same.

If you've ever used an audioguide while visiting the Louvre, the Pompidou Centre or the Orsay Museum, chances are that you heard the same voice while looking at a painting.

That is partly explained by the fact that there are only a few audioguide companies on the market.

And if they all sound the same - uniform and neutral – its because the commentary needs to appeal to everybody.

But some think museums should hire actors who can transmit "the joy of discovering new art".

Museums too often see audioguides as a translation means for tourists and not as a mediation tool, explains Slate.

So right now it can feel as if  it’s the woman from the latest ham commercial who is describing the Mona Lisa to you.

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