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French press review 8 October 2015


Advocate of "all White France", Nadine Morano booted out of Nicolas Sarkozy's party lists for regional elections; Volkswagen faces up to 80 billion euros fine for its polution-cheating cars; and a dozen trade unionists to face justice over Air France violence.


The hottest-selling story remains the attack of a human resources chief at Air France by angry workers protesting massive retrenchments at the flagship carrier.

L’Humanité presents the incidents as the courageous struggle of blue collared workers in France battling blackmail by employers. The Communist party daily also denounces the questioning of the relevance of the 35-hour work week. The standoff at Air France, according to L’Humanité has become the most shocking evidence of social violence at work places and the main bone of social discord in France.

Le Figaro reports that 20 trouble makers including a dozen trade unionists have been identified by police for the physical violence on officials of Air France. The conservative publication says the work of investigators has been facilitated by video footage circulating on the internet, television pictures and rushes obtained from media houses. 

Today’s national dailies all post comments about the expulsion of French conservative MEP, Nadine Morano from the “Les Republicains” party list for the upcoming regional elections. Morano was due to lead the party’s list in the conservative stronghold of Meurthe-et-Moselle until her pathetic remarks about France being the fatherland of white men.

A lawmaker from the region told Libération that she had become a persona non grata in the constituency for refusing to apologise for the embarrassing remarks. Libé believes that must have been the reason why it is Nicolas Sarkozy himself who asked the party’s investitures commission to replace her.

Le Figaro says the sanction and Morano’s subsequent replacement by lawmaker Valerie Debord exasperates a cross section of grass root militants of the party some denouncing the unanimous vote by the LR’s committee as “lynching”.

Le Figaro’s front-page spread today is about the dizzying penalty Volkswagen risks paying for its pollution cheating software. According to the right-wing newspaper, the scam involved more than 11 million diesel cars and the reparations bill could cost up to 80 billion euros when the judicial investigation is completed. Volkswagen is already a traumatized company and preparing to undergo unprecedented austerity measures, says Le Figaro.

And if you’re looking for a good African book to read this fall, check out Alain Mabanckou’s “Petit Piment” or “hot head”.

The renowned French-Congolese is the author of the award-winning “Porcupine’s Memory”. He spoke to L’Humanité about the internal and ideological tragedies of a Congolese orphan born in the coastal town of Loanga and raised in Socialist bastion of France in the nineteen seventies.

For the Communist party daily, there are traits of Mabanckou’s character in the book which not just dwells on the power of persuasion of its hero but also sheds light on the good and bad sides of his personality. “Petit Piment” is published by the Paris-based publishing house “Les Editions Le Seuil”.

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