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French press review 13 September 2016

The Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says the European single currency, the euro, is to blame for high unemployment, weak growth and the rise of the far right. More tax and less austerity are the answers.


Joseph Stiglitz is in Le Monde, and he's not in cheerful form.

Joe, in case you've forgotten, won the Nobel Prize for economics back in 2001. In today's paper he's talking about the European single currency, and he says high unemployment, weak growth and the rise of the far right in Europe are all the fault of the euro. If nothing is done to reform a flawed system, according to Stiglitz, we're up Shit Creek without a paddle.

Reform is, you can imagine, a complicated business: Joe's latest book explaining the problem runs to 462 pages.

He says basically, we need a proper European budget, financed by community taxation. The money collected would support the value of European bonds, and could be used to help individual economies through the bad times. And the monetary rules need to be relaxed, so that states on the verge of recession are not stupidly required to cut spending at the very moment when a bit of a boost from the exchequer is just what's needed.

Joe Stiglitz reckons the euro will probably have to die before it can be resurrected in a more viable form.

Exporting "The Jungle" to regional France

Le Figaro looks at government plans to solve the migrant problem in the channel port city of Calais.

Basically, the Interior Minister has told the regional authorities all over France to get ready to take a share of the 12,000 migrants who will be forced to leave the Calais "Jungle" and central Paris by the end of this year.

The effort demanded of each region will depend on the size of the regional population.

The right-wing paper points to the dubious logic of offering accommodation anywhere in France to people whose only interest is to cross the channel and reach England. And Le Figaro also reports that the enforced integration of migrants has already created social problems in some smaller French communities.

Happy to live because she's entitled to die

It's possible that you've never heard of Marieke Vervoort. She's a Belgian athlete, and she won a silver medal in Rio at the weekend in the Paralympic 400m. She already holds three world sprint titles, an Olympic gold, another silver, and she races in the Rio 100m final next week, with every chance of adding to her tally.

Impressive as those achievements are, Vervoort is in the news for a different reason entirely. She features in Le Monde.

She's 37-years-old and has lived with degenerative muscular disease since she was a teenager. She suffers terribly, especially during training. She regularly collapses because of the pain. Since 2008, Marieke Vervoort has had all the documents required under Belgian law to allow her to demand euthanasia. She says she wants to be ready for the days when there is no relief. She knows there is no hope of a cure.

Paradoxically, Marieke says being assured the right to die has prevented her from committing suicide. Knowing she can leave on her own terms when she has to has made life, training and competition bearable.

She thinks the debate about euthanasia has wrongly put the emphasis on death; her experience has more to do with the enrichment of life. She says the Belgian legislation has enabled her to live longer, and with greater serenity.

And she's not ready to go just yet. There's the Rio sprint final, perhaps another medal, and then a plan to teach motivation courses.

Marieke Vervoort says she hopes to inspire a great many people.

Will Hillary Clinton recover?

Libération gives the front-page honours to American presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, wondering if she can overcome the negative impact of her recent health problems.

According to Libé, even if she makes a full physical recovery, her campaign will still be dogged by a lack of transparency. Why weren't we told she was ill before she collapsed? is the question being posed by many Americans. Why were we told she was suffering from heat exhaustion? Can America trust a president whose team cultivates and ambiguous attitude to the truth?

Says Libération, the woman her White House opponent Donald Trump has long called "Crooked Hillary" may pay dearly for the communications failures surrounding her illness.

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