France

French press review 17 December 2010

Left-leaning Libération is leading with a story that seems to be gathering pace in the French press this morning. It's being billed as the "Ockrent Affair". Now, Christine Ockrent is the No. 2 boss at the AEF (Audiovisuel Ecterieur Française) or the French foreign broadcasting group, the parent company of Radio France international.

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Libération says that Ockrent is currenly "at war with her boss" the AEF head Alain de Pouzilhac, and that she's been "disowned by her journalists".

This news has recently become public following rumours that the two were at loggerheads over the running of the group.

The article details how a close ally of Ockrent in the broadcasting group is under investigation for spying on de Pouzilhac.

Named only as CM, Libé says it would appear that Ockrent's colleage had more than 2.5 million ill-gotten documents on various computers, including a copy of Pouzilhac's passport.

In an interview in the Catholic newpaper La Croix this morning, Ockrent denies she has anything to do with the affair.

In the piece entitled "I'm the victim", Ockrent says she was part of the group that went to the police to press charges for the spying case. It is therefore completely illogical that she was involved.

Ockrent goes on to say that she has no intentions of stepping down as she has done no wrong.

Lots of the newspapers are carrying news of the clashes in Côte d'Ivoire. Right-leaning Le Figaro is running with the headline "Côte d'Ivoire slides into violence".

On the inside pages comes a report from the Figaro's journalist who was in the midst of the skirmishes in Abidjan yesterday.

He says he heard not only machine gun fire, but mortar shells as well.

Libération reports that at least nine people were killed. Le Figaro puts the number at 11. Other sources say 13. So there is still clearly some confusion over the death toll.

Business daily Les Echos leads with employment or perhaps more correctly unemployement news.

This as the national statistics bureau or l'Insee says that the number of jobless will fall modestly next year, from 9.3 percent in the final quarter of 2010 to 9.1 in mid-2011.

It also predicts that the French economy will grow by 0.4 percent next year.

On the websites, Figaro is leading with snow news from here in France.

This comes after a stretch of arctic weather recently, which, according to some critics was badly handled by the powers that be.

The country's meteorological office has come under fire for not properly predicting the scale of the flurries, so this time both the government and meteo france are being extra cautious.

Thirty departments or counties were put on organge alert for snow storms as of yesterday but theres only one hitch, there's still no snow.

Centrist Le Monde's website is leading with the latest Wikileak gossip, this time from Cuba.

The paper says that cables from US diplomats say they are prepared to deal with quote "every eventuality" once Fidel Castro dies, and that the anti-communist opposition is gathering strength in the country.

Perhaps not the most surprising of the Wikileaked cables, but nevertheless an interesting glimpse into how the Americans are preparing to deal with what they see ast the Cuban "problem".

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