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France

French press review 28 July 2010

Text by: Helena Humphrey
2 min

It's all gone a bit big brother in the French press this morning, with left leaning Libération considering the place of the whistle blowing site Wikileaks in society, right wing Le Figaro coming down hard on the socialist mayors fighting against CCTV in their towns, and La Croix and Libé both taking a look at what its like to be part of the travelling community in France - from two rather different perspectives.

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Wednesday morning's Libération gets very excited about whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. More specifically its potential to make the US look more than a little silly (or rather down right dangerous) by releasing top secret documents regarding the waging of war in the Middle East.

Libération particularly enjoys the website's naming and shaming approach and points out it’s recent publishing successes, including a selection of Sarah Palin's no doubt intriguing personal emails and the publication of thousands of names and addresses of the right-wing British National Party members.

Elsewhere, in response to the violence in the French town of Saint-Aignan in the Loire Valley – where dozens of armed travellers clashed with police - a meeting has been organised at the Elysée palace this morning with the aim of discussing how to ease tensions with the travelling community in France.

La Croix says the heart of the problem lies in the fact that travelling people are living in places they shouldn’t be.

But communist l'Humanité is quick to point out that this wouldn’t be the case if integration was made easier, interviewing a travelling family who describe themselves as French and lead a quiet life, but say they nevertheless find themselves victims of discrimination.

Right-wing Le Figaro has picked up on a long running debate in France, CCTV cameras, and whether total observation is necessary or rather comprises as an invasion of privacy.

In an editorial on it's back-page, government friendly Le Fig is happy to jump on Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux's band wagon. He says that the question of whether to go all-out on the video surveillance front is not a question at all, but rather an absolute must, despite the fact that some mayors were very resistant when the cameras started spreading across France in the 1980s. Suddenly things are looking very 1984 indeed.

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