French press review 6 October 2010

Three of the five French papers published this morning lead with news of the verdict in the case of 'rogue' trader Jérôme Kerviel, who was convicted yesterday of breach of trust and fogery which cost the bank Société Générale 5 billion euros.


Three years in prison and a whopping 5 billion euro fine was the sentence.

Libération questions on its front page whether Keriviel was the only guilty man, as yesterday's cort ruling implies, or if the bank and its hierarchy should foot some of the responsibility.

The paper's editorial calls the ex-banker a scapegoat.

Le Figaro leads its article on the case with the headline 'Kerviel, the man that must repay 4.9 billion euros ... This is a little misleading however because it's generally understood that the bank will not ask him for the entirety on the sum.

Let that be a lesson to you all, if you're going to get into debt: make sure it's huge, and your creditors might just let you off.

Kerviel has said he will appeal.

The Story of the Day on the front page of Le Figaro (an endless source of fun for press reviewers here) carries some politically sporting news from Bolivia.

Last week there was a "friendly" match between the Presidential XI (with President Evo Morales leading the side) and the La Paz City Council XI.

President Morales is a keen football player, and probably relished the chance to sock it to the Lefties of La Paz who recently won the local elections.

The match (perhaps predictably) turned to farce when Morales was fouled by a La Paz player. Not to be messed with El Presidente swiftly got to his feet and kneed the town councillor in the gonads.

The referee sent off the councillor "not having seen the second infrigement", which sent players from La Paz into a fit of rage.

The final tally according to Le Figaro: four goals a piece, four red cards, four yellows, and four days off for the president to recover from his knee injury!

A piece on the international pages of Catholic daily La Croix quickly looks into what it calls the "worrying" trend of "suspicious" (by that read potentially politically motivated) deaths in the DRC.

The paper cites the most recent of these, that of Armand Tungulu, who died in police custody after having thrown stones at the car of President Kabila.

The authorities strenuously deny any funny business, claiming that Tungulu, a leading human rights campaigner in the country, hanged himself in the cell.

Human rights acivists are calling for a thorough investigation into his death.

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