French press review 9 August 2011

Text by: Carla Westerheide
4 min

What is France doing about the economic crisis? Should India make bribes legal? Why is bottled water in crisis? And what's your mobile phone etiquette?


Communist newspaper L’Humanité headlines, “The Crisis – What France could do.” And just underneath, in red, it says “and what it isn’t doing!”

The paper calls for new financial policies so the state could again take control of the financial situation, the markets, etc. On top of that, it says France should “declare its independence” from the European Central Bank.

Also, France should also incite its banks and financial institution to invest in research and the creation of jobs and not wait for it to happen on an EU level.

Libération leads with “No vacation for the crisis”, with a graphic of a skeleton with an empty suitcase on its front page.

The paper looks at everything that happened yesterday.

2 am: G7 releases a statement; 8 am: Asia markets are still down; 9 am: EU markets open down and 8 pm: Barack Obama gives a speech calling for calm, saying the US is still an AAA economy.

A graphic next to the article shows that leaders were unable to reassure markets. European and US markets closed down.

Libération also asks if India has found a way to end corruption. Economist Kaushik Basu says the only way to fight corruption is to make it legal; at least part of it. He wants to legalise bribes because, he says, if payouts are made out in the open, both parties involved would stick to their promises.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

He admits, however, that he doesn’t have the solution for fighting corruption in the long run or on a grand scale. For instance, he says, he won’t be able to prevent people from accepting big government contracts, which are often also bribes.

Staying with business: the bottled-water sector is also in crisis. It already gets a lot of competition from tap water, especially because of filters you can install right onto the tap.

According to Le Figaro, there is a new invention that could be even more dangerous for the industry - the “Drought Master.” It was invented by a Texan man during the recent heat wave. It uses condensed water in the air and can produce between 20 to 25 litres of water every day, but it is a still more expensive that a regular bottle of water, costing around 500 dollars (350 euros).

We love it and we don’t seem to want to live without it: our mobile phone. Especially with the new generation of smartphones, we are more addicted then ever. But according to Aujourd’hui en France, that’s OK, because there is a new social code.

The younger generation finds it acceptable if someone answers a call or text message during dinner, as long as they don’t stay glued to their phone the entire time. What’s even more surprising is that most French seem to think it’s OK to check your phone, answer emails, etc. in bed.

In short, as smartphones evolve, so does our level of tolerance of people using them.

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