French press review 24 August 2011

Text by: Carla Westerheide
4 min

Charges have been dropped against Dominique Strauss-Kahn in his sexual assault case, and the story is topping the headlines in the French papers today. Also on the menu is talk about taxes and how Sarkozy will handle the country's financing in the coming year. And one newspaper says that getting married has been proven to make you gain weight.


He’s free to come home! Sexual assault charges against Dominique Strauss-Khan in the United States have been dropped and Aujourd’hui en France quotes the former IMF chief on its front page as saying: “The end of a terrible and unfair ordeal.”

Le Figaro already looks one step ahead, headlining “His delicate return to France.” Strauss-Kahn said that after not being able to leave the US because of the ongoing investigation and legal case, he wants to return to France as quickly as he can.

According to the paper, the Socialist Party (of which Strauss-Khan is a member) is on one hand relieved, but on the other a bit wary about his return.

It’s too late for him to run for president – and there is still a civil case pending against him in the US, as well as an accusation by Tristane Banon in France – but other party members still worry about what the DSK scandal could do to the party’s image as a whole.

Dossier: The Strauss-Kahn affair rocks France, IMF

In an editorial in Le Figaro, the author points out that DSK should probably not even consider returning to the political scene for now. He says the French public is still too suspicious of the man once set to become France’s next president.

Libération makes a similar point. In an editorial piece, it says that we’ll probably never know the truth, especially if both parties decide to settle the civil case out of court.

The paper also says that this doesn’t mean that Strauss-Kahn is innocent; it simply means that the charges against him have been dropped.

Catholic paper La Croix looks at lessons we should have all learned from this affair. The paper is actually fairly critical of the media, saying it got carried away by sensational US tabloid headlines and that next time, it should show more restraint and objectivity.

The irony is that at the beginning of the scandal, many had criticized the French media for not being outspoken enough, for not questioning Dominique Strauss-Kahn as a person but saying this all private.

The paper also asks, “Are the rich paying enough taxes?” The government will present a plan today on how it plans to cut the deficit. Some billionaires and millionaires in France have even been calling on the government to tax them and to “give back.”

Communist newspaper L’Humanité looks at “The five measures the president of the rich won’t impose.” The paper says that Sarkozy will never decide to tax the rich, for example, even though the measure could earn the government an extra 150 to 300 million euros per year.

This is just by taxing those who earn 1 million euros or more per year. The paper is also very critical that France doesn’t tax overtime.

Not only does the measure cost the government 4.5 billion euros per year, it’s also a damper on employment since, if employers can make their employees work more and pay less than hiring another person, why wouldn’t they?

And lastly, Le Figaro advises staying single. Apparently, getting married makes you gain weight, and so does getting divorced.

According to a study done on 10,000 Americans over 20 years, people who got married gained an average of 3 to 9 kg. That’s especially true for women. Men tend to pile on the pounds after a divorce.

According to the study, once a woman is married and has to run a household, she has less time to take care of herself and exercise.

In the case of men, they generally adopt their spouse’s eating habits during marriage, but return to their old, “bad” habits after a divorce or breakup.

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