French press review 12 May 2012

The main national media continue to dissect the first steps and premier difficulties facing French President-elect François Hollande.


Le Monde hammers on what it terms “warnings” to Hollande coming from the EU headquarters in Brussels and Berlin.

The European Commission forecasts a slowdown in French economic growth and souring public deficit, as Germany refuses to renegotiate the eurozone’s fiscal pact, binding member states to austerity measures.

Le Monde explains in an editorial, that the new president was aware of the magnitude of the economic and social crisis well before his election and that is exactly why it claims Hollande can’t afford to have a honeymoon.

According to the paper, he was elected on a platform that rejects austerity. He had been suspecting the centre-right in power of hiding an agenda of more austerity measures which they planned to unveil if Sarkozy secured a second term.

For Le Monde, Hollande has little room for manoeuvre and Europe remains his sole bargaining chip, more than ever before.

While he is not be alone in the campaign to inject growth benchmarks into the EU budget stability pact, Le Monde says that Hollande will need to showcase a high sense of pragmatism and compromise in order to convince the inflexible German Chancellor Angela Merkel to make concessions.

The left could lose the upcoming parliamentary elections under such a context. That’s what Le Figaro says, apparently anxious to see that to happen.

The right-wing newspaper believes François Hollande’s Socialist Party isn’t sure of securing an absolute majority, when it goes to the polls on 10 and 17 June, even though the left is set to capitalize on the momentum from the presidential election victory.

Le Figaro also explains the dilemma facing Hollande as he prepares to take office next week.

According to the newspaper, he’s got to honour his pledge to cut the French deficit, irrespective of the economic situation, which is a matter of credibility, both for the president and for France, in front of the country’s creditors.

One month away from the parliamentary Elections, Le Figaro argues that the new head of state would rather not unveil the only options he faces - tax increases which will worsen the condition of the over-bleeding French economy and trimming the public deficit, the only path trodden so far by other European countries.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

The conservative newspaper advices François Hollande, to start right away, by abandoning his crazy campaign promises.

Le Figaro highlighted the recruitment of 60,000 civil servants, the state-sponsored youth employment scheme and Hollande’s plan to renegotiate the pension reform.

Libération outlines the expectations of young voters whose ballots were crucial in securing François Hollande’s victory. Polls found out that over 60 per cent of new voters aged between 18 and 24 were seduced by Hollande’s political manifesto.

Can someone claiming to be "Mr. Normal" be President? That’s a question asked by Aujourd’hui en France/Le Parisien in today’s cover story.

The paper is probably irritated by Hollande’s highly-mediatised encounters with crowds of strangers who have been gathering around his apartment in the 15th district of Paris since his election.

Libération says it isn’t sure that the president of the republic can do without the protocol constraints that come, or go, with his office.

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