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French press review 8 June 2012

Text by: William Niba
4 min

Sunday’s first round parliamentary elections draw the most comments in this morning’s national dailies.


It will be a “crucial first lap” according to tabloid Metro, which predicts that the Socialist Party can’t bet on securing an absolute majority by itself and without the support of its allies.

The conservatives are wary of a breakthrough into their political backyard by the National Front, according to the free newspaper. Metro also carries out a review of the candidates whose political careers will be in peril on Sunday.

Parliamentary elections 2012

A massive vote for the Left Front is  "change guaranteed" according to L’Humanité.

In an exclusive interview with the communist newspaper, Pierre Laurent who chairs the national council of the Leftists’ campaign, challenges citizens to vote and take out as many conservative lawmakers as possible and keep the National Front out of the National Assembly.

Libération investigates how Marine Le Pen has transformed the National Front from a fascist party into neo-Far Right movement. Libé found out that the party will be presenting 571 candidates, mostly youthful faces and women, charmed by Marine’s successful casting of the racist demons that characterized the movement created by her father.

La Croix comments that expectations are high as citizens await the verdict from the polls. A poll carried out for the Catholic daily by Opinionway-Fiducial found that 8 out of 10 citizens want an end of the law that allows politicians to hold more than one post.

The survey was however inconclusive on the issue of citizens’ perceptions of what a lawmaker’s mission should be. La Croix says the indecision is causing a lack of interest in the parliamentary elections which could keep high numbers of voters at home on Sunday.

The state of French education is today’s topic of interest in Le Parisien/Aujourd’hui en France, the popular paper debates whether or not children should continue to repeat school years.

Le Parisien says up to 320,000 pupils and students are set to repeat classes this year. This system, which is quite widespread in France needs some re-examination, according to the popular newspaper.

“German Chancellor launches counter-attack”, is the headline of today’s Le Figaro. The conservative paper takes up Merkel’s push for a stronger European political union amid growing international calls for action as a brutal Spain ratings downgrade heightened the eurozone crisis.

Merkel told German television on Thursday that in addition to the euro currency used by 17 nations, Europe needed a fiscal union and, above all, a political union, even if that came at the cost of a two-speed approach.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Le Figaro claims Merkel’s initiative is a shrewd response to Hollande’s persistent calls for the mutualisation of the European debt and his EU growth pact and eurobonds “pet project”.

The German Chancellor’s “new European vision” puts their differences in the public arena and opens a tense period of “defiance” between the two leaders, according to the right-leaning newspaper.

For its part, Les Echos underlines that Merkel’s initiative was announced after she brokered a deal with the opposition SDP on a tax on financial transactions. The trade-off opens the way for the ratification by the German Parliament, the Bundestag, of the EU budget pact.

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