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French press review 29 June 2012

Text by: William Niba
4 min

Several stories share the limelight in today’s papers, notably continuing worries about the future of the Aulnay factory of the automaker Peugeot-Citroën outside Paris and the difficulties facing the new French government.

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Reckless PSA driver crushes jobs”, headlines L’Humanité.

The Communist Party daily reports about a “desperate response by the unions to rescue what they can”, as the closure of the plant has become “irreversible”. The paper says it is waiting to see if the left-wing government will dare allow such an “unprecedented industrial disaster” to happen under its watch.

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Les Echos takes a “sober” stance, claiming that, notwithstanding the business justifications, the “sacrifice” of the giant plant lying just outside Paris will be the first closure of an assembly plant by Peugeot-Citroën in 20 years.

Le Monde notes the problems encountered by the new Socialist government to put in place a “Hollande system”. The paper stresses “notes of discord” between ministers, “frictions” at the National Assembly and “confusion” within the Socialist Party.

Libération comments on the irony of the new government unveiling plans for a 2.5 per cent annual reduction of civil service and ministerial staff. Libé is resigned to the fact that every sector of the public service will be affected by the slimming exercise except the strategic sectors of education, security and justice.

Le Figaro's front page reports “a declaration of war” by Left Front leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon against President François Hollande.

The right-wing paper says Mélenchon’s vociferations about Manual Valls’s immigration ceilings and the small increase in the minimum wage are those of a wounded man. According to Le Figaro, the frustrations are simply too much for Mélenchon already humiliated by his defeat in the presidential and parliamentary elections as well as by the Socialists’ refusal to give one of the vice-presidencies of the National Assembly to his grouping.

Le Figaro relishes what it sees as more proof of Hollande’s inability to keep his campaign promises. No one will be deceived by his contortions to conceal the shortcomings of his  agenda, says the conservative newspaper. For Le Figaro, it is only fitting that Left Front lawmakers are threatening to deprive the government of their support during a confidence vote in parliament next Tuesday.

La Croix on its part leads on the point-based driving licence system operated in France as the coming holiday migration of vehicles brings the subject of road safety under the glare of cameras. The topic must remain “an obsession for people in power and the progress made over the years needs to be encouraged", says the Catholic newspaper.

Parliamentary elections 2012

But it points out that, while the driving licence introduced 20 years ago has contributed substantially to curbing road victims, the system needs to be perfected.
According to the Catholic newspaper, it is urgent to resolve the problem faced by hundred of thousands of citizens, forced to drive without licences due to the tough process of regaining lost points.

Aujourd’hui en France/Le Parisien celebrates the imminent legalisation of gay mariage in France. The paper is buoyed by a statement from Family Minister Dominique Betinotti reassuring homosexual couples that they willbe able to start tying the knot by the end of 2013 as a bill on the issue is due to be tabled in parliament by this fall.

"Adieu 3615" is the caption of 20 Minutes’ ftont-page story this Friday as it bids farewell to Minitel.

The free newspaper recalls that the France Telecom service which became a companion to millions of country folk in France is set to shut down the last connections on Saturday. 20 Minutes says this ancestor of the internet deserves a glowing tribute from everyone, as it is laid to rest after 30 years of loyal services.

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