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French press review 7 July 2012

Text by: William Niba
4 min

Number 50 is a given renewed symbolism in this morning’s national newspapers as several publications post editorials and comments about 50 years of post-war Franco-German reconciliation and the 50th anniversary of the Algerian war of independence.

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French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are due to meet in the eastern French city of Reims on Sunday for the traditional summit to honour the special relationship between the two countries since the signing of the Elysée treaty 50 years ago.

Le Figaro pays glowing tribute to historian Joseph Rovan who in October 1945 urged France to champion the emancipation of a democratic Germany in order to ensure its own reconstruction.

The paper underlines that his visionary appeal by the ex-leader of the French Resistance Movement won over so many hearts and he later became an adviser on Franco-German relations to Presidents Charles de Gaulle and Jacques Chirac as well as to Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Since then, the fate of the two countries have continued to be linked to Rovan’s aphorism about a mutually beneficial relationship writes Le Figaro. The conservative newspaper says Hollande and Merkel must leave ego aside and give the anniversary the glitter it deserves.

Libération examines five decades of Franco-Algerian relations as the African country celebrated the 50th anniversary of its independence from France this week.

It is time for “remembrance and forgetting” writes the left-leaning newspaper as bitter memories of the long bloody war continue to fuel passionate debates on both sides.
A sign of the times, the authorities in the former French colony, are as bitter as ever and didn’t even bother to invite France to Algeria at 50 celebrations.

THE BATTLE FOR LIBYA

Le Monde looks ahead to this Saturday’s constituent assembly elections in Libya. The paper underlines it will be the very first democratic vote to be held in the country since 1960 and conditions on the ground are very difficult, as the country remains haunted by the ghost of Moamer Kadhafi and the demons of division rocking the North African country since the UN-backed liberation of the country.

Aujourd’hui en France/Le Parisien reflects about the uncertain future of the French auto-maker PSA Peugeot-Citroen hit by bad car sales across Europe. PSA, which is the biggest French automaker, reported on Friday that sales in Europe fell by 18.0 percent to 980,000 cars and commercial vehicles, while the firm's share of the global car market fell to 12.9 percent from 13.9 percent.

According to Aujourd’hui en France/Le Parisien the star-performer of the French car industry needs to be restructured. The paper however doubts if the government which is working on a rescue plan has either the resources for a bail out plan, the means to block factory closures or even prevent the shedding of jobs.

« One final two dreams », headlines L’Equipe as it looks forward to Sunday’s Wimbledon men’s final. According to the sports newspaper, Andy Murray who defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semis on Friday will have to break what the Daily Telegraph called “one of the oldest curses in sports” and become the first British man to win the trophy in 74 years.

The last time a home-grown man triumphed at the All England Club was in 1936. To reach heaven, Murray will have to defeat Roger Federer looking to match Pete Sampras's record of seven Wimbledon titles, according to the sports daily.
 

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