French press review 27 July 2012

The 2012 Olympics rolling off in London tonight share the limelight with economic and social issues this morning.


Go Olympics, go!” yells Libération, alongside France’s leading sports journal L’Equipe which has also brought the flags out for the French delegation..

London Olympic Games 2012

The two newspapers are upbeat about French medal prospects, both betting on a 21 gold medal sweep and 63 in all.

"It’s your turn now!" shouts Aujourd’hui en France/Le Parisien as it challenges Team France to beat the standing French record of 41 medals won at the Beijing Games in 2008.

La Croix is delighted that that Olympic spirit and the Olympic flame burn on, despite attempts by powerful commercial interests to hijack the world’s greatest sporting event.

According to the Catholic newspaper, it is indeed refreshing to note that the enthusiasm of the athletes and the fans remains intact and is the sole issue on everyone’s mind, as the games gets underway.

That’s not the view upheld by L’Humanité. The Communist Party's daily claims that London 2012 is all about money arguing that the British capital city will have to cough up 30 billion euros to ensure the success of the event which has turned out to be more expensive than organisers had expected.

The euro debt crisis and massive lay-offs by several French multinationals are on the front pages of some newspapers. Le Figaro welcomes the rush by European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi to help bring down soaring state borrowing costs, particularly in Italy and Spain.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Thursday’s move by the ECB has proved to be reassuring to the markets and has firmed up the euro, according to the economic newspaper Les Echos.

The publication points to the 4.07 per cent recovery of the Cac 40 and the lowering of Spain’s borrowing interest rates to less than seven per cent, as clear signals that the sharp rise in risk appetite is being contained.

After PSA Peugeot-Citroen, it is Alcatel’s turn to bring bad news of massive job retrenchments, regrets Le Monde. The telecoms equipment company plans to slash its workforce by 5,000 worldwide by the end of 2013 after posting losses of 254 million euros in the second quota.

Over 5,000 positions are set to be lost at Air France under another plan and about 2,000 at the pharmaceuticals group Sanofi due to bad business. Le Monde expresses deep concern about the uninterrupted rise of French jobless figures for 14 consecutive months, amid bleak forecast that the number of people out of work could hit three million sooner than expected.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Keep up to date with international news by downloading the RFI app