French press review 1 February 2013

Only two newspapers made it to RFI's press review desk today as a distributor is on strike here in France.


Libération features a cartoon of French President François Hollande looking like he's just been run over by a car, relating to the announcement that tyre-maker Goodyear-Dunlop is to close a factory near the French city of Amiens - a new setback to his campaign promises.

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The paper writes that more than 1,000 jobs are threatened. The announcement comes 10 days after it was announced that Renault would be cutting 7,500 jobs.

Just over a year ago the French president stood on the Amiens site's parking lot and put forward ideas to counter what he referred to as "stock-market redundancies". It’s not the first time that Hollande has felt a little stuck. The closing of ArcelorMittal steal factory in the Eeast of France had last year already proved diffcult to tackle.

The other big story in the French press today is the arrival of David Beckham, football superstar who will be joining Paris-Saint-German football club.

Libération looks back at Beckham’s career as a player and describes how the “Spice Boy”, as he is being nicknamed, came over. The player is quoted as saying that with age he hasn't lost speed "because I was never really fast in the first place".

The other paper we have managed to get our hands on is Catholic La Croix. It’s dedicated its front page the pollution in Beijing which it headlines is suffocating the population. There are substantial levels of fine particles that are extremely dangerous, writes the paper. One family tells the paper that they once couldn't leave their home for a week because the air levels had become so bad.

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La Croix also looks at the how fresh the air is here in France.

It writes that the fight to protect the atmosphere has intensified and that 15 years after the first law to protect the air, things are improving in France - but not everywhere.

Île de France, which is the region surrounding Paris, should have a new law/protection plan that would be applied until 2020 to further improve the air. To be continued ...

And let's finish off this press review on a high note.

Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral's new bells have arrived in Paris.

Nine bells a were brought in under high security and will be kept hidden until Saturday when they will officially receive the blessing of Paris's cardinal André Vingt-Trois. The bells were made in Normandy and the Netherlands.

They will be rung for the first time on the 23 March.

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