French press review 11 February 2013

Text by: Vladimir Smekhov
6 min

Education, Tunisia, football and fashion today.

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Tabloid Le Parisien dedicates main pages to the state of education in France today. The paper gives depressing statistics. 

Absent teachers not being replaced meant 2.2 million lesson hours were in 2009-2010 in French middle and high schools. There is also a worrying lack of candidates for teaching posts. In 2012 alone, 700 positions were unfilled.

To illustrate the scale of the problem, the paper features a story of a high school in the north of France. In the final year classes, the maths teacher was not replaced for five months.

Education was declared a top priority by President François Hollande during his election campaign. He promised to recruit 60,000 teachers during his five-year tenure. At the current rate it might take him much more than two terms in office to fulfil the promise.

The crisis in Tunisia is given much coverage in Le Figaro. The head of the Middle East chair of the French Institute of International Affairs writes an opinion piece for the paper.

“The assassination of Chokri Belaid symbolises the deterioration of the social and political climate in the country which gave birth to the Arab Spring revolutions,” it comments.

To put an end to the chaos in Tunisia and not leave all the political space to those who seek to challenge civil liberties and instal a theocratic state, we have to stop pitting the religious and the secular against each other, concludes the author.

Dossier: Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution

“I would like to stay, but….” L'Equipe features these enigmatic words from Carlo Lancelotti evoking his future as the coach of Paris Saint Germain, the French capital’s football club.

The coach who brought in Zlatan Ibrahimmovic and David Beckham to the embattled Qatari-owned French club gives an exclusive interview to the sports daily. Lovers of strategy will learn lots of tricks about high and low games.

For the rest of us football fans, here are the essentials. Yes, Lancelotti would love to stay with PSG, yes he is enjoying himself. But the decision on whether he can continue to enjoy himself depends on two things. First, at the end of the season PSG must rank in the top three in the French First Division and qualify for the Champions League.

Secondly, the club must be happy with him. By the club he means the owner, Qatari prince Nasser Khelïfi. And to “motivate” the coach, the press seems to enjoy the rumours of him being replaced by Arsenal’s Arsène Wenger or José Mourinho from Real Madrid. It looks like PSG fans should hold their breath not only at the games but also outside the stadium.

And finally, to brighten up the day, Le Figaro reveals the fashion shows not to miss during the prêt-à-porter season in New York, Milan and Paris. A season full of surprises and revelations.

To give you a taste of the couture battles to come, the biggest duel will oppose Raf Simons (from Dior) and Hedi Slimane (from Saint Laurent).

Remember John Galiano, who got sacked from Dior following his drunken anti-Semitic rant? Well, according to the paper, he’s returning to the world of haute couture, “assisting” in the creation of the Oscar de la Renta collection. And it is not a coincidence but rather a part of comeback strategy for the creator, helped by none else than Anna Wintour, the legendary Vogue editor. 

Like secrets? Find out about the Hidden Paris

A new face, or rather a new hand, to watch is a Belgian créateur, Anthony Vaccarello, trained under Karl Lagerfeld. His show will be held in Paris.

The legendary Tom Ford - remember Gucci and the Oscar-garlanded A Single Man? - is finally giving his first full-blown fashion show since 2004. He’ll start in London and then move to Paris.

At the other end of the fashion spectrum is the giant H&M chain. Their strategy this time: to promote 150 in-house designers in a grandiose show packed with celebrities and VIPs, says the paper. Celebrities and VIPs, isn’t that the same thing?

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