French weekly magazines review

Text by: Pierre Delrieu
4 min

The Nouvel Observateur does its mea culpa, Marianne wonders whether President François Hollande has failed and tells the taxpayers how their money is spent, Le Figaro Magazine takes a look at fraud in France and Le Point blames political and economic leaders for the current crisis. But all ends well, thanks to David Bowie - back after a decade of silence with a new album, The Next Day.


Left-wing Le Nouvel Observateur was found guilty of invasion of privacy last week after it published extracts from French author Marcela Iacub’s book Beautiful and Beastly, in which she gives a fictionalised account of her love affair with former IMF director, Dominique Stauss-Kahn.

Dossier: The Strauss-Kahn affair rocks France, IMF

Strauss-Kahn, who hit headlines for the Sofitel sex scandal of May 2011, pressed charges for invasion of privacy and won 50,000 euros in damages.

In a 10-page dossier in this week’s issue, the magazine’s director Laurent Joffrin intends to set the record straight on the case and apologises to the readers for publishing the extracts.

Left-wing Marianne asks if President François Hollande hasn’t already failed, as he faces criticism even from within his own party and a record low popularity rating.

Marianne also publishes a joint study with Europe 1 radio entitled “City by city: What your elected representatives are doing with your money.”

The magazine compares major French cities and looks at how their budgets are managed.

From Nantes to Marseille the study shows how different personalities in city hall have led to different development strategies for major cities.

Whether it is through the construction of unvisited museums in rural France or colossal spending to promote Marseille as Europe’s new capital of culture, a lot of taxpayers' money has been used and often misused in a battle of politicians’ egos, the magazine claims.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Money is also the main topic of right-wing weeklyLe Figaro magazine, which takes a look at those it accuses of abusing the system.

Insurance fraud, social security fraud, tax evasion or identity theft, the magazine sheds light on the everyday criminals who take advantage of other people’s ignorance and of the state’s generosity.

Through an alarming gallery of different frauds and false schemes which have, according to the magazine, become more and more frequent in recent years, the report draws an unflattering portrait of today’s society.

Looking at the front covers of French magazines this week, one may think the media’s main interest is pointing fingers and finding someone to blame.

Le Point is no exception to the rule and publishes the names of those who, according to the magazine’s headline, are “breaking France”.

The right-wing magazine accuses ministers, company owners and political and economic leaders of driving the country deeper into recession when they should be working towards a way out of the crisis.

A light shines through all of this darkness, a phoenix reborn, says Marianne, a legend returns writes Le Figaro: David Bowie’s long awaited comeback has earned the musician a place in every major publication this week.

After 10 years of silence the rock legend has returned with a new album, The Next Day. Written in the most absolute secrecy, the album is the biggest musical surprise in a decade, says Marianne

The man with multiple identities successfully revisits his own mythology, it declares.

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