French press review 13 April 2013

France’s exodus of young graduates, the saga of a Pakistani illegal immigrant expelled from France after nine years and the latest US plan for the Middle East dominate Saturday’s cover stories.


Le Figaro takes up France’s disturbing exodus of young people, which has seen a quarter of university graduates expressing interest to work abroad.

According to new government statistics, 150,000 young graduates between 18 and 25 years old are now living abroad. Their most preferred destinations are Switzerland, Britain, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium.

Dossier: The Cahuzac affair

The flight is taking place at all social levels, according to the paper. Some leave with a huff like actor Gérard Depardieu, while others are packing their bags quietly and taking off. That’s the most eloquent demonstration of France’s decline, says the right-wing newspaper.

What’s the most worrying according to Le Figaro is that surveys are pointing to a malaise as the main cause of the exodus.

For the right-wing daily, France now spends its time navel-gazing, day dreaming of its glorious past and cajoling the potbellied public service and its 35-hour work week, while other countries are cultivating free enterprise and dreaming of success and grandeur.

Libération dedicates its cover story to the broken life of a young Pakistani illegal immigrant expelled from France on New Year’s Eve by the current Socialist government. The left-leaning paper reports that 24 year-old Ahmed Sohail had been living in France for nine years before he was bundled into a plane en route to the Pakistani city of Karachi.

Libé learned that Sohail was met with a cold reception upon returning home and has kept to himself. According to the paper, his father, a countryside farmer, had to sell part of his land to pay up to 7,000 euros charged by the traffickers.

Dossier: Gaza 2009

Le Monde examines what it describes as the “promising start of the new US Secretary of State John Kerry in the Middle East”. This is in the wake of Kerry’s latest diplomatic mission to the region last week, his third trip to the region since President Barak Obama’s speech in Jerusalem.

According to Le Monde, John Kerry has understood that the pursuit of “sterile face-to-face meetings” between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders will not break the deadlock and has opted for structurally enlarged talks involving the US team and Jordan. Kerry is on the right track, says the paper, after his pledge of substantial US aide to the Palestinians during his last trip to the region.

That should bolster the stature of the Palestinian Authority undermined by the construction of more Israeli settlements in the West Bank and by internal squabbling within the government in Ramallah, according to Le Monde.

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