French weekly magazines review

The trials and tribulations of the government have sent the weeklies into a kind of trance this week, each going its own direction to describe the political ravages left by the socialist government.


Le Canard Enchaîné scorns President François Hollande’s public transparency operation, which sent all 38 cabinet ministers into wealth disclosure frenzy. It is a first in France, and the government is determined to have the disclosure rule extended to lawmakers in a bill to be introduced on 24 April.

Dossier: The Cahuzac affair

According to the satirical weekly, the long overdue reform is causing uproar with politicians, not just from the right-wing, who are dismissing it as a “strip-tease,” but surprisingly also from the left-wingers.

Le Canard identifies National Assembly President Claude Bartolone as a staunch enemy of the reform, after he described it as “dangerous for democracy”.

Le Canard Enchaîné
says that Bartolone, who is a veteran lawmaker from a rather poor constituency, won’t like his voters to know that he owns a two-million euro home.

The socialists are in a state of implosion, shouts L’Express. According to the right-wing weekly, the offshore account scandal of budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac has blown up all the tenants of Hollande’s presidency. The ruling party has become divided about his capacity to deal with the economic and social crises facing the nation.

The situation resembles France in 1789, groans Le Point, with a dead-end economy, a stifling atmosphere and an enraged nation.

The right-wing magazine has a photograph of President François Hollande on its cover page, starring a King Louis XIV of modern times surrounded by spear-wielding revolutionaries in the name of UMP chief Jean-François Copé and the National Front’s Marine Le Pen.

Far left party leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon is shown “dreaming of becoming Robespierre," the leading voice of the government that ruled France during the French Revolution, and perpetrated a reign of terror in which thousands of suspected traitors were executed before being guillotined in turn.

The current environment resembles that of the 1930s, says Le Nouvel Observateur: a financial crash, an economic depression, massive unemployment, corruption scandals, hatred of lawmakers, xenophobia and the rise of far-right groups with ultra radical groups infiltrating the opposition movement and triggering unrest.

It’s all happening because of a “toxic right-wing,” argues Marianne. The left-leaning magazine accuses the opposition UMP party of playing "disaster politics," through the radical stance it has taken on issues such as gay marriage and the verbal gaffes about government policies.

L’Express takes up the stand-off between North Korea and its Pacific neighbours, wondering what its leader Kim Jong-Un is up to as the regime in Pyongyang keeps multiplying provocations and threats against South Korea, Japan and the United States. It is a risky gamble, but mimics the strategy of former "Kims," says the journal.

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