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French press review 25 November 2013

Text by: Anna Polonyi
5 min

Many of today's papers have mixed reviews of the weekend negotiations with Iran. "The United States' risky bet" is what Le Figaro calls it. The conservative daily warns that though foreign ministers broke out into a sweat to get this preliminary agreement, it's only the first leg of a long and meandering journey that may or may not lead to nuclear disarmament.


Though Comm

unist paper L'Humanité hails the negotiations as a historic breakthrough, Catholic daily La Croix remains skeptical: "Things said and things gone unsaid" runs its headline this morning.

It points out that Iran hails the text as defending the country's right to continue its uranium enrichment program, while Western powers see in the same text the first steps to shutting down that program.

Meanwhile, the uproar over taxes continues in France.

The French Prime Minister Jean Marc Ayrault’s promise to overhaul the country’s tax system surprised most of his fellow countrymen, including his boss, President Francois Hollande.

This morning’s Le Monde tells the story of how the PM forced Hollande’s hand, wondering whether Ayrault may have gone too far.

When there’s a fire there are two ways of putting it out, Le Monde reports. Either you smother it, or you spark another explosion that puts it out with its blast, the paper says.

Amid rising discontent and disgruntled protesters, Ayrault’s own brand of fire-fighting is to dust off Hollande’s presidential promises of sweeping fiscal reform.

But Ayrault now faces his biggest challenge, says business daily Les Echos. What's actually behind the promised reform?

Le Figaro reports that already 50 per cent of people in France are afraid that they'll have to pay more taxes after the overhaul. According to the paper, the French have become suspicious and harbour doubts about Ayrault's ability to wave France's fiscal problems away.

Why does France continue to pay? Le Monde takes a crack at understanding Hollande’s policy on negotiating with kidnappers. Earlier this month, twenty and some million euros was paid to free four French hostages in Mali. Does this turn every traveling Frenchmen into a walking and talking bank?

Dossier: War in Mali

Back in January, Hollande made it sound like paying ransoms was now out of the question. Funding the same jihadists that French troops are fighting in Northern Mali doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Le Monde reports that France looks to the closed wallets of the UK and the United States for how to solve the hostage dilemma.

And French journalist David Dufresne is featured in Le Monde today for his quirky blurring of the genres all in the interest of good old storytelling.

What if you were watching a documentary, but you were also the main hero? That’s the idea behind Dufresne’s new interactive webdocumentary about the Canadian petrol hub Fort McMurray. The viewer or gamer collects points by meeting characters who tell their stories, and then can have a go at solving their problems.

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