French press review 28 November 2013

The Egyptian Constitution, Germany, politics and not so surpisingly, taxes are among the headlines in today's French Papers.


Communist daily L'Humanité, never too kind with François Hollande's government, is firing another bullet at the French President... "VAT, the poor are paying cash" reads the paper's front page. French VAT is set to increase on the first of january, from 19.6 per cent to 20 per cent explains L'Huma.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

For the paper, the decision is unfair espescially to the working classes. But there is worse, L'Huma also thinks the increase is going to be completely inneffective... and will even have a negative impact on consumption and the economy. Well... I'm guessing you already know these are not the effects the government wants ... the Finance Ministry says it hopes to earn six billions euros in revenue with the VAT increase.

Right-wing paper Le Figaro suggests France copies Germany ... but for once not about the economy. The paper is hoping, or rather wishing, that French politicians might create a left-right political union, just like Angel Merkel did in Germany.

In its edirorial, Paul-Henri du Limbert, says a national union is impossible in France. So who is to blame? You guessed it, the Socialists says Le Figaro. Unlike their German counterparts, the Social-Democrats, the French left is refusing to evolve, says the paper.

Le Figaro is not the only paper headlining on Germany today. Economic daily Les Echos is focusing on... well... the economic side of the new coaltion program. Les Echos is not so kind with the planned creation of a minimum wage in Germany. In order to be able to form a coalition, Merkel was forced to include this left-wing campaign promise into her programme explains Les Echos.

But according to Gilles Moec, an economist interviewed by the paper, this is probably a bad idea. "Germany is going to import all of the bad sides of the French minimum wage system, the SMIC" he says, adding "that the decision is going to destroy many jobs, espcially in the country's poorest regions."

And while we are talking about Europe, there is an interesting story in Catholic daily La Croix on euthanasia. François Hollande promised during the presidential campaign that like Belgium did 11 years ago, France would legalise the practice.

Well, the Belgians are planning to go further with this law, says La Croix.

The Senate yesterday voted on legalising euthanasia for terminally ill minors. Wether the French government will follow on that remains to be seen...

Back in France, Libération travelled through the country looking to hear what the average French citizen has to say...

Every once in a year or so, the very Parisian left-wing newspaper seems to remember that there are people living outside the périphérique, the circular motorway around Paris. However Libé's dossier is not uninteresting. Its journalists travelled to a few regions that have economic difficulties... among them, Provence 's Herault, Northern Nord-Pas-de Calais as well as Brittany.

Like secrets? Find out about the Hidden Paris

The western region began a protest a few weeks ago over taxes. Libé went to the poorest cities of northern Brittany, asking people how they felt about the governement's policies. One of the women interviewed, says she doesn't expect anything anymore from Paris.

"I am from Brittany, they asked me to become French, then European. But what is Europe giving us outside suffering?" says a retired farmer.

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