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French press review 11 August 2014

Text by: Fabien Jannic-Cherbonnel
3 min

Today's Libération is going after French mayors who make stupid decisions. The left-leaning newspaper explains that summer time allows some mayors to take decrees against prostitution, begging or even social housing. Libé calls most of these decisions demagogic.

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There are actually a few examples of these decrees in the paper: the most famous one is certainly in Nice: the mayor decided to forbid foreign flags during the football world cup. In Béziers, the inhabitants are not allowed to dry their laundry at their windows after 10 in the morning. But my favourite one was taken in the small town of Yutz: the mayor has forbidden rain to fall on part of the city.

It seems laughable, but in some cases the decisions have a real impact. In Chelles, a town located in the suburbs of Paris, the mayor decided to forbid the construction of social housing on the ground that it would alter the city landscape. But according to Libé, it really was because the houses were located too close to the city centre.

According to Patrick Martin-Genier, an expert from Science Po who was interviewed by Libération, the citizens can actually go to court to fight the decree. Often they are illegal. But mayors have a lot of power when it comes to that kind of thing.

France has announced over the weekend that it would help the Iraqi Christians.

That’s why La Croix decided to attend to a Paris mass celebrated in honour of the Iraqi Christians. The eleven members of the first family of refugees were also there according to the newspaper. Lina Sarkis, a 28 year old who left Iraq after her father was kidnapped says her life is in France now.

Nabil Youman, one of the refugees, says that he feels lucky to be here but that her heart is bleeding when she thinks about her country.

The catholic newspaper also interviewed Antoni Yalap, the president of the Support Committee for Iraqi Christians. He calls what his going on in the country, genocide and is hoping the international will act, sooner, rather than later.

Le Figaro is talking about museums this morning and if France is known for its museums, this time it is about Italy. According to the right-leaning newspaper, there was an outcry in the country after ancient Greek statues were dressed up in tulle and feathers.

That happened at the Reggio Calabria's National Archaeological Museum. Some of the 2,500-year old Bronzes were dressed up by veteran photographer Gerald Bruneau. Now, imagine the virile, bearded warriors in a white tulle veil, fuchsia boa and leopard print underwear.

Sounds like fun? Most of the locals did not like it. Bruneau was supposed to take only one picture, but ended up publishing several instead. The head of the museum said she was betrayed by the photographer. What was supposed to be an inoffensive PR stunt became a national outcry. But at least we are talking about the statues.I wonder if Le Louvres will start doing it soon.

And finally, Le Monde is focusing on the moon.

According to the leading newspaper, last night was super moon night. It sounds like a new kind of super hero, but that's not it. The moon appeared 14% bigger and 30% lighter than usual. Le Monde explains, that’s because last night the moon was only 375.000 km from earth.

It's not a rare thing, but it's usually not visible if the moon is not full. The French newspaper even live tweeted the natural event on their website and they uploaded some beautiful pictures.

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