French press review 6 April 2016


The Panama Papers continue to occupy the French headlines today, as the newpapers link the country's far-right leaders to the revelations of large-scale tax evasion. Private Muslim schools and protests against the government's labour reforms also made the headlines.


Le Monde

As we mentioned already in today's program, Le Monde continues to revel in the Panama Papers. Le Monde has been teasing its readers over the last few days, as it progressively reveals the names of some of France’s prominent politicians involved.

Like dozens of newspapers across the world, Le Monde has spent months deciphering the millions of documents leaked by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fenseca. Today, the paper goes after the wealthy Le Pen family, which runs France’s far-right party, Le Front National.

According to Le Monde, the entourage of the party's leader, Marine Le Pen, has been using complex financial transactions to avoid paying tax.

The paper claims that Frederic Chatillon, a longtime friend of Marine Le Pen and head of Rival, a communications company used by her party, sent about 300,000 euros offshore.

But Le Monde won't let the Le Pen dynasty distract us from France's other political figures involved in offshore tax evasion.

On the following two pages it links the Panama Papers to Jérôme Cahuzac, France's former minister of economy, who stepped down three years ago due to tax fraud allegations.

"Mr and Mrs Balkany" are also honoured with a full page. The two wealthy members of France's Les Républicains party are said to have used offshore companies to conceal their luxurious villa in Marrakech.

Le Figaro

Not to be put off by a few cases of tax fraud, Le Figaro remains preoccupied with more ideological matters. Its main story today focuses on France's private Muslim schools without a contract with the government, which means they're free to set their own curriculum. Le Figaro says the French government is struggling to moniter what's going on in these schools, and claims they are being infiltrated by radical clerics. "The shadow of the Muslim Brotherhood hangs over Muslim private schools," it says.

And if the two-page article isn't frightening enough, Le Figaro opens with a dramatic editorial, where it talks of an "insidious danger" threatening French society.


And we finish off with Libération and its front cover dedicated to the political protests in France last night.

The article inside is complete with pictures of teenagers and students occupying the Place de la République in Paris. They took to the streets to oppose France's plan for new labour reforms, which they say are an attack on workers’ rights, and pave the way for an end to France’s cherished 35-hour work week.

On the newspaper's website you'll find even more pictures of the protesters partying late into the night, with a whole array of guitars, dread locks and beer cans.

The pictures also show the less jovial side of protesting in France, as several young people are seen being dragged away by anti-riot police reminiscent of Darth Vador's stormtroopers.

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