French weekly magazines review 12 August 2018

French intellectuals in the celebrity world. "Too much" work for President Macron at Fort Brégançon holiday residence. And cyber activists spark new Arab Spring in Morocco.

French weekly magazines
French weekly magazines DR

This week, the magazines took a remarkable break from the humdrum romance with usual hard news to pitch some human interest stories for their readers on summer vacation.

L'Express finds it timely to present profiles of a new crop of youthful and intellectual celebrities breaking new grounds as panelists and talking heads on the most popular TV programmes.

They include the likes of Natacha Polony, Raphaël Enthoven and Raphaël Glucksmann. According to the right-wing magazine, nothing is taboo for these new TV stars whose moralising and insightful views often go beyond the fringes of French conventional thinking.

Left-leaning l'Obs picked French comedian Jamel Debbouze and his companion Melissa Theuriau for its cover page this week. This in recognition of how the couple has fascinated, inspired and influenced the lives of families across France with stand-up comedy, moving documentaries and movies. All while reserving part of their hard-earned millions for charity and the promotion of young talents.

Macron at Brégançon

This week's Le Canard Enchaîné followed President Emmanuel Macron right into his holiday base at the Fort Brégançon, where the satirical weekly says he hasn't had much time to enjoy the new swimming pool built for him at a time of tight budgetary austerity.

Le Canard says he was forced to take along a pile of urgent files which will need his arbitration when he returns to the Elysée Palace -- such as the Benalla “scandal” which won't go away, French economic growth which is melting away under the heat wave, and “wicket” budget cuts he is bound to make at the end of the summer.

The weekly says with such a busy vacation, there's a high risk of Macron “suffering from a burn out and returning to Paris pale and tired”.

Tax Reform

Marianne picked out the government's plans for fiscal reform as a millstone Monsieur Macron will have around his foot when he returns to Paris.

“What a bloody mess”, exclaims the left-leaning weekly. It goes on to argue that while his advisers are pushing income tax to be directly taken out of pay cheques, it is nothing but a demagogic project to others.

According to Marianne, the major problem with the reform is that things could get very messy for taxpayers, employees and civil servants.

The magazine warns that by January, when the reform is due to come into force, at least 16 million taxed families will find out that their pensions have decreased on their pay slips .

The magazine recalls that in 2012, a French court concluded that the reform had only a "limited interest".

Marianne goes on to claim that the process of putting the digital machinery in place for the reform has left the some civil servants fearing for their careers.

Morocco's new Arab Spring?

Le Point investigates the mysterious phenomenon of cyber activists who have left Morocco, which is wobbling under new social unrest.

The weekly says that for nearly four months, the Facebook campaign against the rising cost of living -- initiated by bloggers including e-trading experts -- has triggered a massive boycott of giants such as Centrale Danone, Afriquia SMDC and Sidi Ali. The companies are major distributors of dairy products, gas and mineral water.

Le Point says the campaign is turning into a new Arab Spring against poverty, unemployment, injustice, corruption and nepotism in Morocco.



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