French weekly magazines review
The Socialist landslide in last week’s parliamentary elections gives President François Hollande’s administration a free hand. So what will they do with their newly won power?
Le Point says the hour of reckoning has come, amid continuing speculating on the scale and extent of austerity measures being contemplated by the government.
Le Point says that having gained sweeping powers, Hollande can now turn around and say, “Oh, I forgot to tell you there will be budget reductions, civil service job cuts, more debt and tax increases.
The right-wing magazine says Hollande’s idea that Germany would pay for the euro financial crisis was just a myth.
According to Le Point, it is crystal clear now that taxes alone will not suffice to raise the 100 billion euros needed by the government for debt servicing over the next five years.
The right-wing magazine lists what it describes as the seven taboos the president won’t talk abou, including job losses in the public services and social welfare benefits being slashed.
According to Le Canard Enchaîné, the question is no longer about whether there will be taxes to pay but who will pay and how much.
Le Nouvel Observateur admits it is “just the beginning of President François Hollande’s difficulties”. He must break taboos, as US president Franklin Roosevelt did in the 1930s, to put his country “back on the rails” and revive the confidence of his countrymen “disillusioned” by ”systematic government failures”.
Hollande has become the “grand master of the game” on the home front since the Socialist sweep of parliament, according to the left-leaning magazine. His problem now, it argues, is “how to continue without stagnating growth and how to revive the economy through measures, considered unacceptable by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the markets”.
L’Express says that while the French head of state may have won everything, the exposure of his private life could be a stigma to his presidency. The right-wing weekly has in mind the domestic dispute involving his partner, Valérie Trierweiler, and the mother of the president’s children. According to the L’Express, the two ladies have been at each other’s throat for seven years since Trierweiler moved in with Hollande after breaking up with Ségolène Royal.
While Hollande appears unruffled by the domestic quarrel, L’Express wonders who is really in charge at the Elysée Palace. The right-wing journal points to the intriguing inability of the president to contain the choking jealousy of the First Girl Friend.
L’Express underlines the dilemma facing Hollande. He must act quickly on what Le Canard Enchaîné describes as “the ravages of Valerie Trierweiler’s addiction to Twitter” and resolve the problem posed by Royal’s defeat in last week’s parliamentary elections.
The issue for the president now, according Le Nouvel Observateur, is how to contain his partner and at the same time facilitate the resurrection of the political career of his children’s mother.
Le Canard Enchaîné warns that “Tweeting can be seriously damage your career”. It names some prominent French politicians who have vowed never to use the microblogging site, branded as “a little too crazy” for their liking.
Le Canard recalls the case of ex-industries minister Eric Besson, rebuked by then-president Nicolas Sarkozy for spending too much time on the network. Besson who boasted of having 58,000 friends on Twitter became the subject of public ridicule, after posting a truncated message saying “he was tired and going home to sleep with his wife”. Le Canard claims that Besson’s attempts to blame the gaffe on hackers fell flat and ended up ruining his political career.
And if you are interested in famous jealous women in history, read this week’s Marianne.
The rivalries and heartaches of wives and mistresses have been great engines of world history since the renaissance as leaders used and abuse women, according to the left-leaning Marianne.
The special report includes juicy tales of prominent ladies such as Madame La Montespan who ruled the heart of France’s Sun King Louis XIV for 12 years, Rachel Mussolini, Jackie Kennedy, Lady Diana, as well as Jiang Qing, Mao Tse Tung’s third wife, who was sentenced to death by hanging for plotting to stay in power after her husband’s death.