French press review 18 July 2012
There's bad news for rich French people on this morning's front pages. But PSG's new striker has already taken the necessary precautions. Hollande can't bring himself to say "euthanasia". And can Lionel Jospin clean up French politics?
Business daily Les Echos reports that today's parliamentary debate on taxing the very wealthy is likely to leave the well-heeled on the back foot.
Basically, if you have four million euros or more to your name, then this year's tax bill will be roughly twice what you paid last year. That's because the state needs to rake in the record sum of 5.7 billion euros and the ruling Socialists feel that the rich have been getting off the hook in recent years.
The doubling of the tax bill for the top 10 per cent of the dogpile is a one-off. The finance ministry has promised to revise the entire taxation structure by next year.
Paris St Germain's new striker won't be worried by all this.
His name is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He's Swedish, despite the Bosnian name. And, according to tabloid Aujourd'hui en France, he can expect to earn 42 million euros over the next three years, playing football for our local club. And it doesn't matter what our government does about income tax, because '"Ibra", as his friends know him, has negotiated his deal net of tax. Clever, that.
Yesterday French President François Hollande asked an ethics committee to look at the thorny question of euthanasia. He didn't use that word, by the way. He spoke of reaching the end of life with dignity, but that begs too many questions for Le Figaro, which accuses poor Frank of trying to hide behind words.
The right-wing paper quotes French writer Albert Camus to the effect that not calling a spade a spade is a sure way of adding to the sum of global misery.
Catholic La Croix, in sharp and perhaps surprising contrast, praises the president for his openness and courage in launching the debate.
La Croix says emotion and prejudice are rarely sources of clarity on such difficult topics and Catholics look forward to a public debate which, we are assured, will respect individuals and the spiritual principle.
Incidentally, in the series of pointless questionaires, like asking turkeys what they think about Christmas, Le Figaro wonders what its terribly right-wing readers think of Hollande's appointment of former Socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin to head a committee to look into making public life, ie politics, more honest. Thirty per cent of readers think Jospin was a good choice; the remaining 70 per cent said they'd rather have Old Nick.
You can't please all of the people all of the time.