French press review 25 July 2012
The French government gambles on the world's car-buyers going green. The Senate aims to close an inheritance tax loophole. And doctors may have to tighten their belts.
Business daily Les Echos gives pride of place to the government's plan to save the car industry. Basically, we are to be encouraged to buy electric vehicles. The state handout is to be increased from 5,000 to 7,000 euros per car, the idea being to give a local boost to a sector in which French constructors are well placed to lead the world.
The government has promised that 25 per cent of official vehicles will henceforth run on electric or at least mixed technology. There is also going to be a handout of around 600 million euros to tide the struggling sector over. The whole package will be revealed later today.
Will it be enough to stop the slow demise of a sector hit by declining sales and high labour costs? Probably not. To put the government's promised contribution into perspective, PSA Peugeot-Citroën lost 819 million in the first six months of this year alone.
Communist L'Humanité looks at the same automobile sector but from a very different point of view. The communist daily interviews four workers from the Peugeot plant at Aulnay-sour-Bois, just north of Paris, where 3,300 jobs are threatened by the company's plans to reorganise its business.
The workers speak of anger and dignity but they also make terribly clear their powerlessness in the face of decisions taken by faceless bureaucrats in defence of the interests of merciless investors.
The rich are worried today because the Senate will debate Socialist plans to make it harder for the rich to get away without paying inheritance tax. The Socialist majority in the Senate is expected to add even more grief to government plans to collect an additional 1.4 billion euros from the well-heeled.
Catholic La Croix looks at the debate between doctors and the social security people about how much a doctor should be entitled for telling you to take a pill.
As things currently stand, the medics are charging a total of 2.5 billion euros more than the minimum every year, mainly because they believe official fees to be too low. The sides are to open negotiations today. Expect pills all round, some bitter, others hard to swallow.