French press review 10 August 2012
Is the end of the world nigh? Who's making money out of cereal price rises? Should François Hollande be on holiday? Is the return of the wolf good news or bad news? And how will France's female basket ball players fare against the US?
Let's start off with the bad news.
Left-leaning Libération is headlining "The end of a world".
The picture on its front cover depicts the top half of the Statue of Liberty, crashed against the rocks of a beach. Not quite sure as to whether this is New York City’s Statue of Liberty or the one we have on the Seine down the road from the RFI studios here in Paris.
Libé writes that, because of the overproduction of energy and climate change, the earth has attained a critical stage and living standards are about to change radically. This is according to a new study which also says human beings are the only species that has taken charge of the world and made it adapt to its own needs.
The paper has given this story three pages. A politician says the problem is not just climate change, a philosopher says that we must prepare for the inconceivable, a biologist says he has his doubts about the report's conclusion that some of the process is irreversible and finally, a stand-up comedian says this is no longer a laughing matter.
Catholic La Croix is wondering who really benefits from the rise in cereal prices which is a result of a drought in the United States. This has made life difficult for cattle farmers in France. Cereal famers on the other hand can only delight at the price hike while your average consumer will no doubt feel the pinch in his pocket in a few months when the impact will have trickled down and food prices will have risen by 6-7 per cent.
La Croix is also concerned by what this will mean for developing countries where in recent years hunger or food riots have taken place. The paper also focuses on the United States's use of products such as ethanol which is added to fuel. Forty per cent of US maze production is used to make 127 million tons of ethanol. As you can imagine people are not best pleased.
Le Figaro is busy laying into François Hollande. Its front cover is graced with a photo of Jean-François Copé, Secretary General of the right-wing UMP party, who says Hollande has been absent from the Syrian conflict and that he should come back from his holidays and take charge of French foreign policy.
The paper and its interviewee are as critical as can be expected of the left-wing president and his government. A lighter story, also featured on Le Figaro’s front page, is the growing number of wolves in the French countryside.
Twenty years ago, one of the scariest characters of Europe's bed-time story villains was reintroduced in the southern Alps. It's good news for those who want the country's biodiversity to remain rich. But not for farmers and their herds who are, from time to time attacked by the wolf. France’s famously moustached anti-globalisation activist and European Member of Parliament José Bové is quoted as saying, "If a wolf threatens cattle, the best response is to get one's gun and shoot."
There’s also some good news on the front page of Le Parisien, which is covered in sport stories. It's looking at the return of France's League 1. If you are a football fan, rejoice. If not, you’ll be more interested in an article celebrating the victory of France 's female basketball team. They have made it to the Olympics final and will tomorrow face undisputed Gold medallists, the United States.