French press review 14 August 2012
An archbishop deplores gay marriage and euthanasia. President Hollande’s first 100 days come under scrutiny. And why sun screens may not do what they say on the bottle.
“Do not distort marriage”. The conservative Le Figaro leads with an interview with the Archbishop of Lyon, who speaks out against gay marriage and euthanasia. In his interview, the Cardinal makes a passionate plea to the French political class.
As you know, one of the campaign promises of François Hollande was to legalize gay marriage and adoption rights for gay couples. The socialist government will introduce same-sex marriage and euthanasia legislation in the Parliament this autumn. To counter this, France's Catholic Church will revive a centuries-old custom next week with an updated national "prayer for France" opposing the same-sex marriage and euthanasia reforms planned by the government.
In the prayer Catholics will ask newly-elected politicians "to put emphasis on their sense of common good rather than pander to the demands of the minority."
“These are serious times”, argues the cardinal in the paper. “To distort the institution of marriage is to break-up civilisation”. The Archibishop denies that the Church stigmatizes gays in the prayer.
Concerning euthanasia, Cardinal Barbarin says that “a law that justifies euthanasia will lend weight to the idea that certain lives are not worthy of living.”
“When are the changes for?”, asks the L’humanité on its front page. On the first three pages, the communist daily reflects on the French President’s slide in public opinion polls 100 days after his election.
The paper’s editorial criticises the government's adherence to the “golden budget rule”, which means balancing the nation's budget in line with directives from Brussels. “In the name of what kind of strange conception of democracy can we justify the nation loosing its
sovereignty on its budgets, its choices, its State, its public services without even having expressed its opinion?’ the piece asks.
The author warns President Hollande to not put follow the example of Nicolas Sarkozy who, it says, pushed legislation through parliament that people did not want. The daily also criticises the socialist government’s foreign policy, which is sees as not sufficiently
The left-wing liberation leads with a real summer exclusive. “Sunscreens - suspicions on the SPF levels.” The five-page spread features an exclusive study which suggests that some 25 to 30 per cent of sun screens have a level of protection below what the packaging says.
“If we believe the independent sun screen tests which we publish, announces the editorial, the manufacturers of sunscreen oils, lotions and creams leave the consumer with a false sense of security.”
According to the paper, the unprecedented study tested about 200 sun screen products on the French market. The report cites “shocking” statistics, which found out that 25 to 30% of products have skin protection levels inferior to the ones advertised on the packaging; “.
Some good real estate news for potential buyers in the popular Aujourd’hui en France. “Is there going to be a price slump in real estate sales?” reads the headline.
According to the paper, all real estate professionals agree that the market is stagnating. The houses and apartments are over evaluated by the sellers. And the buyers refuse to overpay. There’s has been a 17 to 40 per cent slump in real estate transactions.
What’s the reason behind this trend? The report cites multiple reasons. Price per square meter which became totally inaccessible, more strict mortgage conditions; the fear of additional taxation on the real estate capital gains and finally, the wait-and-see attitude
of future buyers who count on a drop in house prices.