French press review 24 August 2012
Politics dominates today’s front pages as the battle for the leadership of ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP movement heats up and political parties prepare to hold their traditional summer schools.
Left-leaning Libération underlines it is La Rochelle, the rebellious capital of Charente-Maritime département, which is hosting the Socialist party’s political workshop. In this year's parliamentary election, a little-known party rebel from the constituency defeated Ségolène Royal, endorsed to become president of the newly-elected National Assembly.
According to Libé, despite taking over the three arms of power - the presidency, parliament and the Senate - the Socialist Party goes to La Rochelle this weekend still looking for its rightful place at the decision-making table.
Right-wing Le Figaro says “grumbling within the party is becoming more and more audible” with the party faithful disappointed and disillusioned by the first policies of President François Hollande’s government.
Libération says that France’s Greens party Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV) goes to its own summer school in Poitiers “facing a dilemma”: how to” forge ahead with its work without betraying its obligations” as a member of the left-leaning majority in power. Cécile Duflot, the party’s former leader and now housing minister, told the paper it is “a question of mental health which no one in the party can answer”.
L’Humanité also examines what the future holds for the hard-left coalition, the Left Front, as the Communist Party prepares for its own summer school this weekend. The daily is “delighted” about the findings of a new survey showing that 42 per cent of voters want Left Front ideas to be integrated into the government’s plan of action. The Communist Party's daily explains that the Grenoble conclave will be a milestone for the “consolidation of change, the rejection of austerity and to stop the jobs haemorrhage”.
The “duel for the presidency of the ex-ruling UMP” is the front page story in today’s La Croix. The Catholic newspaper weighing the chances of the party’s Secretary General Jean-François Copé who launches his campaign on Sunday. The event comes on the heels of former Prime Minister Francois Fillon’s declaration this week.
The paper notes that the “stakes depend largely on an endorsement mechanism” which expects each of the candidates to garner the support of 8,000 party members before qualifying to stand in the race. Candidates have up till 18 September to file applications and La Croix says some candidates have thrown in the towel after denouncing so-called “incoherence and inequality in the system”.
The economic newspaper Les Echos reports that the government is about to unveil new measures increasing the wealth tax burden. According to the paper, the decision to scrap tax breaks for expatriates returning to Frace “calls for a debate on professional property and jeopardises investments by small and medium-sized enterprises”. Les Echos says the measures have not gone down well with corporate chiefs and 12 top CEOs were very vocal about it when they met with President François Hollande at the Elysée presidential palace on Thursday.
Le Parisien/Aujourd’hui en France visits the large group of citizens “working while on vacation”. The paper says they represent a full quarter of France’s workforce, according to a just-released study measuring the impact of new technologies on the phenomenon.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, currently on a European tour, tells Le Monde they need a two-year period of grace to meet EU requirements on revamping the bankrupt economy. Samaras states that they have slashed the budget deficit by 25 per cent of the GDP and plan to generate 5.5 per cent of national wealth by 2014.
He says the suffering endured by his people is to spare Europe a nightmare. He predicts turbulence of unpredictable proportions if Athens quits the eurozone, according to Le Monde.