French press review 1 September 2012
There are no gripping headline in Saturday's press, but the one story attracting the most comments is President François Hollande’s visit on Friday to the eastern French city of Chalons-en-Champagne. The papers report that the trip arranged at short notice was an opportunity for the President to try to “appease the impatience of the French people” as his poll ratings took a nose dive barely one hundred days after he took office.
Le Figaro pokes fun at Hollande’s “sudden discovery of the extreme gravity of the economic crisis”. The conservative paper claims his decision to change gear and accelerate government action “vindicates” the governing method of his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy.
For the conservative newspaper, this means that he has to pursue the policies introduced by Sarkozy. Le Figaro says that whether he likes it or not, he must now change course and back track on the electoral promises that got him elected, or else the “exceptional crisis he now sees, would turn into exceptional failure”.
Le Monde pursues the comparison between the Hollande and Sarkozy presidencies, underlining that contrary to his predecessor, the Socialist leader got elected without promising to deliver the moon on the economic front. The newspaper, however, urges Hollande to arbitrate and decide, as he once did with pragmatism in the spring and should do once again in the summer.
The regional newspaper Sud-Ouest joins the debate, arguing that President Hollande has probably recognized at last that his “wait and see strategy" is “not politics”. La Voix du Nord claims it was certainly a "when-is-change-coming" placard brandished in front of the president during Friday’s visit that spurred him to action.
According to La République du Centre, what we are observing is a “Sarkoziation” of Hollande’s style as he increases his meet-the-people outings and delivers more and more speeches on television.
Le Midi-Libre posts a similar comment arguing that following the footprints of his predecessor and launching a desperate drive to recoup his plunging political standing, is the only option left for the new president. L’Est Republicain sums it all up: it is time for the easy-going father image of Hollande to change. "Normality is now an issue of the past".
La Croix takes a deep look at the state of France’s primary schools after a few days into the new school year. The Catholic newspaper states that between 15 and 20 percent of French children go to college, barely knowing how to read, write or even calculate.
Le Monde dedicated its front page to Mitt Romney’s battle for the White House. The paper underlines how the former Mormon bishop accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for the 6 November presidential election pledging to mount his campaign on faith and job creation.
Aujourd’hui en France invites its readers to go meet their ancestors on the internet. France’s main genealogy website announced it is set to reach one billion ancestors discovered this weekend.