French press review 3 September 2012
French president, François Hollande, is all over the Paris front pages this morning.
The fact is, poor Frank is not doing too well in the opinion polls, and he faces a winter of discontent.
Unemployment is up, with more than three million French out of work, and there are signs that that figure can only grow bigger.
Then there's the government's tax reforms, the European financial treaty, security concerns, the price of petrol . . . nothing likely to help Frank get out of the popularity red zone. He's somewhere between 44 and 50 per cent in the popularity stakes, depending on which newspaper you read, with all public prints agreeing that the man needs to come out of hiding, get to work and start running the country. Even if the extent to which any national leader can influence reality is severely constrained.
Clearly, there are difficult times ahead.
As if all that wasn't bad enough, there's a worrying story on the front page of business daily, Les Echos. There, we learn that the State has been obliged to bail out the sole remaining independent French bank, Crédit Immobilier, to the tune of 20 billion euros. That's less bad than the 55 billion it took to wind down the Franco-Belgian operation, Dexia, four years ago, but it's still not vey good.
Les Echos warns that this autumn is going to be a tough one for French banks, caught as they are between internal reform, market pressures and increased taxation.