French press review 7 September 2012
The day’s lead story is the European Central Bank’s plan to buy sovereign debt in a bid to lower the borrowing costs faced by financially-weak nations in the eurozone.
The left-leaning newspaper Libération led with the headline: “Europe moves to absorb debt”. It welcomes the ECB's readiness to buy sovereign debt without limits, but it questions whether this will be enough to rescue Europe from the economic crisis.
Les Echos believes it will, describing the plan as a strong move to safeguard the Euro. The business daily says Spain would be one of the first economies to benefit, sending much-needed relief to the markets.
L’Humanité, the communist daily, is not convinced. It argues there is a “high price to pay” in exchange for the ECB’s support. It adds the plan does not consider the “unbearable burden it will leave on the people of the nations that require it”.
Le Parisien/Aujourd’hui en France investigates the mysterious killing of four members of a British-Iraqi family in the French Alps, an event that has sent shockwaves around France. Investigators say the victims were shot several times in the head.
Le Parisien confirms reports that two young girls believed to be the victims’ daughters survived and are currently under police protection. According to the paper, one of the girls is four years old and saved her life by “hiding beneath her dead mother's skirt”. She remained undetected for eight hours after police cordoned off the crime scene. The prosecutor in charge of the investigation described the killing in Chevaline as an act of "extreme savagery, carrying the hallmarks of a professional assassination”.
The free newspaper Metro printed a giant question mark on its cover page, wondering why an English family and a local cyclist were shot dead in such mysterious circumstances. The paper reports forensic experts hope to clarify the mystery by conducting DNA tests on the victims’ remains.
French President François Hollande is the target of a scathing attack by former Prime Minister François Fillon in an exclusive interview published by Le Figaro. Fillon accuses Hollande of “persisting in error”. He warns that the Socialist president could become “France’s main problem if he doesn’t change his political agenda”.
Le Monde reports on an intense lobbying campaign by France's wealthiest tycoons against a projected 75 percent super tax on high-income earners.
According to the paper, Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of the luxury empire LVMH and one of the world's richest men, met Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Wednesday to complain about the policy. Le Monde urges the government to carry out a study on the wealth of French corporate chiefs in order to “limit the consequences” of the super wealth tax on job creation.
Finally, it’s the grape harvest in France and 20 Minutes is counting on a promising vintage despite winemakers facing their smallest output in 20 years because of the poor weather during summer. The respected wine magazine In Vino Veritas offers readers of the free newspaper a “free round” in the form of ten tips about wine tasting.