French press review 15 September 2012
The French dailies are concerned with President François Hollande's plans for the environment; growing anger in the Muslim world over an anti-Islam video; and the state of the French cultural sector.
Le Figaro tries to read meaning into President François Hollande’s move to reassure the Greens party as he addressed most of their expectations in the government’s agenda for action on energy policy set at the national environment conference on Friday.
The conservative newspaper says that while the Greens liked what they heard, the unions suspect he may have sacrificed fundamental national interests to bring greater cohesion to his government. Le Figaro says the President’s generous offer is possibly a trade-off to win back rebels in the European Greens party opposed to the ratification of the European Treaty in its current form.
François Hollande announced the shut down of the Fessenheim nuclear power station by 2016, a decision Le Figaro says has ended the cacophony within the government. The paper, however, is disappointed with decisions on shale gas exploration being postponed.
Staying with the environment, La Croix reports Hollande's decision to reject seven applications for shale gas exploration has effectively "closed the door" on the debate on this controversial energy source.
How far will the anger in the Muslim world go? That is the question asked by Le Monde in Saturday’s cover page story. The paper says that, as demonstrations spread across the region, authorities are trying to avoid the situation getting out of control. Le Monde also examined the origins of the anti-Islam video, the pretext for the violence.
“French culture on dry bread”, shouts Libération. The left-leaning newspaper is unhappy with deep budget cuts to cultural development. According to Libé, the whole sector will suffer, from photography, to art, music, heritage and history.
The paper says few would expect a Socialist-led government to bring in such drastic cuts to cultural pursuits, especially as it remains a creative, dynamic sector of the economy. The attractiveness of France hinges on the power of its cultural institutions, from museums to festivals, according to Libération.
Aujourd’hui en France/ Le Parisien spotlights a bonanza of prolific French writers who are all turning to family secrets for inspiration. The hottest themes are incest, abandonment, suspicious friendships, the story line of most novels revolving around intimate topics that have long been considered taboo.