Article published the Sunday 09 December 2012 - Latest update : Sunday 09 December 2012

French weekly magazines review

By Marjorie Hache

There's left-wing Schadenfreude over the spat in Sarkozy's party, a look at changes in Paris's luxury hotels, hints on staying upbeat in economic hard times and shrinks fall out over dope. Plus features on the Corsican mafia and the Freemasons.

Left-leaning Marianne leads with a big feature about how the French right has gone to rack and ruin. Inevitable this is all about the stand-off between national secretary Jean-Fronçois Copé and former prime minister François Fillon over who won the election for head of the right-wing UMP.

The magazine obviously enjoys highlighting the weakness of the party Nicolas Sarkozy once headed.

Over in the Nouvel Observateur there is a big feature on Copé and how democracy is managed within the UMP. To some extent, argues the paper, the way democracy works can change at the drop of a hat.

The article is entitled “the worrying Mr Copé". For Copé money is synonymous with power, it claims. 

In any case, it's a nice appetiser to the magazine's special feature on luxury hotels in the French capital. Apparently the luxury industry has changed dramatically over the last 10 years, thanks to the arrival of rich people from the Middle East. Check out their look at the best places to go, if you can afford them.

Right-wing Le Point is looking at some members of the French population who, it says, are sick of how difficult their lives are because of how the economic crisis has affected them. They range from entrepreneurs to teachers.

The feature is full of interviews of people who face difficulties in their daily life. It may seem quite gloomy but there are also tips from people on how they stay upbeat. Actually being upbeat itself is great, says newspaper stand man Bob, it keeps you going when you’re feeling the pinch.

Meanwhile, researcher Morgane Bomsel,  who is a mucus specialist, may have found a cure for Aids. Tests have been extremely positive but she's waiting for funding to take her scientific findings to the next level. Even the presidential Elysée palace won't fund the research so she's now looking abroad for financing.

All these different personal stories in Le Point may help hide subtle digs at President François Hollande’s government. The magazine also has an article on the head of Deezer, a french music platform from which you can stream music, who has moved to California. "How do you want to start up a company when there is a 35-hour limitation?" asks the French businessman.

Another right-wing magazine, L’Express, is more concerned with the effect cannabis is having on young people.

“The ravages of cannabis. Psychologists ring the alarm” it headlines. French teenagers tend to have smoked their first joint by the age of 15-16 and the number who indulge seems to be going up, from 23 per cent in 1997 to 39 per cent in 2011.

The psychologist interviewed by l'Expresss says that every person is different and therefore you can't really tell how people will be affected or how vulnerable they are even if most people turn out fine despite taking a few puffs.

But another psychiatrist tells the paper that cannabis should be ”medicalised” and a national cause. So lots of expert advice. Different expert advice. People who began smoking at a young age tell the magazine how this affected them and their relationships with their families.

To some extent informative but quite entertaining.

Other eye-grabbing articles include one on the Corsican mafia in Aujourd'hui en France magazine and the power of the Freemasons in Le Figaro magazine. Being part of group seems to be the thing to do these day.

tags: Cannabis - France - François Fillon - Freemason - French press review - Jean-François Copé - Nicolas Sarkozy - Press review - UMP
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