French press review 9 February 2013
Where is Tunisia heading? Should the descendants of slaves be compensated?
Libération has dedicated its top story to the funeral of Tunisian opposition member Chokri Belaïd, which brought together 40,000 people. The front page features a young man biting hard into a Tunisian flag.
The left-wing paper notes that this was also a way for people to express their discontent at the Islamist party in power, Ennahda, which, Libé writes, is seen as responsible for the unrest in the country. It also looks into the political crisis that is present in the country particularly between Prime Ministern Hamadi Jebali and the the rest of Ennahda.
Jebali wants to create a government of technocrats. That's a government made out of people with competences and specialist knowledge but no political allegiance. However, members of parliament aren't keen and dissolving parliament is another kettle of fish.
Le Figaro also features a double-page article on the funeral with a specialist telling the paper it's a turning point for the jasmine revolution with Chokri Belaïd's murder being the first political assasination since Tunisia's independance in 1956. Either the country will succeed in mantaining all the modernity it acquired in the second half of the 20th century, or it will fall into into osbcure Wahhabi Islam.
Catholic La Croix takes a looks at the painful memory that is slavery. A West Indies, has pressed charges against the French state, reopening the debate on whether there should be compensation for that period in history. The French state has rejected the idea of paying compensation to families whose ancestors were enslaved.
The newspaper looks at the identity quest the descendents of slaves face. One person interviewed says that “although slavery no longer exists with its barbaric methods ... racial discrimination is still present". Had their ancestors not been stolen from Africa, they would not be experiencing racism today, the argument goes. Another tells La Croix the anger really comes from the search for identity and the pain of the past.
Aujourd'hui En France has two scandalous stories. Well, relatively speaking. The first is the introduction of first-class tickets at the cinema. For 14 euros you will get better and more comfortable chairs. One cinema in Paris has been testing this option which the paper notes hasn't overjoyed everyone. Some people feel this will create a division and a feeling of inequality. It will also lead people to forget the real value of things. The article concludes that we'll have to wait six months before we can draw conclusions.
The other scandal is the fact that horse meat has been found in ready-made meals. After Britain, France - a country who actually has horse butchers, is up in arms about a brand who is selling lasagnes they claimed were 100 per cent beef but actually feature 60-100 per cent equine meat.
Is this negligence or fraud, asks the paper.
Apparently it's a sub-contractor who makes that particular dish. It's not a sanitary problem, but the fact that the meat is untraceable is worrying. I think we can safely remind ourselves that it is cheaper and healthier not to buy or eat ready-made meals. If you make it all from scratch yourself, at least you know where it comes from.