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French weekly magazines review


The French weeklies all put up special dossiers on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair. The right-leaning magazines aren’t mincing words. "Shame" headlines Le Figaro.”Downfall" writes Le Point.  "The scandal that changes everything" says l’Express and “descent to hell”, according to left-leaning Le Nouvel Observateur.


France is ashamed of Strauss-Kahn’s humiliating pictures writes Le Figaro - ashamed of being ridiculed in the eyes of the world. The conservative journal says in an editorial, that the affair lends credence to the erroneous, but long –upheld view, that France is a nation of pleasure seekers. Le Figaro states that Strauss-Kahn has always had a soft spot for women which he often boasted about. The journal lambasts the socialists for rushing out to support him as the scandal broke out.

Some said it was a diabolical smear and lynching campaign hashed by a black cabinet to prevent him from becoming president of France. Le Figaro regrets that the politicians who piled-up all the blind support for DSK had no word for the poor black woman at the centre of the case. Le Figaro dispatched a team to New York’s Bronx district, home to the alleged rape victim, Nafissatou Diallo. It reports that the Guinean community there has been staging demonstrations in support of her clamour for justice .

Dossier: The Strauss-Kahn affair rocks France, IMF

Le Point agrees with Le Figaro that the Strauss-Kahn affair has claimed a terrible toll on France’s image abroad."What a fall" screams the journal which runs a 10-page dossier on the tragic descent to hell of the popular politician who had been poised to possibly become France's next president. Le Point runs excerpts from the New York tabloids reporting of the damaging story including The Daily News, The New Yorker and even the respected Wall Street Journal. The magazine says Strauss-Kahn's name has been tarnished forever, no matter the outcome of the case, pointing to the fact that his socialist comrades are already burying him, some with flowers, others without.

L’Express has an analysis of the lessons to be learnt from the scandal. It changes everything, from the International Monetary Fund to French politics. It was Strauss-Kahn, the journal claims who transformed the IMF into a key player in resolving the eurozone debt crisis, providing billions towards bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal. This, despite the reticence of key EU members like France. L’Express says it isn’t sure that partnership will survive if the post goes to someone from the so-called emerging economies

DSK’s exit forces the Socialist Party to return to the drawing board. L’Express explains that his forced withdrawal from the presidential race has plunged the socialists into a period of uncertainty marked by an unexpected duel pitting party chief Martine Aubry, against her predecessor, François Hollande. The right-leaning publication says the two are not the best of friends as they continue to nurse an old feud.

The ripple effect of Strauss-Kahn’s demise is also being felt by the ruling UMP party
L’Express holds it has removed the spectre of President Nicholas Sarkozy’s elimination from the first round of the 2012 elections. The journal claims it however increases the sphere of influence of centrist politician Jean Louis Borloo, who is likely to attract moderate voters disenfranchised by the the UMP’s shift to the right.

Le Nouvel Observateur has an analysis of Strauss Kahn’s “fall” and explores how the tragedy has plunged the country into a state of despair. He was the most powerful man in the world claims the magazine. The journal says he often admitted having a weakness for women and the ravages it could have on his political career.

Le Nouvel Obs points out that the history of the 5th French republic from Georges Pompidou to Nicholas Sarkozy has been punctuated by dangerous liaisons between sex and power.

Le Canard Enchaîné is as blunt as usual headlining with a pun about an “erection trap” The satirical weekly explains that while Strauss-Kahn’s friends lament, President Nicholas Sarkozy,  Prime Minister Francois Fillon and others are “shedding crocodile tears”.


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