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France

French press review 17 April 2012

media

The papers are abuzz with election coverage as it is now less than a a week until the first round of France’s presidential election.

Right-wing paper Le Figaro sums up the questions of everyone’s lips in France:

  • who will be the first round and with what margin?
  • who will be the third man? who of course could be a woman as hard-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen are competing in that particular battle. Both are polling at about 15 per cent
  • and third question, who will win the ideological battle? The left or the right?

Both centrist Le Monde and tabloid Aujourd’hui en France ponder the role of swing voters. Le Monde reveals that French voters can be quite slippery – according to their poll, one in two have changed their mind in the past six months.

And left-wing Libération takes a look at the neglected issues in this contest. According to their poll, two-thirds of voters complain that the major challenges facing French society today have not been tackled by the candidates.

To Norway and the trial of accused killer Anders Behring Breivik.

Libé’s Scandanavian correspondent recalls the demonstrations of far-right activists who met in Demark just a fortnight ago, mere days before Norweigan killer Anders Behring Breivik's court hearing yesterday.

The activists came from all across Europe for the demonstration in a show of their hatred towards Islam, halal meat, immigration and a whole litany of other perceived problems.

The correspondent highlight the links between the groups and the inspiration that Breivik drew from their rhetoric as he has admitted to being an admirer of, for example, the English Defence League. The EDL has revealed that Breivik participated in two of its rallies.

The correspondent draws attention to the threat of on-line radicalism and this pan-European right-wing movement which in some cases calls for civil war to inflict its ideas.

Right-wing Le Figaro reports on how debt-striken Spaniards are really not impressed by their king's escapades on safari in Botswana. His latest trip hit the international press when he was hospitalised due to injures sustained during an elephant hunt.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

This trip was supposed to be confidential. now it has come out in the press, not only do many of his majesty's subjects disapprove of the trip itself at a time in which their economy is in dire straits but also some are aghast at his holiday pastime.

Just a quick story which caught my eye in Le Monde, a positive story from Yemen. Global Award for Sustainable Architecture prizewinner Salma Samar Damluji has been recognised for her work in the Gulf country, despite the troubles there.

Her sustainable modern homes, complete with bathroom, use similar techniques to those employed on the old palaces and mosques of the desert kingdom. She wants to reinvigorate the use of good old-fashioned mud in construction, saying that there is nothing wrong with the material.

Left-leaning Libération reports that a scientific study has revealed stress at work has a negative impact on workers' libido. And it is not just the routine of getting up early, getting home late, metro, boulot, dodo (metro, work, sleep), as the French would say. Stress can even cause physical problems - so yet another reason not to take your work too seriously!

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