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France

French press review 11 December 2013

media

A headline on the front page of the weekly satirical paper, Le Canard Enchaîné, reading "Two wars and a funeral," just about sums up this morning's French front pages.

The two wars are taking place in Mali and the Central African Republic, the funeral is taking place in South Africa.

Communist L'Humanité's main headline reads "Planet Mandela," a reference to the sense of global admiration for the former South African president

The front page of Catholic La Croix says "The world salutes Mandela", the paper noting that yesterday's homage in the Johannesburg township of Soweto brought together dozens of world leaders, many of them adversaries in the political sphere, prepared to forget their differences temporarily in honour of the man who brought the apartheid regime to an end in a spirit of reconciliation, not the bloodbath many had feared.

Where else but at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela would you expect to see a US President shake hands with his Cuban counterpart?

Slideshow Mandela

L'Humanité's editorial duly notes the human greatness of the man, before criticising the approximations and hypocrisies of the global media washing machine. It is not reasonable, says L'Huma, to reduce a revolutionary destiny to the pious image being touted by journalism. The long walk to freedom is not over yet.

On his way home from Johannesburg, French president François Hollande had a stopover in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.

Unlike his welcome in Bamako last February, where Hollande was greeted by enthusiastic crowds as the liberator of Mali, yesterday he arrived in a city under uneasy curfew, to visit French soldiers mourning the deaths of two of their comrades in their first clashes with local militia.

Business daily Les Echos seems to be from another time zone, giving pride of place to the strange and surprising resurgence of share prices on the world's stock exchanges.

Stock launches last year added 30 per cent to the global value of share holdings and there are lots more scheduled for 2014.

The same business paper salutes Marry Barra, the woman who has rocketed through the glass ceiling, becoming the first female director of General Motors.

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