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French press review 28 November 2014


The French newspapers are talking about this weekend's Franchophonie Summit of French-speaking countries in Senegal's capital, Dakar.

La Croix has an interesting article on how the internet is helping African francophone universities. Apparently they are facing a huge increase in the number of students signing up for higher education.

The Cheikh Anta Diop university in Dakar now has, for example, more than 87,000 students and that, explains La Croix, means that the university cannot guarantee a place for everybody.

Dossier: Gaza 2009

That's why more and more African universities have decided to offer online classes. And that’s good news. The Catholic daily explains that this will also help more people studying after they've graduated from high school because most of the online classes are either free or cheap.

The French press is also talking about Palestine this morning.

L'Humanité and Le Figaro are both lead with the story. The French National Assembly will this afternoon debate whether to recognise - or not - Palestine as a state.

Communist L'Humanité calls the vote "historic" and says the time has come for France to recognise the territory as a state. And it seems that the French agree, according to a poll conducted by L'Huma, 63 per cent think the "time has come to recognise Palestine".

Right-wing Le Figaro, on the other hand, is not as enthusiastic – that’s the least we can say - about today's debate.

The daily warns against tension and importing the Israel-Palestine conflict to France. In its editorial, Le Figaro says this won't solve anything and that François Hollande should act directly in Palestine instead of here in France.

Libération is headlining on Nicolas Sarkozy.

The left-leaning newspaper has written seven pages on the former French president. And it's fair to say that they don't like him very much.

Background reading: Previous French scandals

There are several interesting articles on Sarkozy's campaign for the presidency of the UMP, France's main opposition party. In the first one Libération outlines 17 different occasions where it says Sarkozy has lied during his campaign.

The daily also followed Sarkozy to his public meetings. The paper's conclusions would probably worry UMP supporters - too bad they don't read Libé.

Sarkozy seems to have lost the political talent he had in 2007, the paper says, and that's not a good sign for the man who is set to become the next opposition leader.

Le Monde wonders what would France look like if it had a population of just 100.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Basing itself on figures from the National Statistics Institute, Insee, it concludes that if France had only 100 inhabitants, 49 of them would be men and 51 of them would be women.

Only 24 would be under the age of 20 and 35 would be married.

But what's really interesting and helps understand France's economic situation is that 11 people out of 100 would be living under the poverty line.

When we talk about 11 per cent of the population being poor, it's usually hard to visualise how many people that represents. But bringing the number down to 11 shows clearly how vulnerable a part of the French population has become due to the economic crisis.

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