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France

French weekly magazine review 28 February 2016

media DR

There's talks of the European Union and a possible Brexit in this week's French weeklies. Plus, Le Point devotes twelve pages to Donald Trump, and L'Obs choses to defend the controversial labour law reform.

We start with L’Express which headlines on Jean-François Copé’s stratégy to get rid of former President Nicolas Sarkozy.

This week’s main story explains how Copé is using the Bygmalion scandal to make sure Sarkozy doesn’t become the candidate of the right for the 2017 elections.

There’s also an interesting editorial in this week’s L’Express that says President François Hollande will not be seeking a second mandate. Why? Well that’s simple according to the centrist weekly: Hollande promised not to run again if the number of unemployed people doesn't go down. And well, it didn’t.

This would probably create even more division among the Socialists it says. And even if another candidate is picked by the party, he or she has no chance to be elected. The magazine describes it as “a kamikaze mission”.

But at the same time it would be a good thing for the renewal of the French political class argues L’Express, because “that’s the only thing that could make them like politics again”.

Centre-left L’Obs takes a look at the controversial proposed labour law reform...

"We’ve talked about this reform earlier this week because a good half of the Socialist party is accusing the government of betraying its own values. See, the proposed changes are deemed as “too liberal” and “threatening to the rights of workers” by its opponents.

But this “is business as usual for France” explains an editorial. That argues that even the government doesn’t expect to be able to reform the country “without blood and tears”. Now L’Obs wants to set the record straight, and explains that this project “isn’t a thermonuclear bomb that’ll explode the labour law”.

 "For 40 years, we had the same answers to unemployment. It’s time to examine closely the idea of flexsecurity” says L’Obs.

“But for that, the reform needs to be balanced. That’s not the case today, so it’s back to the drawing board” it concludes.

 Le Point seems to be fascinated by Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“Hurricane” is the adjective Le Point uses to qualify trump. The weekly’s cover story spans twelve pages. Le Point has details over Trump’s personal fortune, even though no one seems to agree on the amount, he is a billionaire. But whether the business mogul is worth 2,9, 4,5 or 10 billion dollars, what’s important is what he thinks.

That’s why Le Point compiled Trump’s best tweets. Here are two:

“If Obama resigns from office NOW, thereby doing a great service to the country - I will give him a free lifetime of golf at any of my courses”. This one is equally outrageous: “Is PM Cameron a dummy? With monumental cuts in UK spending, how come he continues to spend billions of pounds …”.

But the good news, according to American writer Richard Ford who wrote a piece for Le Point, “is that Trump will never become President”. “Real troubles would start if a new political figure appeared - someone who would share the same ideas that Trump, but who would be better prepared and smoother” Ford says.

Is anyone talking about Brexit this week?

Satirical paper Le Canard Enchainé has a funny cartoon. This one is titled “Brexit blackmail”. “Enough is enough! Just let the Brits go” says one character. “They’ll ask for severance benefits” replies another man.

Left-leaning Marianne actually calls for Brexit. “The only way to restart the European Union is for England to go” it says. “Maybe a Brexit will save the continent”. it adds.

While you may disagree with Marianne’s analysis of the situation, there’s something that the weekly got wrong. Its editorial kept referring to the EU as a bloc of 27 nations.

Howerver, Croatia was the last, and 28th, country to join the union in 2013. Makes you wonder if was wise of Marianne to call the Brits “stupid” in its editorial.

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