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France

French press review 4 March 2016

media DR

Libé goes all out against France's nuclear power plants while Le Figaro defends a government reforms. La Croix reports from Greece where thousands of refugees are stranded after the closure of the Macedonian border and Le Monde remembers Sophie Dessus, an MP who died yesterday.

Left-wing Libération headlines on how the French nuclear power plants are "unsafe". "You have to imagine that a Fukushima-like disaster could happen in France" says Pierre Franck Chevet, the president of the Nuclear Safety Authory in an interview.

There's 58 nuclear power plants in France - one of the highest number in the world - and according to Libé, experts are worried about the age of those facilities.

Most of them will be 40 in 2020, and some, including the Fessenheim plant, are even older. "The older they gets, the more risk of incident there is" explains the daily.

And it's not just experts who are worried: Switzerland this week decided to sue France for pollution over the Bugey plant. Despite those risks, the government recently indicated it would consider extending the life of some plants to 50 years.

Something Libé thinks would be "a mistake".

Le Figaro is headlining on the controversial labour code reform. The right-wing paper devotes two pages to the subject and argues the lack of flexibility of the job market explains why "France unemployement numbers remain high".

What is needed, says the paper, is more "flexibility when firing employees", a reform of unemployment benefits and union's negociations at company level.

"There's a curious masochism from our gouvernments who would rather see high numbers of unemployed people rather than try to fight the situation by every mean" says an editorial.

"Outside our borders, we consider that a part-time job, even if less stable than an long-term contract, is better than no job at all" it continues.

"For once, the El Khomri project wants to combat unemployement with something else that job created by the State - let's hope that the government won't listen to those against it" it concludes.

Le Monde reports on the death of Socialist MP Sophie Dessus. President François Hollande's deputy died yesterday at age 60 after a long battle against cancer.

A former farmer and mayor of a village, she is described by Le Monde has "hard working" and an expert on cultural affairs.

"She was a woman with an incredible energy and a tireless tenacity. She never gave up" wrote Hollande on Twitter.

But despite being "hard working" and the first woman elected MP in Corrèze, she'll be remembered for something else. She made the headlineq in 2013, when former President Jacques Chirac was seen trying to seduce her during a speech given by his wife, Bernadette.

Le Monde doesn't headline on this, but that's not the case for other French media, such as The Huffington Post.

Summing up the life of a woman by this anedocte sure feels a bit... reductive and sexist. It's not certain we would have had the same headlines if she had been a man.

La Croix headlines on "the Greek deadlock". The Catholic daily is of course talking about refugees, and the fact that thousands of them are now blocked at the Macedonian border, after the country decided to close it.

The paper has a very interesting report from Indomeni, a border town, where we learn about the plight of Syrian and Afghan migrants.

"The biggest issue is not food but health" says one of them. Another doesn't understand why some European states have decided to close their borders.

Since the beginning of the year 131.000 migrants have arrived in Europe - that's 2000 people per day in Greece alone explains La Croix. The crounty this week said it couldn't handle the influx anymore and warned of an imminent "humanitarian crisis".

 

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