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France

French weekly magazines review 18 November 2018

media __ DR

This week's magazines look at the impact of next year's budget on French purchasing power, at the deadly secrets which the interior ministry dare not reveal, and at the smelly revolution of France's little people.

Whatever else is strange about this last morning of AM broadcasts on RFI English, at least the weekly magazines have remained true to themselves.

Winners and losers in Macron's France

L'Obs has French President Emmanuel Macron on its front page, complete with a filling station petrol pump and the headline "Spending power: the winners and losers".

You won't be surprised to learn that the super-rich are the winners and that the rest of us are losers, on a third-class, standing-room-only, ticket to hell.

In fact, as clearly shown by the magazine's own graphs, the cash difference which will result from next year's budget changes for 99 percent of those concerned is a fluctuation of less than one percent.

It is true that the poorest households are the hardest hit, because of tax increases on fuel and tobacco, but the impact even on them is less than one centime in every euro. Hardly enough to inspire a revolution. Or a cover story.

Albanians flood French jail system. Shock! Horror!

Le Point offers to reveal "What the interior ministry won't dare tell us".

This is the classic weekly scam, allegedly based on internal police documents and revealing the unspeakable truth about the drug business, Islamic terrorists, gangs, the mafia.

You will learn that drug dealers sell drugs. That it's highly profitable. And illegal. And people routinely get killed by their business rivals.

And watch out for Albanians!

According to a "worried" police investigator interviewed by Le Point, the number of Albanians sent to French jails since 2011 has shot up by "600 percent".

Which is meaningless and misleading. In reality, there are exactly 630 Albanians in French jails right now, a tiny proportion of the 71,000 persons of all nationalities currently behind bars.

The smelly revolution of France's little people

Marianne gets it wrong by praising the Yellow Vest protestors as "The people who stink of diesel".

They actually mean well, given the magazine's leftish political leanings. And they go on to lament the plight of the new French poor, mostly rural or suburban, generally ignored by the media and, according to Marianne, unfairly hammered by taxation. The little French people who stink of diesel are waiting, we are told, for other solutions. And probably for a less offensive label.

As we reach the end, a thought for poor Freddy

It's absolutely no consolation at all, but I'm not the only radio commentator to be on his last airwave.

According to the weekly L'Express, our former colleague, the novellist Frédéric Beigbeder, who used to present a frequently very funny piece every morning on France Inter, has been shown the door after he showed up for work last Thursday, without a single word of script after having, by his own account, slept very little. To make things a lot worse, he tried to ad-lib, lasted three agonising minutes, and had the clearly very annoyed presenter Nicolas Demorand announce his departure live on air. A verdict ratified by the tired writer himself and by the station's senior management later in the day.

To blame, a new Paris nightclub significantly named Medelline, apparently after the reputed capital of the Colombian marching powder industry, which nightclub had its opening bash on Wednesday night. And our man just couldn't tear himself away. He had his work done, "a super brilliant piece on the yellow-vest movement," he assured listeners, but he lost it somewhere in the dark realms around 3.00am. If he'd gone home to bed, he might have kept his job. But he showed up and got the sack.

The only difference between us and poor Freddy is that he, at least, knows why he's being taken off the airwaves.

Thank you for listening, even to my tired ad libs. Let's meet up again sometime soon in the brave new world of the podosphere. Cheers.

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