“Green Light for Sunday Work,” reads the front page of the right-leaning Figaro. “Les sages” or “the wise ones” on the Constitutional Council approved the text with hardly any exceptions. But as with all reforms in France, this is going to be very complicated. Le Parisien recounts how the Socialist Party unsuccessfully tried to block the bill on the basis of its unequal treatment of workers. There are two different categories in this Sunday work law. The first concerns three large urban zones in France: Lille, Paris and Aix-Marseille. In their metropolitan areas, gardening stores, Ikea and other such DIY stores will be allowed to operate on a Sunday. However, the law won’t allow supermarkets to operate for instance. Workers will be allowed to indicate their desire not to work on that day and they’ll be paid double. However in the other category – that is tourist zones – workers won’t have the right to refuse Sunday work and won’t be paid double.
Libération is leading with the emerging story of insider trading at Société Générale. It seems that two top ranking officials at Société Générale sold some of their shares in the bank in advance of their massive drop in value last year due to the crisis. One of them stepped down yesterday. Jean Pierre Mustier said he sold on those shares to have peace of mind. Libération says says he might also have added he sold them on in order to “line his pockets”. The paper’s editorial is scathing. This comes just two days after Libération revealed that another big French bank, BNP Paribas is handing out around 1 billion euros in bonuses this year. Between insider trading and paying out bonuses, it seems the banks have learnt nothing, the paper says.
In Libération and l’Equipe, there is coverage of Tony Parker’s return to play for the French basketball team this Saturday against Finland. Parker had been forced to travel back to Texas to have a twisted ankle examined by his team. He is paid 45 million euros over a six year period so they have an interest in ensuring his well-being. He hurt his ankle playing for the French basketball team at the end of July. The French had sent 300 x-rays to his San Antonio Spurs medical team in order to avoid his having to return for a check up. Well, he still had to go back but has returned in time for this Saturday’s Euro 2009 qualifying match.