FRENCH PRESS REVIEW: During a speech in the Var region, Nicolas Sarkozy defended his record during the financial crisis. Right- and left-leaning papers concluded he was somewhat excessive in his self-praise.
The Communist paper la Marseillaise leads with Sarkozy’s ‘self-congratulory’ speech yesterday in le Var (Côte d’Azur) saying the President’s assessment of his stimulus plan was “100% positive”. In comparison with Germany and the US, Sarkozy thinks France is doing very well in coping with unemployment and growth. “We made no mistakes, we let no one down,” the President said.
The right-leaning business paper La Tribune says Sarkozy did not wait for Saint Nicolas’s Day to shower himself in gifts. The French President celebrated Christmas as of yesterday.” The editorial questions whether France is really doing better than its neighbours. While the crisis affected Germany more than France, it has also bounced back more quickly and the state coffers are in a much better state, the paper notes.
Other stories in today’s French papers:
Le Figaro and Libération lead with Obama’s decision to send 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan.
Le Figaro says Americans have doubts about the war but still wish to support their troops (52% think the war should end yet 46% of Americans favour sending troop reinforcements as opposed to 45% who are against troop reinforcements).
Libération analyses the criticisms of Barack Obama, “the Quiet American”, a man afraid of an interventionist approach?
The left-leaning news website Rue89 runs a story on Paris’s quiet nightlife. A Facebook petition has gathered thousands of signatures in the past month in support of reviving Paris’s party spirit. With a big young population, why is Paris so much duller at night than London, Barcelona and Berlin?
Le Figaro carries an article on research done in Northwestern University which shows how various sounds can help trigger your memory while you sleep.