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An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2010-01-26

Sarkozy rebranded

The French President was interviewed by a panel of 11 French citizens last night on the TF1 channel. The papers agree that Nicolas Sarkozy sought to rebrand himself as a calmer President who is very aware of the problems of ordinary people.

“Sarkozy in crisisland,” reads the headline of the left-leaning paper Libération. It’s editorial says that the panel of 11 French people affected by the crisis who asked Sarkozy questions was well put together by the TF1 channel.

Sarkozy performed well and successfully defended his policies, the paper says.

“Yet all the rhetoric in the world can’t get rid of a sense of injustice that the French people feel which came across in this interview.”

“The sacrifices that the crisis has implicated have not been spread across society equally.”

Sarkozy, as a fromer lawyer who represented top French industry bosses is “paying for the original sin of his strategy – too much proximity to the monied classes.”


Le Figaro’s headline is “The New Sarkozy,” a reference to the President’s marketing strategy where he sought to brand himself as cool, calm, collected and aware of the difficulties French people face.

 

The editorial says even if the TF1 interview was part of a public relations plan that was carefully thought through, last night’s program at least showed a spontaneous President close to the people/

“Nicolas Sarkozy doesn’t have a magic wand but he showed the French people that he was aware of their difficulties… He’s not observing them through a pair of binoculars or a telescope.”


The Communist paper l’Humanité thinks his interview was a flop and that TF1 facilitated a marketing effort.

For the local paper Le Progrès de Lyon, those who decided to watch Star Wars on another French channel were probably less bored.

Other stories in today’s French papers:

La Croix: the Catholic paper says religions have a lot of doubts about a possible law to ban the burka on public services

France Soir: “I took off my burka and risked my life.”

Le Parisien: WHO organization influenced by pharmaceutical labs over swine flu?

Le Figaro: Disney’s first black heroine
 

By James CREEDON

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