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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.

IN THE PAPERS

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Latest update : 2010-02-17

Daughter of the mayor of Kiev has handbag snatched – loses €4.5m

Le Figaro reports on the embarrassing robbery of Kristina Chernovetska’s handbag during a brief trip to Paris. It appears that the decadent daughter of Kiev’s mayor had spent some €4.5m on jewelry on Paris’s chic Avenue Montaigne. Kiev City Hall denies she was in Paris at the time of the robbery.

Kristina Chernovetska has unwittingly unveiled the lavish lifestyle she has become used to as the daughter of Kiev’s mayor. Chernovetska’s father is often accused of corruption in Ukraine. One of wealthiest financial magnates in the country, Leonid Chernovetsky sold his personal bank for hundreds of millions of euros in 2008.
 
It might explain how Kristina was able to splurge €4.5m on jewelry while on a stopover in Paris on Monday. Le Figaro reports that the young woman was whisked from Charles de Gaulle Airport into Paris’s chic Avenue Montaigne. On her return to the airport, her chauffeur-driven Mercedes got stuck in traffic. A thief took advantage of the situation, smashing in the back window of the car and grabbing her handbag in which she had stored her expensive purchases. The chauffeur gave chase to the thief who left a bundle of $10,000 fall from the handbag before making off with the rest of his loot.
 
Chernovetska was only in Paris for a few hours before travelling onwards to New York. The French police formally identified her at the time of the robbery yet Kiev City Hall is denying she was in Paris at all… Perhaps the astronomical sums involved are a source of embarrassment for Mayor Chernovetsky.
 
Other stories in today’s French papers:
 
Le Figaro: Poll reveals Socialist Party has made bad miscalculation in dumping George Frêche in advance of regional elections
 
Le Parisien: Villepin more popular than Sarkozy according to poll in Paris Match
 
Le Berry Républicain: Mistral missile found in ditch outside French village
 
Le Parisien: Lyon beat Real Madrid in first round of final sixteen playoff
 

By James CREEDON

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