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IN THE PRESS

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 : 2010-03-15

Record highs for abstention and Socialist Party

The first round of the regional elections delivered a “warning” to the UMP Party, says Le Parisien/Aujourd’hui en France. Meanwhile, the left-leaning paper Libération celebrates the Socialist Party’s result: “Phew!” reads its somewhat biased front-page headline. MONDAY, 15th MARCH, 2010

Several papers this morning have translated the results of this weekend’s regional elections as a protest vote against the Socialist Party. For Le Parisien/Aujourd’hui en France, it’s a “warning” to Nicolas Sarkozy, as the front-page headline reads. The UMP Party at some 27% has registered the lowest score for the French conservatives in the history of the Fifth Republic. Meanwhile, the Socialist Party at 29% got its highest result in 50 years.
 
The left-leaning Libération seems somewhat smug given the Socialist Party’s high score. “Phew! The Left makes a comeback” , it says.
 
The right-leaning Le Figaro is more reticent on its front page about the Socialist Party’s victory, calling the result for the left a “surge” in voting. The paper also focuses on the high absention rate at over 53.5%
 
Business paper les Echos speaks about the far-right National Front party being a “nuisance” – it got over 12% and will go through to the second and final round of voting next weekend in a dozen of the 26 regions.
 
Abstention is also the focus of France Soir with a photo of an empty voting station on the front page and the headline “Troubling absention”.
 
Other stories in today’s French papers:
 
L’Humanité: Death of Jean Ferrat
 
Libération: Mystery of a crying picture of the Virgin Mary in Paris suburbs

By James CREEDON

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