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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 : 2010-05-18

Clotilde Reiss: Is she a spy?

Two stories dominate the French press today: Did Clotilde Reiss work for France's secret service? And will taxing the wealthy more, get the French to work past the current retirement age?

A very familiar face is making the headlines here in France : Clotilde Reiss. She was freed Sunday after being held in Iran for 10 months on espionage charges.
And that’s what LE PARISIEN is focusing…was she really a spy? They interviewed the former head of the French secret service, Pierre SIRAMY who says, they always use students and Clotilde Reiss knew exactly what she was doing. Though, careful, she was not hired by the secret service, as in, she was not paid. But she did work with them. FRANCE SOIR is headlining on the same thing: The strange Clotilde Reiss. Here experts saying that she fits the profile of a “non-spy,” her mother is an Iran specialist and her father works for the CEA…Commission for Nuclear and Alternative Energy here is France…
Finally, LIBERATION takes a different stand. “Freed from the bearded, but not the spies,” is what the article is called. It says: Guys, this is not the way to go. Do we really care whether or not she was a spy? Of course secret services used her emails and the information she gave to her colleagues and friends. But chances are, Reiss never know that. They also point out that these kind of question could be potentially dangerous for other students abroad, and not just in Iran.
LIBERATION also headlines on a possible tax increase to pay for France’s rising “retirement fund” debt. The article is entitled “There is no way around a tax increase” and “Hunting for millionaires in the fiscal jungle.” Sarkozy had set up a tax policy to protect fortunes and keep the rich in France. Many of them left for countries where they are taxed less.
The paper OUEST FRANCE says, it’s also aimed at taking away the unions main argument as to why people shouldn’t have to work past the age of 60.
The tax would be aimed at the rich and that the government hopes will get Unions have always said that the money could be found other places, like by taxing the rich. So if the government taxes the rich and asks people to work longer, well, the unions have lost their main argument.
But communist newspaper L’HUMANITE is rather critical of this new tax increase. The headline here reads: “Tax the rich? Ya right!” The paper says it’s all just a scheme, that will never happen.  Especially because President Sarkozy already set up a system allowing the rich not to pay too much taxes and keep them from going to country’s where that is already the case. That didn’t work to well, so now he is trying to set up certain categories that would protect the rich and certain parts of their money. L’Humanité says, those politics are not compatible…

 

By Carla WESTERHEIDE

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