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IN THE PAPERS

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 : 2010-09-20

Scarface Sarkozy goes on the offensive in New York

In today's French papers - the big political guns dominate the front pages as President Sarkozy arrives in New York, Segolene Royal make her political comeback and the papers speculate over who could be the next Prime minister.

Big personalities in French politics dominate the French front pages-

Starting with President Sarkozy on the front of le Parisien- he’s in New York for the UN meeting on millenium development goals meeting that kicks off today and the pic on the front page has got French commentators talking- he’s wearing a black jacket and shirt, no tie and a gold chain around his neck- the paper says he looks like Tony Montana in Scarface. 

The paper says he’s hoping some success on the international stage will help boost his chronically low approval ratings and help his 2012 presidential campaign. 

This is the beginning of a series of international summits leading to France taking the G20 presidency in November and France’s image needs a boost on the international scene.

His opponent in the 2007 election, Segolene Royal, is also on today’s front pages- she’s got a new look, but has she really changed, asks Libération

She had a gathering for her supporters in the Parisian suburbs this weekend

The paper says this time last year she was totally isolated in the socialist party, now she’s trying to reposition herself as a unifying figure on the left and has been building bridges with all her former rivals 

Even close allies of her former enemy, socialist party leader Martine Aubry, were at the meeting.

So it looks like she’s trying to lay the ground for a new presidential run.

She’s also on the front page of the Figaro

-it says she’s back, calling herself a claming force in the socialist party.

Le Figaro is anti-socialist and so inclined to play up the party’s divisions, but it agrees they do seem to be on the same page for the first time in a while.

 Local paper la Republique du Centre- from Orleans in the middle of France- has an editorial about this on their front page- saying the more Segolene Royal proclaims herself best friends with socialist leader Martine Aubry, the more Aubry should be suspicious- for Royal, it says, her expressed desire to reunite the socialist party is just a desire to make her own political comeback.

Meanwhile on the right of French politics, key politicians in the ruling UMP are looking forward to President’s Sarkozy’s planned reshuffle, slated for October.

-gossip says he’ll get rid of popular prime minister François Fillon

-and France Soir has a replacement in mind

-the front page says François Baroin will go far- perhaps all the way to the prime minister’s office. 

Baroin in now the Budget Minister- he’s a young fresh face, he’s only 45, and he’s a protégé of former president Jacques Chirac who was of course a long term rival of Nicolas Sarkozy- so the paper speculates the president is trying to build a consensus in his own party by getting all the factions in the cabinet.

He’s not the only candidate for PM- the paper says it could also be justice minister Michele Alliot-Marie, interior minister Brice Hortefeux or environment minister Jean-Louis Borloo- so that gives the papers lots to gossip about. 

Catholic paper La Croix and communist daily l’Humanité both have the UN’s millennium development goals on the front page- and although they have very different ideological stances, they agree on this 

- efforts so far to reduce poverty and guarantee primary education, access to basic health and gender quality around the world are not good enough and world leaders must step up their game. 

-the balance sheet isn’t totally bleak, then umber of people living below the poverty lines has reduced, but there are still a billion people living under that line around the world.

Both papers point to the recent food riots in Mozambique as evidence world hunger is little improved from when these ambitious goals were set in the year 2000.

-and both say the problem is that rich countries still aren’t fulfilling their promises to give as much money as they said they would- France for example gives 0.4% of PIB to international aid despite promising to raise that to 0.7%

-but both papers talk optimistically of possible new taxes that could br imposed on tourism, plane tickets or financial transactions that could raise more much needs cash for those who need it most. 

And finally- le Figaro is reporting there’s soon be a new coin in French pockets- a 10 euro coin which will be minted in 26 different versions, one of each region and overseas territory of France- so each coin will have a regional symbol on it- good for coin collectors but also they’ll be real money.

By Elena CASAS

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