The cold snap that’s gripped France for more than a week has worsened with Paris currently under piles of snow. The south of France, meanwhile, is at the beach. The weather divide is the focus in today’s review of the French papers: THURSDAY 9th DECEMBER 2010.
The paper Le Parisien headlines: “Coincés”. Which means “Stuck”. The front page photo shows shows a couple working in the Tuileries Gardens just by the Louvre Museum while cars are caught in a traffic jam metres away on the banks of the Seine.
The national version of Le Parisien - Aujourd’hui-en-France - headlines with the same photo placed alongside a photo of a beach in Biarritz in the southwest in the country. The contrast is dramatic with some people swimming in the Atlantic. It was 18 degrees centigrade there on Wednesday. To hammer it home, the paper says the highest temperature was 23 degrees C in the town of Calvi in Corsica. Parisians desperate to get out of the cold will be booking their holidays online. The free paper Metro leads on the snow as well - “Paralysed” - it screams saying transport is badly across the Paris region.
Le Figaro reports on the two most prominent female politicians in the opposition Socialist Party. They are trying to drum up support within their party ahead of primaries on a candidate for the 2012 presidential race. Segolene Royale was the party’s candidate in 2007. Her rival Martine Aubry is the Socialist Party leader. The paper headlines that “the battle between them has resumed”. They were both visiting poor Paris suburbs just kilometres apart . Royale was openly campaigning to become the party’s choice for the 2012 race. The paper says Aubry was campaigning too but not acknowledging it. The left-wing daily Liberation says Aubry and Royale were crowding each other out by doing so. The Libé editorial writer Alain Duhamel says the rivalry between the two women is Nicolas Sarkozy’s first bit of good news in a long time.
And France, too, is covering the latest Wikileaks revelations. Le Monde, one of the papers chosen by the whistle-blowing website to divulge secret US cables, headlines: Zimbabwe Blood Diamonds for Mugabe. It asks what is going on in the diamond mines in the Marange region? The area is inaccessible, cut off by the army. Apparently in November 2008, a source provided a list of government members benefitting from diamond production including "Zimbabwe Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono, President Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe, and Vice-President Joyce Mujuru”.