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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.

Latest update : 2011-01-19

The French are pessimistic yet reproduce like rabbits

FRENCH PAPERS, Wed., 19/1/2011: The French reproduce like rabbits according to the latest statistics. In 10 years, France’s population is set to overtake Germany’s. For the first time since 1974, French women are having over 2 children each over their lifetime. Also: Tunisia’s former First Lady, Madame Ben Ali, is being mocked in Le Canard Enchainé for fleeing the country with a stack of gold...

 

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In today’s papers, France’s rising birthrate… The French are pessimistic yet reproduce like rabbits, according to the latest statistics.
 
However, we started this morning with the satirical weekly newspaper Le Canard Enchainé. Its headlines are always cryptic, even for French native speakers but today it’s pretty self-explanatory. Tunisia’s former First Lady fled the country with 1.5 tonnes of gold last week, worth some €45 million. Here she protests: “But a tonne and half of gold is worth nothing nowadays!” Clearly, this is not a direct quote…
 
Also on the front page: a cartoon showing “continuity in the National Front”, France’s far-right party. Last weekend, long-standing leader Jean-Marie Le Pen passed on the baton to his daughter Marine. He is famously blind in one eye and Le Canard Enchainé finds a novel way of depicting the continuity…
 
France’s birthrate makes the front page of Le Figaro and business paper les Echos. For the first time since 1974, French women are giving birth to two children in their lifetime. Last year, some 830,000 screaming babies were born in France. Les Echos’ editorial says it’s an indication that France is confident about its future, despite recent polls suggesting the French are the most pessimistic people in the world!
 
France’s Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie is under fire in the left-leaning paper Libération.  “MAM” as she is known in France offered French “know-how” in policing to Tunisia as Ben Ali was fighting to save his regime. “Where should this sort of offer stop?” asks Libération. “Hosni Moubarak? Kim Jong Il? Mahmoud Ahmedinejad? … What she did was attempt to come to the rescue of a dictator who was losing out…so that he could repress the righteous anger of his people, keep his job and continue to line his pockets…"
 
Other articles in today’s French press review:
 
Rue89: “The former Tunisian President was expecting a delivery of several tonnes of tear gas from France”
 
Le Monde: “North Africa: Fear of a Tunisian contagion”

 

By James CREEDON

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