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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 : 2011-06-27

Skip the "bling-bling"

Left-wing daily Libération is advising Sarkozy to put his "bling" years behind him and continue with the book reading and film watching. Most of the other papers are concentrating on the opposition Socialist Party primaries. The candidates are making their official bids from Tuesday through to mid-July. That's the focus for Monday, 27th June 2011.

French politics dominates today's French papers, largely because France’s politicians won’t have much time over the long summer break to grab the public’s attention – the first wave of holiday departures begins next week. Le Parisien-Aujourd'hui-en-France reports that Ségolène Royal, the defeated candidate in the last presidential race against Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, has made it clear she is eager to have a second chance. Royal has been eating humble pie saying she has learnt from her mistakes in the past. Those errors go from appearing to be too improvised to proposing that teenage delinquents should go to boot camps to saying France’s teachers were not working enough.

The free paper 20 Minutes leads with a photo of the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy shaking the hands of Martine Aubry (aka Jacques Delors’ daughter). Aubry is the Socialist Party leader and currently has more support in surveys than Royal (although both are scoring less than favourite François Hollande). Aubry will announce her candidacy in Lille in northern France on Tuesday.

The Catholic daily La Croix looks at the selection process which will be run along the lines of a US primary for the first time. The primary vote is open to every French voter on the electoral register. So could right-wing voters sabotage the process? Not likely, as people will have to sign a charter of left-wing values and pay a nominal fee, a euro or more, to cast their ballot. There are fears in the Socialist Party that the primary race could become too focused on personalities rather than policies and so backfire.

Libération – the left-wing paper – looks at the incumbent with the headline: “Sarkozy dreams of being president at last”. Much of French public opinion sees Sarkozy as being too hands-on and not “presidential” enough. The paper reports that the hyper-active bling-bling president has cut down on his TV appearances and is staying in in the evenings, watching a lot of the classics of the cinema with his wife Carla Bruni. And that shift in style, the paper argues, could help him.

And France Soir leads on swimming star Laure Manadou who retired from the pool one year and nine months ago at the age of 24 and has now decided on a comeback. She’s become a mum in the meantime and plans to go for gold at the London Olympic Games.

By Nicholas RUSHWORTH

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