Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

Read more

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more

FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more

ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more

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 : 2011-09-05

'Return of the living dead'

A former president and a former presidential hopeful dominate: Jacques Chirac and Dominique Strauss-Kahn. They are both mired in scandal. Chirac, at 78, will not be in court today on medical grounds for the start of his trial for alleged corruption. And Strauss-Kahn is back home in what a political rival calls the return of the "living dead". That's the focus for the French press review, Monday 5th September 2011.

Le Figaro leads on a photo of Jacques Chirac looking frail as he rests his hand on a security guard. It headlines : “La maladie de Jacques Chirac dénature son procès”. That has two meanings: one, his illness changes the nature of his trial and, two, it is nothing without him.

Chirac’s trial on allegations of corruption opens today with his lawyers arguing he is too unwell to attend. Plaintiffs say that’s a "manoeuvre": a trick, a manipulation.

Le Figaro says this is a painful time for Chirac’s wife, Bernadette, and his children. They have had to choose between letting him appear in court knowing his health is not up to it, and making the extent of his health difficulties public.

The paper says opposition Socialist politicians Ségolène Royal and François Hollande “understand his absence but believe the trial is legitimate”. An opposition Europe Ecology politician, meanwhile, tells Le Figaro: “The richer and more powerful you are, the more you can escape justice”

The free paper “20 minutes” is asking: “Is this a phoney trial?” That’s a reference to the case itself which concerns phoney jobs Chirac is alleged to have created during his time as Mayor of Paris in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Another French politician with the “scandal” label, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, also features heavily. Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui-en-France headlines: “Strauss-Kahn’s strategy”. It says his return to Paris from New York on Sunday was carefully orchestrated and is part of scrupulous efforts by his team to resurrect his political career.

It quotes a member of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s team saying Strauss-Kahn’s reappearance in Paris is the return of the “living dead”, affirming that while Strauss-Kahn is dead politically, in personal terms, he could drag the Socialist Party down.

A cartoon in Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui-en-France shows Strauss-Kahn asking: “If I plead memory loss like Chirac could I possibly run as presidential candidate?”

One of France’s regional papers, Le Progrés, in Lyon, looks at both men saying that they belong to France’s past. It is urging a closer look at the problems France has today. And another paper, Le Courrier Picard in northern France, remarks: “between Jacques Chirac losing his memory and Dominique Strauss-Kahn who realises his memory will be called upon, France has two unrivalled talents in dealing with the justice system”.

By Nicholas RUSHWORTH

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-01-20 Gambia

'On Inauguration Day, respect for the office and hope for the nation'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 20.01.17: The volatile situation in Gambia is in the spotlight today. But the real story dominating the press is the upcoming inauguration of Donald...

Read more

2017-01-20 Donald Trump

French papers before Trump's inauguration: 'Here we go!'

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 20.01.17: All eyes are on the US today as the country gets ready to inaugurate its 45th president: Donald J. Trump. French papers are alarmed by the...

Read more

2017-01-19 François Hollande

Is Hollande eyeing 'European Council president' post after he steps down?

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Thursday, January 19: The seven candidates hoping to be the French left's presidential pick go head-to-head in the final debate before the primaries this...

Read more

2017-01-19 climate change

11th hour: Scientists say primates facing 'imminent extinction'

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Thursday, January 19: 2016 was the hottest year on record, a phenomenon that is being blamed on human activity. Also endangered: primates who are facing...

Read more

2017-01-18 Brexit

French papers: A small slap for Valls, a major PR blow for his campaign

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 18.01.17: French papers react with alarm to the British prime minister's highly anticipated speech in which Theresa May clarified her government's "hard...

Read more