Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

YOU ARE HERE

The Mont Saint-Michel, between sea and stone

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Massive trade bill clears key hurdle in US Senate

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why should the U.S. fight for the Iraqis?'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

"Inequality takes hold"

Read more

DEBATE

Will Ireland Say "I Do"? Gay Marriage Referendum Challenges Catholic Values (part 1)

Read more

DEBATE

Will Ireland Say "I Do"? Gay Marriage Referendum Challenges Catholic Values (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

Mother of French terror victim seeks to open minds

Read more

ENCORE!

Aishwarya Rai: An interview with the Queen of Bollywood

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Ireland on the eve of gay marriage vote

Read more

Live from the newsroom, we provide an overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

IN THE PAPERS

IN THE PAPERS

Latest update : 2011-09-23

Karachigate: a "curious" communiqué

The French papers focus on the latest political scandal 'Karachigate' as people wonder whether the dirt this time could stick at the highest level. Two of Nicolas Sarkozy's associates have been formally accused and the President has issued a swift rebuff saying he had no role. But the press is asking whether he doth protest too much. That's the focus for this look at the French press, Friday 23rd September 2011.

Le Figaro is leading on what is being called “Karachigate” here in France, an illegal campaign-funding scandal that came to light following a bombing in Karachi in Pakistan in 2002 in which 11 French nationals were killed.

The paper headlines: “The Elysée condemns political manipulation”. Two of Nicolas Sarkozy’s associates - Nicolas Bazire, the best man at his wedding, and Thierry Gaubert - have been formally accused of handling kickbacks on arms contracts with Pakistan. Investigators are looking into whether sums of money from the kickbacks went into the coffers of the presidential election campaign of a former prime minister Edouard Balladur in the mid 90s. Nicolas Sarkozy has spelt out in a communiqué that he was a Balladur spokesman at the time and not the director of his campaign and had no role in raising campaign funds.

While Le Figaro reports the official line from the Elysée, Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui-en-France describes the press release as “curious”. “Is the presidency losing its nerve”, it asks? The paper argues that the Elysée has been clumsy by saying that Sarkozy’s name does not appear on any of the paperwork related to the scandal when in fact the president does not have access to it.

Le Monde Online is reporting that French judicial officials are now accusing the Elysée of violating the secrecy of the documents. (NB: the paper says “violating” - violé - and not “having stolen” – volé - as stated in error on air.)

Papers are also looking at two women who have emerged centre stage in the scandal. France Soir headlines: “La princesse qui fait trembler Balladur et énerve l’Elysée” (“The princess rocking Balladur and upsetting the Elysée") along with a photo of Hélène de Yougoslavie who is a descendant of the last king of Italy and Thierry Gaubert’s wife. Hélène de Yougoslavie has told investigators her husband accompanied an intermediary, Ziad Takieddine, to Switzerland to pick up cash-stuffed suitcases on several occasions in the period 1994-1995. Papers are showing the princess along with Nicola Johnson, Takieddine’s former wife, who has also spoken to investigators. Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui-en-France paper describes the revelations by the two women as “explosive”.

By Nicholas RUSHWORTH

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2015-05-22 Syria

'Why should the U.S. fight for the Iraqis?'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri 22.05.15: Lots of talk of the US's strategy against I.S. today – or rather lack thereof. Editorials in the Washington Post and Daily Beast say there...

Read more

2015-05-22 Syria

"Inequality takes hold"

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Fri 22.05.15 : Palmyra is once again on the front pages, after IS took over the ancient city. And Liberation and Le Figaro questions the U.S.'s strategy in...

Read more

2015-05-21 Syria

'Bin Laden's secret porn stash'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs. 21.05.15: The Islamic State group's victory in the ancient city of Palmyra is featured across the press, from Lebanon's L'Orient Le Jour to the UK's...

Read more

2015-05-21 strike

'Last chance before burnout'

FRENCH PAPERS - Thurs. 21.05.15: A second wave of strikes dominates the French press - this time medical professionals are striking over reforms that might see the 35-hour...

Read more

2015-05-20 migrants

'Picture of Desperation'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds 20.05.15: Papers across the globe react to the migrant crisis from Burma and Bangladesh, as foreign ministers meet in Kuala Lumpur. A historic...

Read more