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IN THE PRESS

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 : 2011-10-07

Steve Jobs: 'Supreme Geek'

The French press sheds a tear for Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs, showing some of the design flair the deceased American icon may have appreciated. There's also a piece by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and a look at Sunday's pioneering Socialist primary vote. That's the focus for this French press review, Friday 7th October 2011.

The death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dominates. Libération’s front page shows an Apple icon minus its apple stalk. The stalk is falling off as if it was a tear. The business daily La Tribune headlines “L’iCône” meaning Jobs was an icon and also the man who put an i- in front of things. Free paper Metro leads “world in tears for the Supreme Geek”.

Libération reserves some criticism for Apple, pointing to a “brutal system of exploitation” in factories in China making the company’s products. It says while the company presents itself as “green” - demanding suppliers and sub-contractors treat workers with dignity - the reality on the ground is quite different. It quotes a report last month by five NGOs entitled “Bad Apple” and says the company is gaining from a lack of checks and absence of trade unions in China. The editorial concludes that the Steve Jobs heritage is also “totalitarianism in jeans and training shoes”. Apple is cool no more in the way it holds on to its market share, the paper says.

Also grabbing headlines is President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to Georgia. Le Figaro has a piece by Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian President, who hails his French counterpart as a hero for his mediation role in Georgia’s 2008 conflict with Russia. Saakashvili eulogises that France was “a big sister” to Georgia as far back as the Middle Ages. All that praise has to be taken in the context of Tbilisi’s aim to join the European Union and build ties with the West.

Lots of the French papers, too, are looking at the Socialist primaries. The first round of voting to choose a candidate to run in next year’s presidential election takes place on Sunday. The hard-left paper L’Humanité is asking whether the vote doesn’t simply reinforce the two-party system made up of Sarkozy’s ruling UMP and the opposition Socialists.

The right-wing daily Le Figaro, meanwhile, hammers the Socialists for their vague policies on jobs, health and education, saying the Socialist Party campaign has shown “a propensity for naivety and outright lying”. It has a poll showing that Martine Aubry cannot catch up with the favourite François Hollande, who is forecast to get 43 per cent on Sunday, 15 points clear of Martine Aubry. A run-off would see him win by about that margin.

By Nicholas RUSHWORTH

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