Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Terror in Barcelona

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Terror attack, Trump turmoil rattle stock markets

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Malbouffe: understanding junk food à la française

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Lebanon repeals 'rape law', but activists say more is needed to protect women

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US business leaders abandon Trump after Charlottesville

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why do French people smoke so much?'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's 'unprecedented transgression'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Kenya’s opposition leader to take poll dispute to Supreme Court

Read more

THE DEBATE

US racial tensions: How far should freedom of speech be stretched?

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 : 2011-12-16

Chirac verdict: 'Guilty?! Me?!'

France's papers report on the historic guilty verdict for former French President Jacques Chirac. His political career now gets a damaging footnote: a two-year suspended sentence. And the US withdrawal from Iraq also gets full coverage. That's the focus for this French press review, Friday 16th December 2011.

The main left-wing paper Liberation shows Jacques Chirac presented with a close-up head shot in black and white as if he is a common criminal. The paper writes the charges over that face: abuse of trust, embezzling public funds and illegal conflict of interest. The former president was given a two-year suspended sentence for paying members of his party for municipal jobs that did not exist during his 18 years as Mayor of Paris. The paper’s editorial says you have to spare a thought for him given his age and state of health. He has memory lapses and was not in court. But it adds that you have to praise the judge’s decision, all the while bearing in mind that this ruling comes a couple of decades after the events.

Le Parisien headlines “Ca finit mal” (“It ends badly”) saying it is the first time a former president has been sentenced. The cartoon inside shows Chirac speaking to the judge saying: “Guilty?! Me?!” and the judge replying: “Don't worry, François Hollande will probably pardon you on the 14th of July”. The Socialist presidential candidate Hollande is shown in polls as the favourite to win the presidency next year and if he does so he will have the right to grant a pardon.

The news website Rue 89 has a tweet from its editor in chief saying: “I do not share the crocodile tears for Jacques Chirac - his health is one thing, justice is another and justice had its day".

The front page of the right-wing daily Le Figaro is - surprise, surprise - putting Chirac’s sentence as the second main story on its front page showing just a grim-faced photo of the former leader. The inside coverage says there is “sadness and bewilderment on the right and restraint on the left’ about this ruling. It quotes the former president as saying that he contests the verdict “categorically” but will not appeal as he “did not, alas, have the strength to lead a battle for the truth”.

Le Figaro, meanwhile, looks at the war in Iraq. The editorial on the front page says the conflict served no purpose. The war began badly, the paper says, as it emerged Saddam Hussein did not have any weapons of mass destruction and that his alleged alliance with al Qaeda was largely invented. The paper says the conflict ends with Iraq lacking political stability and Iran poised to extend its influence in the region. 

By Nicholas RUSHWORTH

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-08-18 Spain

Terror in Barcelona

PRESS REVIEW - Fri. 18.08.17: Papers in Spain and around the world react to yesterday's deadly terrorist attack on Las Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona. El Mundo calls for 'unity...

Read more

2017-08-17 Donald Trump

Lebanon repeals 'rape law', but activists say more is needed to protect women

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs.17.08.17: Donald Trump's comments on the violence in Charlottesville continue to draw criticism. The New York Times says the US president has failed...

Read more

2017-08-17 smoking

'Why do French people smoke so much?'

FRENCH PAPERS - Thurs.17.08.17: Fresh figures show that tobacco consumption in France has remained stable over the past year, despite efforts by the government to reduce smoking....

Read more

2017-08-16 USA

Trump again blames both sides for Charlottesville violence

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 16.08.17: US President Donald Trump has sparked outrage across party lines for once again blaming both sides for the violence in Charlottesville, in...

Read more

2017-08-16 Emmanuel Macron

'Macron: The shadow of a doubt'

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 16.08.17: Papers across France focus on Emmanuel Macron’s first 100 days in office. It’s been a complicated summer for Macron. After riding on a wave of...

Read more