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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 : 2012-01-09

Hollande and Sarkozy almost neck-and-neck

The presidential election campaign grabs most of the headlines with the four main players - François Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy, Marine Le Pen and François Bayrou - each given prominence. That, and the controversial 'Robin Hood' tax, is the focus for this look at the French papers, Monday 9th January 2012.

Le Figaro reports on the latest poll in the presidential election race with the headline: “Sarkozy is catching up on Hollande”.

Le Figaro’s editorial asks if Hollande is simply relying on an anti-Sarkozy vote because – according to the right-wing daily – the Socialist’s message is not getting across.

Libération headlines that 30% of the French, almost one in three, are not ruling out voting for Marine Le Pen. The editorial focuses on another statistic from its survey: 68% say Marine Le Pen is more credible than her father Jean-Marie Le Pen.

The free paper 20 Minutes is leading with a photo of the centrist Francois Bayrou. The headline there: “centre of attraction”. He is gaining ground.

Le Parisien/Aujourd'hui-en-France has a piece about “Sarkozy courting Bayrou”. The president will need centrist support if he gets through to a second round vote on May 6th.

Business daily La Tribune, in an editorial, describes Nicolas Sarkozy as an “Artificier”, a man putting on a fireworks display with a series of controversial measures.

And Les Echos, in its editorial, looks at “The utopia of a Tobin Tax” on financial transactions.

By Nicholas RUSHWORTH

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