A photo-shopped picture of IMF Managing-Director Christine Lagarde shows her in an 'I Love Nicolas Sarkozy' T-Shirt. The joke photo refers to an undated, unsent letter found in Lagarde's Paris flat which is the latest twist in the Tapie Scandal. It has rekindled concerns about Lagarde's role in a state settlement that awarded maverick businessman Bernard Tapie 400 million euros. We look, too, at the role of social media in Brazil's protests. And, at Obama and Putin being grumpy. Join us.
A leaked letter in which IMF chief Christine Lagarde pledges her allegiance to former president Nicolas Sarkozy has caused bewilderment in France, raising further suspicions over fraud at the highest levels of government.
FRENCH PAPERS, Tues. 18.06.13: Le Monde says it has seen proof that the private panel that granted Bernard Tapie 400 million euros in 2008 was fixed. Meanwhile, Le Figaro says the judge in charge of the Bettencourt scandal is biased against Nicolas Sarkozy. And Hollande and Barroso clash at the G8 summit.
FRENCH PAPERS, Fri. 14/06/13: François Hollande's government is set to examine how to reform the country's pension system and French papers say it's likely to be explosive. Le Parisien says the government isn't going to touch the thorny issue of special pension deals for certain public sector workers. Also, the Bernard Tapie scandal moves closer to Nicolas Sarkozy, and Libération takes a closer look at skinheads in France.
Three years ago, France's ruling Conservatives reformed the state pension system, by pushing the legal retirement age up from 60 to 62, prompting howls of protest from the Socialists. Now, the Socialists are in power and they are angling for a reform to try to salvage the cash-strapped pay-as-you-go system. The reform is likely to resemble the one they so vividly blasted in 2010. In other words, the French will have to work longer and their pensions are likely to be less generous.
Claude Guéant was for years the shadow of Nicolas Sarkozy, his right-hand man, his closest adviser. Now, he is in a lot of trouble as revelations about his financial dealings keep piling up. Another scandal making waves and involving the entourage of the former president is the so-called Bernard Tapie affair, with the government looking into how this tycoon received 400 million euros in a private arbitration scheme fraught with suspicion.
FRENCH PAPERS, Mon. 11/06/13: Former Interior Minister Claude Guéant is once again in the spotlight following allegations he received large amounts of cash as Nicolas Sarkozy’s chief of staff when Sarkozy was Interior Minister. Was this embezzlement of public money or just common practice at the time? The French papers are divided.
Eyeing his conservative UMP party's nomination for the 2017 presidential election, former prime minister François Fillon said Thursday that France needs to "reduce the number of immigrants" it allows into the country.
His name was Clément Méric. He was a 19-year-old student in political sciences and a left-wing activist. On Wednesday night, he was beaten to death in central Paris by what appears to be a gang of far-right youngsters. His death has prompted a wave of indignation and comes on the heels of a very heated debate on gay marriage. Also this week: Nicolas Sarkozy crossed the Channel and hinted at a political comeback.
FRENCH PAPERS, Weds. 05/06/13: The French Foreign Ministry claims it has evidence chemical weapons were used in Syria. Many papers wonder if this means the "red line" has been crossed. Also, Le Monde says several former top-level Libyan officials are ready to testify in front of a judge over allegations former President Nicolas Sarkozy received illegal funds from Muammar Gaddafi to finance his 2007 presidential bid.