A French pastry, the holy feast of Ramadan and a controversial French MP seeking to become head of his party have combined to create a media storm in France and left the country’s Muslim community angry.
One thing is certain: a clear majority of the French parliament will vote in favour of the EU fiscal pact. But another thing is too: the treaty has sown divisions within the ruling majority, not just between the Socialist party and its Green allies but also within the ruling party, much to the delight of the opposition conservatives.
The war for the leadership of France's conservative UMP party is on. Two contenders are facing off in a vote to designate the head of the party in November: former PM François Fillon and current party boss Jean-François Copé. But the next presidential elections will take place in 2017, meaning there is ample time for others to throw their hats into the ring, such as a man who said he was withdrawing from political life: former president Nicolas Sarkozy.
François Hollande knew it would be hard. But the new Socialist president probably did not imagine it would be this hard when he was elected back in May. And yet, the bad news keeps piling up, with unemployment hitting the 3-million mark and Hollande's polling numbers down. The French are growing impatient with the new administration and wonder whether Hollande is up to the job. Is he too soft or can he rise to the challenge?
The summer is over for François Hollande, as is his political honeymoon following his election back in May. With unemployment hitting the 3 million threshold and the growing feeling this his Socialist government is moving too slowly to tackle the crisis, the president is going through his first real test. He needs to reassure the French that he is not only the anti-Nicolas Sarkozy, but also someone who can steer them through these economic hard times.
FRENCH PAPERS, Wednesday 5th September: Le Parisien describes the shock new regulations that the French government hope will stop people smoking; we find out why Jean-Francois Copé is cosying up to Sarkozy Jnr; and La Croix looks at what French people really think about racism.
France’s new Socialist leaders have ordered the police to dismantle more Roma camps, sparking outrage in France. Next, we head to a "Friends of Nicolas Sarkozy" gathering to check out how "Sarkonostaglia" is clouding the leadership race for France's centre-right UMP party. Finally, we find out what Maurice Ravel, Marcel Proust and Coco Chanel all have in common.
A Socialist minister angers Green allies by saying that "nuclear power has a future" in France. One paper is asking whether they can govern together. We look, too, at the rivalry between the two men vying for the opposition UMP leadership. And would you go barefoot in Paris with all that dog merde? That's the French press on Tuesday 28th August, 2012.
IN THE FRENCH PAPERS, Mon. 20/08/12: French papers focus on the government as summer recess comes to an end. François Hollande and his ministers have their work cut out for them, according to Le Parisien. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Manuel Valls defends the government's security policy. And Le Figaro says the race for the top job at the opposition UMP party has begun.
Months after gunman Mohamed Merah was shot dead in a police raid, neighbours are still paying for the damage to their homes. And in lighter news, the French drive south for the summer - almost every single one of them. Brace for backed-up traffic... maybe it’s time to catch up on those philosophy podcasts.