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Austerity spells danger for Sarkozy, says French press
France 24 ^ | 11/9/2011 | Sophie PILGRIM

Posted on 11/09/2011 9:25:45 PM PST by bruinbirdman

The French government’s second round of austerity measures has gone down a storm with the national press, who say it could serve as the last straw for voters fed up with President Nicolas Sarkozy, just six months before the presidential election.

Barely three months since the last round of austerity measures, France was met with even stricter belt-tightening instructions on Monday, when Prime Minister François Fillon unveiled a new set of what he described as “sacrifices”. Tax hikes, spending cuts and a higher retirement age sooner than planned – not an austerity package that many would gladly champion.

Conservative sympathisers accepted the measures as a necessary evil which would protect France’s triple A credit rating, criticising instead Sarkozy’s Socialist rival, François Hollande, for failing to address the euro zone crisis. The general public was less impressed. Could this be a final nail in the coffin for the unpopular Nicolas Sarkozy? The press certainly seems to think so.

Libération: “Fillon buries Sarkozy”

France’s leading left-wing daily Libération (photo right) argues that Fillon has buried the triumphant Sarkozy of 2012 with his painful talk of “rigour’. According to a source close to the president, Sarkozy could barely listen to the speech, so fearful he was that it would leave his re-election plans in tatters.

“Rigour as a concept is so appalling to the president; he can’t even utter the word,” the article reads. In an editorial on the same page, it’s argued that he has every right to be concerned. Describing Fillon as a “grave-digger”, the paper says it’s 'Sarkozyism' that’s bankrupt, not the country.

As for the budget itself, the paper accuses the government of failing to clearly acknowledge having resorted to tax hikes, arguing that there were other available options.

Le Figaro: “Six months for Sarkozy to win the challenge of rigour”

France’s leading conservative daily Le Figaro (left) is one of the only publications to welcome the package, but acknowledges the short time Sarkozy has for it to work in his favour.

After describing Sarkozy and Fillon as “partners facing the storm”, the paper goes on to quote the most melodramatic parts of Fillon’s speech (“The French have entrusted us with a mission/ the president’s hand will not tremble/ the situation is very difficult, and so are our choices, etc). The paper then goes on to stress that no previous French government ever dared announce such strict austerity measures just six months before a presidential election.

They willingly borrow Fillon’s choice of adjective to describe Sarkozy’s part in the plans – “courageous” – before pointing out that his approval rating is higher than it has been since February (at 37%), “a sign that this strategy is paying off”. Already?

A front page editorial on the subject begins with “France is a fantastic country”, and goes on to say that if it doesn’t follow Fillon’s master plan, it may be a fantastic country no more.

Le Parisien/ Aujhourd’hui en France: “The real price of rigour”

Colourful daily Le Parisien (as well as its national edition, Aujhourd-hui en France, right), proudly sides with its readers, portraying them as the victims of a “convoy of measures”. After angrily pointing out that the majority of the tax rises made will affect individuals rather than companies, the paper then innocently asks its readers whether they think they’ll be affected by the measures in an online poll. Not surprisingly, they almost all answer yes.

The closest thing you can get to a tabloid in France, right-wing France Soir leads boldly with “THE BILL”, terrifying readers further with “what the Fillon plan is going to change for you” outlined in red.

They go on to say that Fillon had to scare his audience with “a grave look” in order to prepare them for what he was about to say. The paper focuses on the alteration to the pension reform, which it calculates will add between one and four months to the working lives of those in their late 50s.

The paper also ran an online survey, this time asking readers whether they were satisfied with the plan. Only 8% answered yes.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: europeanunion; france

1 posted on 11/09/2011 9:25:48 PM PST by bruinbirdman
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To: Cincinna
I thought Sarkozy controlled the press?


2 posted on 11/09/2011 9:27:40 PM PST by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds." -- Ayn Rand)
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To: bruinbirdman

Wonder what those muzzie hoards are costing them - you know, the ones who have nothing better to do than riot and burn cars in the summer?

3 posted on 11/09/2011 9:56:04 PM PST by Aria ( "If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.")
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To: bruinbirdman; afraidfortherepublic; mojo114; seenenuf; LucyT; Miss Didi; Think free or die; ...

Thanks to Bruinbirdman for the article.
The policy of financial restraint and austerity proposed by Sarkozy and his Prime Minister, François Fillon, is being accepted by his center right UMP party, and right wing voters in France. Everyone knows it is necessary to cut back.
François Hollande, the Socialist candidate knows it too, but his coalition of whack-a-doodle far left, ecologist, anti-capitalists, etc, are not buying it, even though there is no money to pay for it.



4 posted on 11/09/2011 10:05:59 PM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: Cincinna
"Everyone knows it is necessary to cut back."

In fact, isn't that the platform Sarkozy ran on to defeat the Socialists in the first place? That and anti-crime?


5 posted on 11/09/2011 10:18:26 PM PST by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds." -- Ayn Rand)
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To: bruinbirdman

Going after all the conservatives.

6 posted on 11/09/2011 10:38:27 PM PST by BenKenobi (Honkeys for Herman! 10 percent is enough for God; 9 percent is enough for government)
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To: bruinbirdman; Cincinna

They need to work 4 more months before collecting their pensions! Sacre Bleu! Strike!

7 posted on 11/09/2011 10:47:15 PM PST by monkeyshine
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To: Cincinna

Well, if I were living in France here is my to do list:

-plant a larger kitchen garden this yr

-renew fishing license

-break out the needle and thread and fix clothes

-take the shoes to the cobbler

Hope Sarkozy’s plan works as overall, the French are simply going to have to cut back on spending at every level or face a severe collapse, this is reality, unfortunately the Soclialists do not deal in reality, they deal in promises they know they cannot pay for.

8 posted on 11/10/2011 4:33:38 AM PST by padre35 (You shall not ignore the laws of God, the Market, the Jungle, and Reciprocity Rm10.10)
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To: padre35

Considering the total number of years that France has been run by the Socialists (although, by my standards Sarko is a Socialist, too), it’s shocking they made it this far without having to cut back.

9 posted on 11/10/2011 6:25:37 AM PST by RockinRight (One year from now, we have an opportunity to take our nation back.)
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To: RockinRight

True, the one thing to keep in mind about France’s politics is they legacy of Despots is one of the driving forces behind all things political in France.

They really do think “rob from the rich” in France, all Sarko can do is try and interject some fiscal sanity into the system, and even then he is great danger of losing the next election.

10 posted on 11/10/2011 10:54:15 AM PST by padre35 (You shall not ignore the laws of God, the Market, the Jungle, and Reciprocity Rm10.10)
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