A bit of wishful thinking. Still grim sweater weather in Paris, but this Ricard ad campaign for pastis — the aperitif that evokes sun, sand, and old men playing pétanque on the Côte d’Azur – graces all the kiosks around the Place de la Bastille this morning.
European leaders’ crisis talks over the euro in Brussels today get cover story treatment from Le Figaro and Libération. Libé headlines on “Disgraceful Europe,” claiming, “In the eyes of its citizens, Europe has become a synonym for austerity.” (That story surely responsible for relegating the page-and-a-half piece on lentils tipped on the cover to page 22.) Le Figaro headlines on Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel’s successful late-night powwow for a common stance on the euro, the paper, true to type, painting Sarkozy heroically.
Le Parisien gets to the real important stuff, the impending battle between two French loves: strikes and vacation. The upcoming “chassé-croisé” – the congested tag-team moment when the “juilletistes” (July holidaymakers) and the “aoûtiens” (August holidaymakers) will cross paths coming and going – may be marred this year by Air France personnel angling for a work stoppage. The paper’s man-on-the-street round-up asking whether strikes during the holidays are shocking yields two “yes,” two “no,” and a “yes and no.” Even split.
The Thursday weeklies are vying for beach readers. Paris Match opts for romance, with the usually dour Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry, and the husband we rarely see, Jean-Louis, all smiles for some summer puff before the 2012 presidential pre-campaign gets underway in earnest in the fall. Le Point goes thriller, headlining on “The Mafia in France,” ticking through mafiosi imports from Italy, the Baltics, the Balkans, the former Soviets, China, and Nigeria, with the Corsicans thrown in for local flavor. And Le Nouvel Observateur handles the rest: “From Caesar to DSK. Sex, Power, and Scandals.”