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French press review 12 November 2010

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There's a real mix on the papers’ front pages this morning. Centrist Le Monde and financial daily Les Echos are both leading with the G20 summit, saying respectively that "disarray" and "division" are on the menu in South Korea.


In something of an understatement, Les Echos says that an accord that “saves face looks like it will be difficult to hammer out.”

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao are in the firing line for the manipulation of their currency.

Le Monde’s tone is perhaps unsurprisingly similar, saying that countries participating in the summit still show no sign of agreeing on anything.

Obama, it agrees, is on the back foot, since the Federal Reserve decided to fire up the printing press and churn out some 600 billion dollars in cash - a somewhat unsubtle way of sustaining growth and avoiding deflation.

The Europeans and Asians are having none of it. Obama's words rang somewhat hollow yesterday as he waxed lyrical on the virtues of shunning protectionism and embracing a coordinated global effort to stop the world's economy from going down the toilet.

Talking of going down the toilet, the Socialist Party here in France marked the end of the unwritten consensus on its leader Martine Aubry.

A day after Armistice Day and a year before the Socialist Party primaries that will choose its presidential candidate, the paper says the battle lines are being drawn.

It was the man on the left wing of the party who fired the starting gun, by presenting a text to the party's executive council entitled “Real Equality.” It’s a text that the upper echelons of the party were quick to shoot down for being far too socialist.

Ladies and gentlemen, let the battle commence.

The editorial on the front page this morning is dedicated to the virtues of journalism. The paper takes up arms with the government in the ongoing and rather ugly saga which has seen it accused of listening in on journalists from Le Monde.

Ealier this week a leaked memo from Prime Minister Francois Fillon's office reminded the interior minister that tapping journalists was against the law, which suggested the accusations were by no means baseless.

Yesterday Fillon told parliament that it's the national interest that drives the secret service, and all this under the strict surveillance of public liberties. This, says Le Monde, explains nothing at all and, today, it is calling for answers.