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French press review 13 September 2012

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A book by two leading doctors which declares that thousands of commonly used pills and medicines have no effect is among the interesting stories in today's French papers...


Both Le Monde and Le Figaro give pride of place to yesterday's decision by the German Constitutional Court to accept the terms of the European Stability Mechanism.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

"Germany gives the green light to European salvage plan" is the Le Monde headline.

Le Figaro's version reads "Germany gives Europe a glimmer of hope".

The question now is, does the German Chancellor Angela Merkel herself have a glimmer of hope? She has promoted the stability measures disliked by the majority of German voters who see the plan as simply more of hard-working northern Europeans paying the debts of ne'er-do-well southern wasters.

Le Figaro says the implications of the Karlsruhe decision for France can be summed up in the expression "ultra austerity". Because the Stability Mechanism comes with the most stringent obligations which will have to be met by all member states, not just those up to their noses in the financial caca. So stringent, indeed, that the struggling Spanish have already said they'd rather be in debt than agree to Europe's terms.

The front page of tabloid paper Le Parisien is dominated by the news that one pill in every two taken by sick French people is a waste of time.

Two medical professors publish a book today, in which they review 4,000 commonly prescribed medicines. The verdict: half of them are useless, possibly even dangerous. And the state would save 10 billion euros every year if they took this junk off the list of medicines paid for by social insurance.

On inside pages, Le Parisien looks at the strange case of a French psychiatrist who is on trial for manslaughter, because she failed to diagnose chronic paranoid schizophrenia in a patient who subsequently murdered an 83-year-old with a hatchet. He was never tried for that crime because the courts found him so unstable as to be not responsible. But now, the law wants to know why the psychiatrist who monitored the man's case for years . . . during which there were several armed attacks and attempts to burn things down . . . failed to recognise that he was a walking menace.

The front page of left-leaning Libération looks at the on-going war between Google, Samsung and Apple for domination of the mobile phone market. Apple today launches the iPhone 5 which is larger but thinner than previous models, and is a fourth generation device, meaning it's faster, with better graphics and takes photos with more pixels than you'd believe.

It's going to cost you about 200 euros for the bog-standard version, and the real bad news is that it is not compatible with previous models. That's progress, folks.