France News of the Week by our news partner, Le Figaro in English
The signature game
French law requires candidates to have the signatures of 500 elected officials (who support their candidacy, not necessarily their political ideas) in order to get their names on presidential ballot. This is a way of eliminating non-serious candidates.
The signature deadline is this Friday at 6 p.m. and several candidates squeaked past the finish line, earning the needed signatures this week. One is extremist candidate Marine Le Pen of the Front National, who has been making a hullabaloo for weeks now about not having enough signatures.
The other candidates who just barely made it onto the roster are Philippe Poutou of the New Anticapitalist Party and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, the candidate for Arise the Republic (DLR). Another candidate, François Amanrich, says that he has the signatures but that still needs to be verified.
These candidates will join the frontrunners, Socialist François Hollande and current president Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as François Bayrou.
Bus accident leaves Europe reeling
A horrific bus accident resulted in the death of 28 people including 22 Belgian schoolchildren on a school ski trip in Switzerland. The French media has been covering the tragedy of their Francophone neighbors nonstop as authorities try to figure out why it happened (a theory launched Thursday is that the driver was changing the DVD that the students were watching just before entering a tunnel and he lost control of the bus.) The two drivers were killed in the accident. All of France, Europe and the world are grieving with the families and friends of these young people. Today, at 11 a.m., Belgium has announced a minute of silence for those killed.
Marianne from Mayotte: a politically charged ad
Pardon!, a clothing brand based in the French Indian Ocean released a shocking retake on the famous image of the French lady liberty, a provocative image that brings up questions of French identity, black womanhood and a tiny island called Mayotte.
Check out Le Figaro in English’s original article on the scandal, which is one of the most read articles of this week on the Web site of Le Figaro Madame.
The companions of the candidates
Meetings, interviews, magazine covers… the companions of the French presidential candidates are also on the campaign trail this spring.
But a politician’s private life has a different place in the media in France than it does in the U.S. and the U.K. Find out more in this interview.
Saving the French economy, one happy little boy and girl at a time
The No. 1 tourist attraction in Europe is right outside of Paris. This “Small World” makes a big difference for the French economy.
In 20 years, the theme park has brought an estimated €50 billion to the French economy, bedazzled 250 million visitors and created 55,000 direct and indirect jobs each year. The park alone represents 6.2% of France’s yearly revenue from tourists.
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