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French press review 29 May 2009

by Chris Thompson

Article published on the 2009-05-29 Latest update 2009-05-29 10:10 TU

"Non" shouts the campaigning front headline of the communist L'Humanite. This a reminder to readers that, four years after French voters roundly rejected the European Union's Lisbon treaty, it could soon deliver another kick in the teeth to the Brussels-based bourgeoisie in upcoming EU elections.

The paper urges readers to support the newly-created coalition of left parties - the "Front Gauche" - and help deliver a socialist majority to the EU parliament come 7 June.

Attempting to capitalize on record discontent with traditional political parties, the paper quotes a candidate from France's Parti Socialiste admonishing that the time to change European politics is upon us.

Conservative Le Figaro assures its readers that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is neither angry nor frustrated at not being officially invited by president Nicolas Sarkozy to the 60th anniversary of the Normandy landings next week.

This followed British press reports which claimed she was furious at being excluded.

In full damage control mode Sarko's government spokesperson Luc Chatel is quoted as saying that the Queen would "naturally be welcome" to attend the ceremony.

Liberal Le Monde reports that the US will be counting on Russian support, seen as crucial in passing a UN security council resolution currently being drafted on North Korea.

After days of belligerence from the regime in Pyongyang, Le Monde says that the Russians might support a resolution which warns of "possible sanctions" if it continues its nuclear program. Earlier Russia had been completely opposed to the language of sanctions.

Finally left-leaning Libération reports on the liberation from prison of Julian Coupat in Paris. The Parti Socialiste (PS) politician has been in jail for over six months on suspicion of sabotaging a series of TGV railway lines.

But formal charges have yet to be brought. In response to his release, colleagues in the PS have demanded the resignation of Sarko's interior minister Michèle Alliot-Marie for jailing an innocent man.