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What the papers said 29 May 2018

LanguedocLiving, May 29

The death of France's aeronautical strongman, politician and media mogul Serge Dassaut is remembered in various ways by the French press while the fall in the number of smokers comes as a happy surprise.

One man is gracing the front pages of the press and that is Serge Dassaut who passed away on Monday in his office at the age of 93 following heart failure. The multi-billionaire is often described as a pillar of the French aeronautical industry but he was also more than that as the papers depict in their pages.

Unsurprisingly he's all over conservative Le Figaro, of which he was the owner. It describes him as "France with a heart" as they glance back at his empire that included the creation of fighter jet plane which, let's face it, can't have been used just to deliver aid. That said it did turn out to be one of France's greatest military exports so maybe that's where Le Figaro sees the "heart" side of things. He inherited an empire from his father Marcel Dassault, but remained "an independent mind" writes the paper who goes on to claim he allowed it editorial Independence.

Le Figaro further looks at all the tributes that were paid to him by various heads of state. Not only was he a successful heir and businessman, Serge Dassaut was also a senator representing the Essonne region, situated on the outskirts of Paris. At the time he represented the then conservative party le RPR and was at one point Mayor of Corbeil-Essonne.

Libération has also dedicated its front page to him with a slightly cheesy photo of him posing in front of his plane (possibly from the 70s, 80s) . It writes that he leaves behind him a prosperous industry and a few skeletons in the closet before glancing back at his money laundering charges and how he was under investigation over claims he bought votes.

The paper gives a less than flattering description of the man saying he was a simpleton and France's biggest tax dodger, , the most politicised plane builder in the industry and the most interventionist media owner."

One of Le Monde's leading stories this morning is an investigation into the anti-wind farm front who claim that these green energy generators are actually inefficient and are being used by "business crooks" whose sole goal is to make money out of the various regions while at the same time desecrating the pretty French countryside. Some of the people interviewed by the centrist paper say they'd much rather rely on nuclear energy as a means to exit fossil fuels.

These anti-wind farm organisations are popping up all over and are so organised that it can take projects seven to nine years to materialise instead of four years tops in neighbouring Germany.

It seems that some members of France's National Front have jumped on the bandwagon claiming that wind farms wont create jobs for the French. Although not everyone slowing down the arrival en mass of wind farms is a member of France's far right, all are calling out a lack of transparency when it comes to implementing them.

The number of French people giving up smoking has also made it into a number of papers "Even the poorest are smoking less" headlines Le Parisien. It's the first time that's happened since the year 2000. Having said that, 1 in 3 people smoke in France. The numbers have gone down by one million in the last year. The increase in price of a packet of cigarette could be behind it or is it the arrival of the electronic cigarette that's helped? Les Echos notes that Macron's government is hoping to diminish the number of smokers from 26.9% to 22% by the end of his mandate.

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