French press review 15 August 2017


Le Monde is running a story on the new geography of banking in post-Brexit Europe, which the paper says is starting to take shape.

Several cities are competing to host banks planning to move away from London in order to remain in the European Union.

The German city of Frankfurt is most likely to be the prime destination, according to Le Monde, since it is home to the European Central Bank (ECB).

But several other cities are also hoping to get a piece of the cake, including Paris.

Although the results of the Brexit negotiation are still uncertain, Le Monde says that big banks are preparing for the worst-case scenario, in which they would no longer be able to operate freely in Europe from their headquarters in London.

Most of the big players, such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, have already announced that they will be applying for a licence to operate in Frankfurt.

Barclays, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch are looking towards Dublin.

Royal Bank of Scotland plans to move employees to Madrid.

Lloyd’s will move operations to Brussels.

So far Paris has only attracted HSBC, who plans to move a thousand employees here.

Le Monde says social charges make the City of Light less attractive to banks than Germany.

But the race is not over yet, according to one analyst interviewed by Le Monde.

He says that so far banks have only been purchasing operating licences and that there is no knowing where they will in fact move their employees within the next two years.

The French government will begin some intense lobbying in September, Le Monde says.

It will be underlining the series of labour and finance reforms it plans to undertake, to appeal to financial institutions.

If it succeeds, 10,000 jobs could be created in the French capital, according to Paris Eurospace, the city’s lobbying group.

Why do young people turn to jihadism?

One of Catholic paper La Croix‘s main stories is about the process of radicalisation which leads some young people to jihadism in France.

The paper is focusing on a new study done by four researchers, who have taken a meticulous look at the lives of 20 convicted terrorists.

The group’s findings defy a lot of preconceived ideas on the subject.

To start with, most of the men interviewed did not have a history of criminality and were well behaved in school.

But the study does reveal a recurring factor in the men’s path to terrorism: an unstable or dysfunctional family background.

The study suggest that to get away from negligent or passive parents, the young men turn to authority figures outside the family sphere, often encountered on internet, where they discover the world of jihadist ideology.

France’s next space project

Libération brings us a more uplifting story, with a report from Kourou, in French Guiana.

This is where the French civil engineering company, Eiffage, is building a huge launch site for the European Ariane-6 rocket

The site consists of a 30-metre basin dug spread across 140 acres of land and will cost 650 million euros.

The overall infrastructure should be completed by 2019.

Libération says the region has a lot to gain economically.

Nearly 50 companies from mainland France and Guiana are already involved and the construction site will be recruiting 250 workers in the next two months.

These will be mainly made up of young, unqualified workers in need of vocational training.

The director of France’s Space Research Centre says that it will finally give locals a chance to get involved Europe’s huge space progects, which they normally only get a glimpse of from the outside and for them to acquire life-changing qualifications in the process.

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