Paper scorns Elysee's revenge

THE French newspaper Le Monde has struck back at a confidant of President Francois Mitterrand who suggested that the newspaper's founder had been a Second World War collaborator with the Germans.

Last week, the newspaper said the Elysee Palace had cut its order of the daily from 110 copies to 20. It said Jean Musitelli, Mr Mitterrand's spokesman, had blamed reports about the the President's prostate cancer and his role under the Vichy collaborationist regime. Le Monde's reporting was, in fact, in line with other French media.

Then Michel Charasse, a member of Mr Mitterrand's inner circle and a former Budget Minister, said on Radio Luxembourg that Le Monde was not worth reading because it no longer followed the line set by Hubert Beuve- Mery, its founder. He said he was reluctant to mention Beuve-Mery 'because I wouldn't want Le Monde's bosses to accuse me of being Petainiste, because Hubert Beuve-Mery was in Marshal Petain's (the Vichy leader's) camps in Uriage'.

Le Monde responded with a note explaining that Beuve- Mery had helped set up a civil service school in Uriage, near Grenoble, in 1941. It was disbanded in December 1942 on the order of Pierre Laval, the Vichy prime minister, because its loyalties were suspect. Pierre Dunoyer de Segonzac, the principal, was the subject of an arrest warrant and he asked Beuve-Mery to organise a resistance network among the students, it said.

Pierre Georges, Le Monde's humourist, went for Mr Charasse personally. The cigar- smoking, braces-wearing Mr Charasse is known for being forthright. On one occasion he threatened two television journalists, whose reporting displeased him, with an inquiry into their tax affairs.

'Big braces, big cigars, big talker, big connections, Mr Charasse always goes a little too far,' Mr Georges wrote.

Noting that Mr Mitterrand had kept to a promise never to sue the media for libel, he said the Elysee was indulging instead in 'soft proceedings'. If the Elysee really felt Le Monde was not worth reading, 'then it should be logical. Not 110 (copies), not 20, not one. Zero] Otherwise, it looks like incoherence, plain menace or mediocre calculation.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'