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Debate on the profits of oil groups: “The super-indecency of super-profits”

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On the front page of the press, this Thursday, February 9, the European tour of Volodymyr Zelensky, expected this morning in Brussels, after two stages, yesterday, in London then Paris. The EU’s plan to toughen up its migration policy. The controversy over the teaching of sport shooting in schools in Italy, and the debate over super-profits in France.

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On the front page of the press, this Thursday, February 9, the European tour of Volodymyr Zelensky, expected this morning in Brussels, after two stages, yesterday, in London then Paris.

On the occasion of his visit to the French capital, the Ukrainian President granted an interview to the Figaro, in which he assures that “Russia is losing the war, 99%”. Volodymyr Zelensky urges Westerners to overcome their “reluctance” and immediately provide his country with all the weapons it needs, otherwise Russian President Vladimir Putin will “start again elsewhere”.

Remarks in the continuity of the speech delivered a few hours earlier in the United Kingdom, where the press stormed with declarations of friendship vis-à-vis Ukraine, the free Metro going so far as to mix the names and flags of the two nations: “Uk-Kraine”.

Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to parliamentarians at Westminster Hall, before being received by Charles III at Buckinghman Palace. The Sun lends him this declaration: “Thank you for the tea. Now give me your planes”. The British press, which does not fail to point out, with its usual humor, that this visit is timely for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is currently facing a large social movement. We see him welcoming with relief the outstretched hand of Volodymyr Zelensky, in Dave Brown’s drawing for The Independent. And we find him alongside his predecessor Boris Johnson, in that of Peter Brookes, for The Times. The ex-mayor of London protests: “He was first MY human shield”.

On the ground, Russia claims the “success” of its offensive in eastern Ukraine, where the worst conflict in Europe in decades is taking place. Timur Dzhafarov, on the front page this morning of Release, became in spite of himself one of the actors of this war. This young 27-year-old musician, who enlisted in the Ukrainian army the day after the Russian invasion, has since described this new life in a diary, of which Freed publish excerpts. A newspaper to “try to put words to the unnamable”, according to Freed. The poignant testimony of a young man, who says that Russia made him “a uniform and a weapon”.

The war in Ukraine will be on the menu of the summit of European leaders today in Brussels, where European migration policy will also be discussed. According to The cross, Europe is seeking to “toughen up” its policy in this area, in particular by forcing countries of origin to readmit their nationals. On the occasion of this summit, the newspaper focused particularly on the policy of far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who chose to make the arrival of the boats in Italy a “very political” use. ‘After The crossredirecting them to left-handed ports.

Giorgia Meloni, whose right-hand man Giovanbattista Fazzolari, a staunch supporter of firearms, sparked controversy this week by proposing that sport shooting…be taught in schools. The controversy mentioned in particular La Repubblica, who sees in this proposal the manifestation of the “clean slate” policy advocated by the Italian far right. “Clean slate of anti-fascism, clean slate of the egalitarian school, of secular and emancipated women, of freedom of abortion, of miscegenation”: “a clean slate, pings the newspaper, is an idea that the Romans have stolen from the barbarian invaders”.

In France, the announcement of the superprofits of the five major oil groups, including Total, ignites the debate. The figures reported The worldin particular, are dizzying: more than 153 billion dollars in net profits in 2022 for the 5 majors, and more than 19 billion euros for the TotalEnergies group alone, which will pay 17 billion to its shareholders for 2022 in dividends and redemption of shares.

The Total group, which is found alongside two other French giants, LVMH and BNP Paribas, in the crosshairs of Release, which denounces “the super-indecency of super-profits”. In Switzerland, the newspaper The weather notes that “the record profits of the oil giants and the stratospheric fortunes of the billionaires no longer pass into a French population which is constantly asked to make efforts for the climate and the economy”, particularly at this time, with the pension reform. “Whatever one thinks of the runoff of wealth, the French government and Europe will have to look more seriously at the question and find answers that speak,” warns the newspaper.

Faced with these criticisms, the boss of Total, Patrick Pouyanné, responds in Le Parisien/Today in France. Asked about the debate generated by super-profits, the CEO evokes the “love/hate relationship” that the French would have with the company. “Love when we make discounts, hate because we earn 19.5 billion”. Patrick Pouyanné says he is considering new measures in favor of the purchasing power of motorists, if fuel prices are to soar again.

To complete this debate, I suggest you take a look at the investigation site Days, who says he tried to “understand the powerlessness of politicians to tax the Total group”. An investigation into the past of the oil company, thanks to the exploitation of unpublished historical archives, and which describe, according to Days, a company that established itself very early in tax havens and would have practiced “without complex the collusion with the policies” since always. To read, possibly, before refueling.

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