...Continued from page 1

First Ticket-Sales Results from Cannes

Interviewed tonight in Cannes by France 2 TV-news, Luc Bresson said he has no intention of filming '5th Element IV.' The first and probably only version of the movie, which opened last weekend during the current 50th Cannes Film Festival, made a good box-office score for its first weekend of exhibition. The movie-crazed French film public bought two million tickets, while American cinemas recorded 2.5 million sold seats.

Offshore Duty-Free Gas Station

While hoopla and huzza are churning up their usual Cannes turmoil between the festival palace and the shoreline, customs inspectors are annoyed at the entrepreneurial activities of a floating gas-station, anchored about 40 sea miles offshore from Cannes.

A small tanker, the 'Orion,' flying the Russian flag, has 13 million litres of millionaire-yacht boat-fuel for sale, and with communications being the way they are, word-of-mouth has gotten around pretty fast. The 'Orion' is open 24 hours a day and business is brisk.

The attraction is five-franc a litre gas for three francs; which represents a 40 percent saving. While customers are waiting for their big tanks to fill, they can also stock up at the 'Orion's' dutyfree shop, which carries popular brands of cigarettes and booze.

French customs agents are watching the operation carefully and are stopping some boats at the territorial limit; to give them harassment searches - but they are not laying charges.

The 'Orion's' lawyers must have read EU rules carefully before the business started, and now custom's lawyers are doing the same thing - but for the moment, 'offshore' seems to be the same place as 'foreign.' There are limits on the amounts of goods that can be brought into the EU duty-free; and it seems as if the limit for fuel tanks is set at full.

Yes We have Sports News, But It's Sour and Sweet

Paris' football team, Paris-Saint-Germain, has been having a yo-yo season in the French league. Try as it might, it has been unable to catch league-leader Monaco, and this failure is often dramatically reported in Le Parisien's sports news.

Within Europe there are all sorts of other trophies to be fought over, and this week PSG went up to Rotterdam to have it out with Barcelona - 'Barca' to its fans. The reason they have these matches on neutral turf, is their fans like to fight over various issues too - so the matches are held where the number of 'local' fans are fewer - out of town, in other words.

Football - soccer - is taken more seriously in Spain than in France and if the best players are for sale, then Barcelona can afford them, regardless of cost. Thus, the day before the match, Le Parisien's entire coverage was about 'Barca's' atomic weapon, a 20-year old player from Brazil named Luis Nazarlo de Lima, who is called 'Ronaldo.'

Le Parisien's front-page headline Tuesday, "The Best Player in the World Talks to Us," seemed to spell doom in advance for PSG. Ronaldo played for PSV Eindhoven for two years after they paid 50 million francs for him, and Turkish resto on Saint-Denis it seems as if 'Barca' paid 100 million last summer. Le Parisien devotes the first four pages to Ronaldo's saga.

Turkish restaurant and grocery in the rue du Faubourg St-Denis.

Okay, I will skip Wednesday's edition with the headline, "Give Us Back Our Cup!" - PSG won it last year - to pass directly to Thursday's headline, "Dommage!" Ronaldo wiped out PSG with a penalty goal 36 minutes into the game.

Surprisingly, including the front-page, the news of the PSG loss takes up the first six pages of Thursday's La Parisien - with reports of Marseille and Perpignan fans supporting Barca over PSG, mixed with gloom in Parisian pizzerias.

Here's the 'Sweet'

Friday's editions have the first four pages about Prime Minister Alain Juppé and a Monday meeting he had with Le Parisien's readers, and the PSG basketball victory over Villeurbanne is buried on page 16.

This was a French league championship match, and PSG won it for the first time in 43 years. Jacky Renaud, PSG's manager, said he hopes the Chicago Bulls win the US' NBA Championship, because if they do, they will face PSG at Bercy in October. The Paris club has two American players on the team.

If the Chicago Bulls do not win the NBA title, PSG will just have to settle for playing against some other unknown but suddenly famous US team that did.


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