Syria continues to dominate the news with Libération pointing out that the standoff between the United States and Russia over plans by Washington and Paris to launch airstrikes against the Bashar al-Assad regime had eclipsed economic issues at the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg.
According to the paper, Washington and Paris only managed to win the veiled support of 11 countries to a carefully phrased text calling for “a strong international response” and not military intervention.
Libé also notes that the EU’s 28 nations remain reticent about President François Hollande’s projected airstrikes, adding that it was not the first time they were unable to chart a common course in the face of conflict. It recalls the deep division over military intervention in Iraq rejected by Paris and Berlin while being supported by London, Rome and Madrid.
Aujourd’hui en France says President Hollande remains upbeat and unruffled despite the European setback buoyed by news that the US Congress is on course to giving Barack Obama the green light to launch alongside the French air force; bombardments heavier than originally planned.
Le Figaro publishes a new survey showing massive opposition to Hollande’s plfor military intervention in Syria. According to the poll, 68 percent of French citizens are against the airstrikes. The daily has maintained that the burden of war should not be added to the economic crisis still effecting the country.
And talking about the crisis, Aujourd’hui en France welcomes a new spirit of dialogue that is breathing some fresh air into the economy. It is a scheme which has seen businesses sign up to the so-called flexi-security contracts with employers asking their staff to put in more hours without compensation in order to preserve their jobs.
The popular paper also takes up President François Hollande’s special offer to bankrupt bosses after he signed a decree lifting the ban slapped on them by the Bank of France. Owners of companies that folded due to the inability to get loans can once again apply for credit to reopen their businesses.
Libération presents a new charter for a circular state which Education Minister Vincent Peillon is set to unveil on Monday. The document to be displayed at the entrance of all public schools seeks to promote the values of the Republic which come before religious beliefs and practices.
And Saturday’s national dailies all report the signing by political leaders in Marseille, of a national pact to end the gang wars that have seen a string of killings in the southern French city.
Aujourd’hui en France says that the document proposed by Interior Minister Manuel Valls sets the framework for concerted action by the city’s politicians who have excelled in reaping political gains from the blood-letting of their rivals’ doorsteps instead of dealing with it.
Libération says the unprecedented cycle of violence leaves Marseille in electoral peril with the National Front expected to prevent the Socialists and the opposition UMP from winning clear majorities in next years city council elections.