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France

French press review 7 March 2016

media DR

"Refugees", "migrants", "crisis", "Calais"... these are the only thing the French press is talking about this morning. If you exclude Le Figaro that is - that paper headlines on the controversial labour law reform and his even backing President Hollande.

Le Figaro headlines once again on the controversial labour law reform. "Will they hold on?" ponders the right-wing daily about François Hollande and Manuel Valls.

The President and the Prime Minister have a tough week ahead of them. They start renegociating the labour law reform today and will face a nationwide strike on Wednesday.

For once, the paper is really backing one of Hollande's proposal - the idea of the more flexibility for companies.

"If François Hollande and Manuel Valls stand firm on the reform, they'll have proved that France, deemed impossible to reform in the past, isn't so anymore" says an editorial.

"It is time to understand that some professional rebellious MPs, a minoity of unions and some lost or manipulated young people represent only themselves, that's to say next to nothting. And they play against the interests of France."

Libération is running a special "made in Calais" issue this morning. The paper is reporting from the northern seatown and the so called "Jungle" migrant camp.

While  critical of the government's policy there -half of the camp was destroyed last week- and deeply empathic of the plight of the refugees, Libé also gives us some insight of the lives of people in Calais.

Spoiler alert, no one is happy about the current situation.

"The government isn't up to the task" says the left-wing paper's editorial. "Calais, the last frontier before the promised land, has became the cul-de-sac of the tragedies of the world. It's an understatement to say that the city of Calais was not cut out for it" it reads.

Libé argues that because of political thoughts, the government isn't doing enough to tackle the humanitarian crisis. For example, a 1.500 bed centre was recently completed, but that's not enough given the number of people staying in Calais.

"Today, the sixth largest economy only has sixty showers to offer the thousands of Calais refugees" it concludes.

Communist daily L'Humanité also headline on the refugee crisis. That's because leaders of the European Union will this Monday meet in Brussels for a summit on the subject.

The paper reports from Greece where thousands of refugees are stranded since the closure of the Balkan road.

"European leaders should be ashamed when the UNHCR had to remind them that erecting walls "against desperate people is an act of cruelty" says an editorial.

L'Huma is appaled by the current divisions among European member states. "Refugees are depicted as 'freeloaders' threathing 'the national idendity', job thieves or even terrorists" it says.

Only Greece, argues L'Huma, despite being on the brink of bankrupcy, is showing signs of "European solidarity".

Going back to Calais, Le Monde runs an article on its inhabitants. That's because, for the first time, some Calaisiens will be in Paris today to share their worries and weariness over the "current social, economic and migratory crisis"  that has hit the city.

The objectives of this collective is to call out to François Hollande - that's why some of them we'll be welcomed at the Elysée.

"We want the state to notice" they explain.

"The migration issue was grafted onto a fragile territory" explains Le Monde, which adds that the local economy, that relies on trade and tourism, has suffered from the crisis. Overly reliant on its port - the second largest for passengers ferries in Europe - the city has had trouble to compensate factories closures.

"I ask politicians not to take the easy way out [...] and to focus instead on us, the people of Calais" told an inhabitant to Le Monde.

 

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