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France

French press review 13 October 2017

media

Donald Trump dumps UNESCO in latest act of American "patriotic greed". Paris Mayor wages early war on fuel and diesel cars; and the story of Harvey Weinstein, the "mogul who wanted to swallow up Hollywood".

The commentators all react with dismay at the decision by the United States and its ally Israel on Thursday to pull out of the UN's culture and education body, UNESCO, following years of tension at the organization which Washington has accused of having an "anti-Israel bias".

The papers observe that the United States which had been at loggerheads with UNESCO since 1984 when President Ronald Reagan quit the organization over alleged financial mismanagement and claims of anti-US bias in some of its policies.

But many are quick to note that the last straw that broke the camel's back was the UN body's move to recognize the Palestinian territories as a state.

Le Figaro reports that starting from the 31st of December 2018 the United States will take up an observer status at the Paris-based organization, adding that Israel informed UNESCO's executive committee on Thursday of its plans to leave the organization.

Ouest-France argues that by turning its back to multilateralism President Trump is devaluing America's signature.

According to l'Alsace, by withdrawing from UNESCO, like it did by withdrawing from Paris Climate accords, the United States is walking against the clock of history.

The publication upholds the view that such decisions proves that great countries don't necessarily have great Presidents.

L'Alsace reminds President Trump that UNESCO is not just the custodian of cultural heritage of humanity but also an organization whose role goes beyond the label of any touristic people dream about.

"It's about education, science and culture" it reiterates, three subjects l'Alsace claims don't mean much to Donald Trump who is claims is quick at showing off his muscles and acting like a bully than behaving in a composed and thoughtful manner.

La Presse de la Manche attributes President Trump's decision to patriotic greed or short-sighted nationalism arguing that on matters pertaining to culture he understands respects nothing knows nothing and masters nothing, yet insists on wanting to lead the world towards a cliff, an attitude which is dangerous and tragically ridiculous in the words of the regional publication.

Le Figaro rubbishes the idea being circulated in French leftists’ circles that President Macron is a rich man's President?

The right-wing publication says it won't keep quiet at a time the silent battalion which ensures the vitality of the country's economy is obliged to pay more than their share to so-called national solidarity without complaining.

According to Le Figaro, most of them voted for Macron, convinced by his assumed preference of merit and success over a welfare state.  The paper holds that he now he needs to prove to them with hard cash and tax breaks that they were right to believe in him.

Also today, the papers are aksing if Paris without cars is realistic?

That the big splash on the front page of today's Le Parisien, as the paper tries to contain the bewilderment of Parisians in the wake of a decision by the city's Mayor Anne Hidalgo to hold a citizens referendum next year on a her plan to ban fuel and diesel cars from the streets of the capital as from 2030.

The paper doesn't buy her decision to bring the 2040 deadline set by President Macron’s government, forward by ten years.

Midi Libre voices unease at the tendency by the so-called Notre Dame of Paris to cajole and caress the Greens in her ruling majority. The publication observes with regret that she took the decision alone without consulting the government or even councilors of the greater Ile de France region.

According to Midi Libre, such a consultation was absolutely necessary, considering that no one at this point what France's industrial capacity to guarantee Eco mobility would be by 2030.

Midi Libre also mocks the so-called Mayor of the future Olympic city for rushing out of the starting blocks driven by a blind ambition to win the gold medal of sustainable development, whatever it takes, to the point of making a false start, just to be sure she will be first in crossing the finish line.

Finally, today's Libération has everything you need to know about, Harvey Weinstein, the "mogul who wanted to swallow up Hollywood".

The supplement by the left-leaning publication comes on the heels of an avalanche of sexual harassment, assault and rape claims against the hugely influential Hollywood producer since last week's explosive New York Times report alleging a history of abusive behavior dating back decades.

Libé reports that the co-founder of Miramax and champion of Oscars and the Cannes Film Festival lived the life of a tyrannical demi-god who made and unmade the careers of not just movie stars but also their works.

 
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