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French press review 3 February 2018


Renewed violence in French migrants "jungle" in Calais, Dark clouds gather over President Macron's head and Paris turns parking tickets into money-churning machine.

We begin with comments about the renewed escalation of violence in the northern border town of Calais, after Thursday's a giant brawl and a shooting that left four Eritrean migrants fighting for their lives. At least twenty-two people were hospitalized with injuries after three fights across the gateway into Britain after the attack masterminded by a suspected Afghan smuggler.

The violence in Calais comes two weeks after President Emmanuel Macron visited the city with a message of zero tolerance on migrants setting up camps like the sprawling "Jungle" which was razed in 2016.

Le Courrier Picard regrets the escalation. It appeals to the migrants to understand that it will probably not end up in Britain as they have dreamt of but may be in French cities like Limoges or may be Picardy that they would end up.

Le Parisien says it may be President Emmanuel Macron's failure to meet with aid associations during his recent visit to Calais which could be to blame for the upsurge in violence.


A number of regional newspapers express bewilderment about the first dark cloud gathering above President Macron's head.

L'Alsace holds that the social discontent of the past few week, touch on sectors the French people are strongly attached to: working conditions for prison workers, retirement home workers and students left out by the new University admission selection rules. It is a sign of the growing impatience and a loss of confidence, in Macron's ability to translate reforms into benefits for struggling families.

La Charente Libre analyses the findings of a survey published by Le Figaro on Friday showing that 87 percent of French voters support or sympathize with the protests are capable of derailing Macron's reform agenda.

L'Eclair des Pyrénées says the significant fall in the President's popularity rating has taken pollsters by surprise adding they need to worry about the consequences the findings could have on their credibility.


Today's Le Parisien investigates what has become a nightmare for motorists – the free rise of parking tickets and fines. The paper says that parking attendants have become money-pomping machines since their employer Streeteo equipped them with devices capable of carrying out up to 60 controls per hour.

The paper describes the new parking ticket system “the perfect fatal weapon against drivers, as Streeteo operates from a command center and radar-equipped vehicles to track down defaulters. Le Parisien says hefty fines of up to 50 euros await drivers who exceed the time limit.

“It is tantamount to racketeering”, fumes the Parisian newspaper. What they do, it says, is go around in radar-equipped vehicles, scanning the number plates of cars and tipping-off parking attendants, at a rate of 1500 cars an hour.

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