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France

French Press review 6 March 2018

media

Italy in political mess as populist coalition wins Sunday's general elections. And can Paris Saint Germain stage a remontada against Spanish giants Real Madrid and erase last year's humiliating defeat by Barcelona?

There is a flurry of comments on the front pages about the political mess in Italy after Sunday's general elections which saw a right-wing coalition including the League and Forza Italia came first in with 37 percent of ballots cast.

The ruling Centre-left Democratic Party of former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi,  once the darling of Italian politics, picked up just 22 percent of the vote a disappointing score that forced him to announce his resignation.

As commentators reflect on the lessons emerging from the Italy, Le Parisien says the verdict is a snapshot of a country in the grip of fear about immigration and the economy drawing demarcation line between the old political order and te new one.

Les Echos for its part claims that what Europe has in its hands at the moment is a pro-European Berlin, up against euro skeptical Rome while France watches by the looking for ways of taking advantage of the divide.

For Libération, Merkel exhausted and weakened by the long summer negotiations she held with conservatives to form a grand coalition, has no choice but to stick with the paradoxical policy of trying to convince Europeans about the urgency of closing ranks behind a common agenda which few EU countries believe in.

L'Opinion notes that in the week-end vote, the Italians voiced their rejection of Europe by up to 50 percent, a few points about the 48.6 percent of French citizens who backed anti-European candidates in the last French Presidential elections. La Croix says it expects the responsibility of injecting a new impulse into the EU to hinge on the shoulders of Merkel and Macron. According to the publication it is up to the two leaders to forge a new approach in resolving issues such as unemployment and immigration.

L'Humanité claims that Europeans ought to have predicted the results of Italian elections having abandoned the country to itself as it struggled with the influx of migrants washing into its shores from the Mediterranean and fuelling far-right and populism at home.

French  papers are also betting on a huge exploit for the French giants who must eliminate Real Madrid in the last 16 second leg of the Champions League at the Parc des Prince tonight. This, despite being without their talismanic super star Neymar recovering from a broken foot in Brazil.

L'Equipe says it is quite confident that Neymar's absence will drive PSG into an all attacking game in which Di Maria-Catania-Mbappé will have to find solutions around Real Madrid's shaky defence.

Even the very conservative Le Figaro proposes what it calls the key to bring down the Spanish giants who are not in their best form at the moment. Go and get them through the wings screams shouts the paper.

L'Est Républicain points to a lesson it claims has to be learnt from the Neymar saga, a simple crack on the fifth metatarsal is visibly just as difficult to deal as open heart surgery which is why the PSG superstar preferred to go treat himself back home in Brazil, abandoning his team's fate in the hands of his team mates.

What that demonstrates is that in the business of sports money is king superstars dictating the rules to their clubs.

Le Parisien calculates the financial windfall that is at stake during tonight's showdown. According to the paper, Paris Saint German would recieve up to 100 million euros from UEFA it they beat the defending Champions and go on to win the the competition.

Le Parisian also underlines for the record that PSG have already made 26.2 million euros from its presence in the competition and will bag 6.5 million euros more if they qualify for the quarter finals.

The Club also stands to reap a supplement of 13 million euros in commercial sponsoring and television rights which would be a windfall for the French giants facing tight finances under UEFA's financial fair play rules which slap heavy penalties on clubs operating with huge deficits.

.angerous for geostrategic balances.

 
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