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French press review 8 September 2018


Macron and Merkel find welcome relief at Marseille migration' summit.

The eyes of the commentators are on French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meeting in Marseilles this weekend to discuss migration.

Le Parisien says the choice of the Phocaean city is no accident as Paris is keen on showcasing France's most eloquent symbol of its success in trans Mediterranean integration at a time neo-Nazi mobs and thousands of local citizens take to the streets to protests the stabbing of a German allegedly by asylum-seekers.

The newspaper praises Merkel for defending her generous embrace of migrants adding that despite the violence that shocked the country she is right to reiterate that there are more foreign killers than German ones in the country.

Le Parisien says  that eight months to the crucial European elections Paris and Berlin have no interest in changing their lines.

According to the newspaper even if they have underlying difference on the sensitive issue it is better to agree on symbols such as Marseille whose history is intertwined with that of migrants who landed there a long time ago.

Le Figaro claims that the shockwaves unleashed by Angela Merkel when she opened Germany's borders to migrants fleeing the crisis in Syria and the Levant have claimed a heavy toll on Scandinavian countries.

According to the publication even though the people there have not fallen over into intolerance and obtus nationalism, their vision of the world has changed.

Le Figaro says that governments are rushing to revise asylum rules drafted more than half a century ago to welcome individuals persecuted in their own countries and which to them appear inadequate to address the influx of refugees crossing into their territories today.

Some of today's papers say President Macron is enjoying the breathing space the Marseilles summit has offered him, after being hit by cabinet resignations and falling poll numbers.

That's the case of Le Courrier Picard. The regional newspaper claims that he is eager to see how the government's action will be reinvigorated by the new faces of François de Rugy who has taken over at the strategic Ministry of the Ecological and Inclusive Transition and Roxana Maracineanu now in charge of sports.

The newspaper says the cabinet together with the ruling REM party's large majority in the House now have a charged road map for the next six months leading to the European elections when voters can transform their unhappiness with President Macron's record into a sanction vote.

Le Journal de la Haute-Marne predicts a hard time for Macron to reverse the negative popularity ratings he's piled up. The executive ship is leaking from all sides according to the newspaper.

For the Haute Manchedaily, the disenchantment of the people is being fanned by slow growth, a modest decline in unemployment, tax increases on pensioners, the spectacular resignation of Nicolas Hulot, the Benalla affair and fears that the government's purportedly weak immigration policies could leave a deep impact on their lifestyle.

La Voix du Nord comments about the shocking climate of suspicion in the White House.

This was after President Donald Trump urged his attorney general to investigate the anonymous author of a damning op-ed, escalating his long-running battles with the media and highlighting his suspicions that people are seeking to overthrow his 20-month presidency.

A furious Trump has branded the unidentified writer as a "gutless" coward, accusing The New York Times of borderline treason for publishing it.

According to La Voix du Nord, the unbelievable atmosphere reigning in the White House, reflects the deep divisions in American society, between citizens who have slumped to populism out of their defiance of the system in place and those committed to the country's democratic values.

The White House is divided into two camps, it says --on one side, civil servants acting clandestinely on behalf of a respectable and traditional America and on the other, public officials using dynamite, in all legality, to blow up the country.

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