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France Press review

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French press review 19 April 2017


 Foiled Jihadhist plot puts terrorism at the heart of the French Presidential elections campaign with four days to polling day.

The countdown to the April 23 French Presidential elections remains everybody's front page story as the issue of terrorism made a dramatic appearance in the campaign four days left before voters go to the polls.

This after elite police foiled a plot by extremists to commit violent acts on French soil during the elections.

Le Parisien reports that two radicalized men were arrested in Marseille Tuesday, after the discovery in their apartment of an arsenal including a loaded submachine gun, two loaded pistols, three kilos of TATP explosives, a homemade grenade as well as the flag of the Islamic State armed group.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins is quoted by several papers as saying that one of the two men on a French watch list of extremists had been trying to contact IS to pass them "a video pledging allegiance or claiming an attack".

Le Figaro, observes that Jihadist who have killed more than 230 people since January 2015, still have the destabilization of France as one of their top-most priorities.

According to the paper with the discovery of the plot, the hardly-mentioned issue of fighting jihadism right is certain to claw its way into the heart of the ending Presidential campaign. From the publication's point of view, the foiled plot comes confirms that nothçing should be considered too expensive to defend democracy.

L'Opinion sees the foiled plot as a grim reminder to the forgetful French people carried away by the hurly-burly of campaign business that the country remains under a state of emergency.

For the publication, it remains to be seen whether the candidates will be able to rise to voters' expectations about what is really at stake and if the security reminder will push people getting ready to go to the polls to reconsider their choices for President.

For Les Echos advises the 4 leading candidates in the race which is getting tighter four days to the vote to keep their calm and watch out for the least faux pas, such as trying to exploit voters sensitivity to the terrorism issue.

But Le Monde regrets that as the race tightens one candidate in this democracy, which is an unfortunate victim of terrorism is ready to say anything, which she believes can get her elected.

The paper reports that Marine Le Pen, who is running on a strong populist, and anti-Islamist manifesto, crossed the red line when she claimed on Monday that under her Presidency terrorists like Mohamed Merah would never be on French soil and that there would never have been the deadly attacks on the Bataclan concert hall and at the Stade de France, a reference to the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris two years ago, in which 130 people were killed and hundreds wounded.