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France Press review

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French press review 17 May 2017


Édouard Philippe the newly appointed Prime Ministe of France is "a man of the Right," this morning's newspaper tell readers. And, curiously, it is the French Right that's unsettled by this.

Édouard Philippe the newly appointed Prime Ministe of France is "a man of the Right," this morning's newspaper tell readers. And, curiously, it is the French Right that's unsettled by this.

Almost all the French papers this morning look closely at Édouard Philippe the newly appointed Prime Minister.

He is, or perhaps I should say was, a member of the mainstream Republican party and his appointment has put the cat among the pigeons.

Which, it seems reasonable to assume, was what was intended.

Centrist paper le Monde headlines its front page lede "Macron offensive breaks the Right."

By appointing Edouard Philippe the President, that's ​ ​ Emmanuel Macron, the new broom
​ ​
in the Elysée Palace, wants to provoke the divorce between moderate right moderate and hard right.

Several right-wing personalities could enter the government, the paper believes.

More precisely - says le Monde - 25 elected officials have called on the mainstream Republican Party, who fared poorly in the Presidential election, to "respond to the outstretched hand" of Macron.


Right-wing le Figaro draws much the same conclusion saying "Macron shock wave unsettles the right ahead of legislative elections."

Among the Republicans, le Figaro reports, the temperature is rising between those who accept the hand extended by the head of state and those who refuse it.

All the parties candidates in the legislative elections have been invited to sign an appeal against En Marche, Marcon's newly minted party.

After a moment of flutter, even dejection, the right tried yesterday to organise the riposte following the appointment of Édouard Philippe.

His arrival was greeted the day before by some thirty elected officials, who asked that the hand extended by the president of the Republic be accepted.

A move that has "stuck in many throats." That's to say upset more than a few members of the Republican party.

"Our candidates on the ground need the party to have a clear line. Those who speak out of hand are irresponsible," Laurent Wauquiez, Republican former Minister is quoted as saying.

A view echoed by Xavier Bertrand, another former centre right Minister, who urged ""Do not fall into the trap. Rather than focus on those who are going, and there will be some, speak to our constituents "


Glancing a front pages nationwide this morning, it is noteworthy that without exception all characterise Edouard Philippe as "a man of the Right."

This came as a shock to those who predicted that Macron, who, lest we forget, is a former adviser to the outgoing Socialist President François Hollande and a former Minister in the Socialist government, would recruit his Socialist chums.

There is still time, of course. Though the expectation is that he'll want only the best and the brightest, focused on results rather than hamstrung by ideology.


The popular daily le Parisien devotes it front page to the news that the new government is to look into the financial and tax affairs of possible future members of its team.

This in the quest for transparency.

And, also, one suspects, to remind voters in the Parliamentary election next month of the allegedly fake jobs for family members scandal that almost certainly cost Republican party candidate François Fillon the Presidency.

The message is we'll be squeaky clean. We shall see.


Oddly enough, or perhaps not oddly at all given that the parties they support are out in the cold, neither the communist daily l'Humanité nor left-leaning Libération devotes its front page to what others regard as a political earthquake.

L'Humanité gives its front page to the Cannes Film Festival.
​ Go figure!​

Libé pictures US President Donald Trump, looking somewhat bemused, with the headline "America looks for a baby sitter."

In sharing confidential information with Russia, Trump has triggered a new scandal and again shown his incompetence, says Libé.

Why this should be of more interest than the change of government here in France is one of life's mysteries.