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France Press review

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French press review 18 May 2017


The Cabinet line up of newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron is the big story in today's French papers.

Most agree that its political complexion is more right that left.

Le Figaro's front page declares "Macron - marching toward the right."

The picture is more nuanced than that. Some of those appointed - including Prime Minister Edouard Philippe - come from the centre right party the Republicans.

Some - notably Jean-Yves Le Drian - the new Foreign Minister - who served as Defence Minister in the outgoing Socialist government.
Others - such as environmentalist - Nicolas Hulot - the new Ecology Minister - come from civil society outside the political arena.

And - as promised by Macron - 11 of the 22 Cabinet Ministers are women.

Le Figaro's editorial asks whether the years of Socialist President François Hollande are definitely behind us.

His successor seems to clearly choose his course - the paper concludes - And it is not to the left.

To be convinced of this, it is enough to observe the outraged reactions from the Socialist Party and Jean-Luc Mélenchon - the hard-left candidate for President - to the appointments. If both are furious - Emmanuel Macron is on the right track.

The head of state has set up a team that can be described as "government of the moderates", the paper says.

Centrist paper le Monde notes that the new government is a mix of left right and centre. Three ministers are from the Republicans. Four from the Socialist Party. Three of the centrist Democratic Movement. And two of the radical left. Plus non-partisan personalisities - including Laura Flessel, a former fencing champion who becomes Minister of Sport.

This is no doubt a first, says le Monde.

However - the paper observes - the composition of the government does not fulfil all the promises of candidate Macron.

He promised a Ministry of women's right. There isn't a Ministry - only a Secretariat of State. Causing strong disappointment among associations and activists, the paper says.

Including the Prime Minister, the government has twelve men and 11 women. But of these, only eight are full ministers.

During the campaign, Macron said that he would not take Ministers who'd served under François Hollande. He has.

The new Minister of Public Affairs and Public Accounts - Gérald Darmanin - strongly opposed the law authorising same-sex marriage .

This is contrary to the position of the new President of the Republic, who included in his program the opening of medically assisted procreation to all women.

If this sounds like nit picking - it probably is. But it is not unreasonably to hold politicians to account and insist that they fulfill their campaign promises.

Left leaning Libération takes a fairly cynical view of the Cabinet line-up.

"The Right to Business, the Left in the shop window," is the headline on Libé's opinion piece.

The goal is to go and get right-wing voters," the paper says.
In its quest for a governing majority in the National Assembly - one imagines Macron and En March will welcome votes from all and sundry. And who can blame them?


Popular daily le Parisien runs a story headlined : Reactions: a government too right for the left and too left for the right.
The paper has solicited dozens of reactions from across the political spectrum.

It reports that they are deeply unhappy with this government of the extreme-centre (Sic).

The various political families, in order of battle for the legislative elections, have reacted to the first government of Emmanuel Macron.

And they would love to see him fall in three weeks, le Parisien says.
No doubt.

But, if Macron is upsetting the right and the left - his claim to be neither begins to look believable.