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France Press review

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French press review 14 July 2017


President Macron's presides over a very diplomatic Bastille Day as he completes a charm operation for controversial US leader Donald Trump.

Today's Le Parisien offers an extensive photographic coverage of the build up to today's grand spectacle on Paris's Champs-Elysees featuring horses, helicopters, planes and troops including American soldiers joining the commemoration of the centenary of the US entering WWI, on France’s side.

Libération doesn't like the pomp and pageantry with which Donald Trump has been received since his arrival in Paris on Thursday.

Yet the paper argues that even if it doesn't like the “bling-bling” reception President Macron has granted Trump, France need not stop as anything that can lure the "unpredictable" American leader out of his 'isolationist posture".

According to Libé, welcoming Trump, at a moment he is being rejected everywhere, could end up making France a a safe haven for the Donald.

For Libération, even so many would consider it a little too ambitious on the part of Paris, to imagine that through a charm operation they can get a man of Trump's caliber to change his mind on issues such as Syria, climate change, international trade, NATO and Europe.

While President Macron shines on the international stage, the French commentators don't quite understand the thrust of his economic policy as his government tries to slash the budget deficit projected at 2.7 of the France's GDP in 2018 to 0, 5 percent by 2022.

Le Monde says it is all the more stupefied because Macron fully understand that efforts to stabilize public spending will directly impact on the financing of the public services, local government schemes and even social security.

The paper points to a paradox, that Prime Minister Edouard Philippe branded France as a rumbling volcano very close to eruption, would still prescribe drastic budget cuts as the recipe to revamp the French social model.

Le Figaro consecrates its front page story on government plans to slash 850 million euros from the 2017 Defence budget amounting to 32.7 billion euros.

While President Macron reassured the country on Thursday that it would rise to 34.2 billion next year, probably in a desperate response to appease French army chief of staff General Pierre de Villiers who had threatened to step down over the budget controversy.

Despite Thursday's Presidential move to reassure the military, Le Figaro says the budget cuts are not the impression President Macron gave the French people at his inauguration, when he descended down the Champs Elysées in a command car, and then rushed to visit wounded soldiers at a military hospital.