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France Press review

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French press review 8 September 2017


Apocalypse and scenes of desolation as the French Islands of Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin razed by Hurricane Irma.

Libération underlines the scale of the Irma disaster noting that there are places in the French Islands where everything has been wiped out.

Le Parisien speaks to eyewitnesses in Saint Martin where 60 percent of homes were wrecked, by the Category Five hurricane which packed winds of up to 295 kilometers per hour, for 33 hours before slamming into the US Virgin Islands.

According to the paper, that was the longest of any storm since satellite monitoring began in the 1970s.

With the death toll expected to rise, above the 10 people already known to have lost their lives during the disaster, La Croix agrees with President Emmanuel Macron that it is all of France which is was hit by the Irma.

The paper holds that in the collective mind of the French people, the islands of Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin are first of all, part of French territory and then exotic resorts linked to the French idea of dream holiday destinations.

And for those reasons it says, the French people need to demonstrate to the islands' inhabitants a complete expression of their solidarity.

L'Humanité describes Irma as a prelude to other climatic catastrophes to come warning that the violence with which it struck the Islands, ought to sound the bugle for a large international humanitarian operation.

The communist newspaper wonders how anyone can remain indifferent to the gravity of the threat hurricanes pose to humanity.

The scenes of devastation left behind by Irma could be salutary shock for the rulers of the Planet, argues Les Echos.

The economic newspaper holds that it is past time to speed up the current pace of one global conference on climate change every year.

The economic daily welcomes the invitation sent out to world leaders by President Macron to meet in Paris on December 12 for a re-launch of ecological cooperation.

According to the newspaper, what world leaders have managed to put in place to tackle the threat of terrorism ought to be emulated to counter the climatic danger. Irma must change our vision of the world, says Les Echos.

Le Figaro reacts to President Macron's 2-day visit to Greece, where he launched his project to fix European democracy by restoring its sovereignty, confidence through reforms such as the creation of a parliament for the Eurozone.

Macron unveiled the proposals which formed part of his election campaign platform earlier this year standing on Pnyx Hill a symbol of ancient Athenian democracy overlooking the Parthenon. .

Le Figaro says the French leader is definitely right to insist that Europe is not working, noting that he found the perfect angle by clamouring for a Europe that protects.

It is evident that protection inside their borders, on the social and commercial fronts is what Europeans yearn for, the most, argues the newspapers. Le Figaro also upholds the view that Europeans also want action, concrete action on a two-speed Europe led by France and Germany.