Issued on • Modified
French press review 4 October 2017
France gets tough on terror but pays heavy price of failures in Marseille attack and why Europe won't buy Catania's independence offer.
The papers today focus on the lessons that need to be learned from Sunday's stabbing to death of two women in Marseille by a Tunisian knifeman shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest") before being shot and killed by soldiers.
The stabbings bring to 241 the number of people killed in jihadist attacks in France since January 2015.
Le Figaro says the Marseille tragedy shouldn't have occurred, had there not been so-called guilty failures in protective measures put in place. According to the paper, Laura and her cousin Mauranne aged 17 and 20, were thrown on the path of the terrorist by the failures and absurdities of France's system.
Several publications report that the man was arrested in Lyon days earlier for shoplifting with a different identity, but let go because a key official in charge of signing a detention and deportation order was absent.
The killings came as France's lower house of parliament on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a new counter-terrorism bill, enshrining several controversial measures in place under a nearly two-year-old state of emergency.
Le Parisien reports that the legislation will allow the authorities to confine suspected jihadist sympathizers to their homes, to close places of worship thought to condone terror and to carry out more on-the-spot identity checks -- all without the prior approval of a judge.
La République des Pyrénées argues that while there is no magic wand that's capable of eradicating the terror threat it is wishful thinking to believe that the legislation currently in place will suffice to dismantle the jihadi networks operating in the homeland.
For Le Journal de la Haute-Marne agrees upholding the view that laws no matter how repressive they can be, will not suffice in dissuading future terrorists to abandon their conviction that religion is superior to the state. The best way forward it argues, is to chase away preachers of hate and the adversaries of secularism even though that will take time to produce any results.
Europe fears domino effect of Catalonia
Meanwhyile, the issue of Catalonian independence is also a hot topic of debate in today's papers as the Spanish region's leaders remained determined to declare independence "in a matter of days" despite Madrid's efforts to stop them.
According to Liberation there were at least 465 people wounded during the attempts by Spanish police to stop the vote and an estimated 300,000 people took to the streets of Barcelona on Tuesday, shouting "occupation forces out".
Le Figaro says a dramatic intervention late Tuesday by King Felipe the 6th in which he urged Spanish authorities to defend "constitutional order" risks fanning further resentment and tensions in the Kingdom which is facing its deepest political crisis in decades.
According to La Charente libre warns that without mediation there is a seriously risk of civil war breaking out in Spain, 40 years after the return of democracy to the kingdom.
For its part La Nouvelle République du Centre ouest agrees, arguing that the Catalan case bears the symptoms of part of the European crisis which has seen the erosion of European institutions and ideals in favour of EU countries driven by nationalist and egocentric ambitions.
L'Alsace reports that the movement of the Catalonian secessionists is being followed with great attention from Corsica in France to Flanders in Belgium. The paper arguing that they know fully well that Catalonia's accession to independence with the opening of the Pandora box.