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France French press review Press review

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French press review 3 January 2018

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Today's French papers look at President Emmanuel Macron's promises and why they will, or won't, work.


Libération looks at the reforms to come in 2018 with a great headline: "2018: constant work in progress".

Immigration reform, Greater Paris, unemployment, Europe ... the list of subjects Macron is planning to tackle goes on. But the paper wonders what will happen after 2018, which sounds like a legitimate question.

"It feels as if the new government is implementing all of its campaign promises in just two years," says the daily. So what comes after? Well according to the government, "results and the economic front".

Libé seems to hope that this means MPs will have more autonomy, starting in 2019. We'll see about that.

Police attacked

Meanwhile, Le Figaro is focusing on the police officers who were attacked by a crowd on New Year's Eve.

The paper interviewed a policewoman who was beaten and kicked by a crowd of youths after police were called to a warehouse party in the Paris suburb of Champigny-sur-Marne. She and her colleague have recovered now but the right-wing paper is calling for swift and tough action against the attackers.

The scene was filmed, and Le Figaro says police forces are "fed up" with what they say is "widespread violence against the police force".

"Indignation is useless if it isn't followed by actions," says the paper's front page editorial.

The paper argues that it's high time to tackle "France's inability to follow through on sentences". It says that a lot of sentences passed by courts are never served - I'm not certain where the paper got this information from.

"If there's no consequences, it shouldn't be a surprise that there's violence", says the paper which talks of "an insecurity explosion". Le Figaro is now eagerly awaiting the new judicial reform that the government has promised to carry out this year.

Gender equality in French press

Le Monde has an interesting article about gender inequality in media coverage.

According to a new study, among the 1,000 most written-about people in 2017, only 169 are women. Among them, National Front leader Marine Le Pen, tennis player Caroline Garcia and actress Isabelle Huppert.

"In France, women represent half of the population but not in the media," writes the centre-left paper.

And it gets worse, only 14.7 percent of the quotes found in articles and reports came from women.

But it also varies depending on the topic, explains Le Monde. On business women only represent one percent of people interviewed. In politics that figure goes up to 24 percent.

Sleeping rough

The Journal du Dimanche has more on one of Macron's campaign promise.

He promised that no one would be sleeping in the streets by the end of 2017. That, of course, did not happen. According to le JDD, it's a promise that is almost  impossible to fullfil.

Firstly because there are four million  people who are homeless, without a permanent home or poorly housed in France.

Another problem, explains the paper, is that there are simply not enough emergency shelters in the country. And around 60 percent of people who request a bed in one of those shelters do not get one.

The problem here, points out the JDD, is that what Macron promise was not matched by the necessary action. This year's spending on social housing has been cut by more than one billion euros.