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France Press review

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French press review 14 February 2018


Can President Macron weather the  storm in Syria?And history beckons on PSG, as they face Real Madrid giants in the Champions League.

We begin with comments about the bleak future awaiting South African President Jacob Zuma, as his party's leaders await his resignation  or else force him from office. Libération claims that if he loses power, he will have to account for his graft-tainted rule before the courts.

The left-leaning publication believes Zuma's "Zexit " could spark a factional war between his supporters and former allies worried about the ravages of a purge on the ANC's political fortunes, months to an election year.

There are further comments in the papers about the risks of escalation in the Middle East after Israel’s air raids on so-called Iranian targets in Syria.

The renewed tensions come amid US charges that President Basher al Assad's forces were using chlorine weapons in the civil war against rebel forces over the last few weeks. .

Le Monde welcomes efforts by French President Emmanuel Macron to lead an international peace initiative on Syria. This was after he called Russian President Vladimir Putin to express his concerns about dangerous developments.

Russia has intervened alongside Syrian regime forces in the seven-year civil war and Putin, according to the newspaper, is seen as the foreign leader with the most influence over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

But as Le Monde explains, the Kremlin doesn't have the means to pressurize the regime in Damascus over a war it believes it can win.

Ouest France finds Macron's diplomatic initiative interesting arguing that while the scope of the offer remains to be clarified, he could count on the new complicities inspired by the common hatred of Iran by both Israel and Arab nations like Saudi Arabia.

Today's Libération has an in-depth report about the situation in nearby Iraq as stake holders meet in Kuwait to raise funds for the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country.

The funds pledged so far do not match the promises made to rebuild the key devastated oil producing economy, says the left leaning publication.

Libé says it will take a Marshall plan to raise the 100 billion euros needed to get the country back on its feet.

Some papers return to the dispute over French rock star Johnny Hallyday's will. This after his daughter's went public with charges that she and her brother David, both Johnny's biological children, were left with nothing in their father's will which gave everything thing to his fourth wife Laeticia and their two adopted siblings of Vietnamese origin.

Today's Le Parisien has a passionate account of how Laeticia took over Hallyday's large fortune and how his fans are shocked by the shocking omission in his will.

Meanwhile, the eyes of the world will be on Real Madrid's Satiago Bernabeu stadium tonight as the ambitious Paris Saint Germain of Cavani, Mbappe and Neymar defy the prestigious Spanish giants.

l'Equipe's front page spread  questions whether PSG can overthrow the Kings of Europe in the most important double confrontation of its history.

Whatever the outcome conservative Le Figaro says the expensively-assembled PSG has the shoulders to compete with Europe's greatest clubs.

L'Est républicain says that while it is waiting to see if the inexperienced Qatari-sponsored cash-churning machine can win its first trophy outside French borders, the money-first logic of football business is set to deprive millions of French fans from watching the match on TNT because the Qatari channel BeIN Sports holds the exclusive broadcast rights of the European Champions League.