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France Press review

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French press review 7 June 2018

media

 EU leaders in damage control operation as they head to crunch Canadian G-7 summit with Donald Trump. And French hawks get restless as hundreds of Jihadists are about to freed from jail.


The papers set the stage for quite an awkward G-7 summit, opening in Canada on Friday, some satirizing about the fact that the greatest threat facing the liberal world will for the first time not be anti-globalist demonstrations in the streets of La Malbaie, Quebec the host city but from inside the fence.

President Donald Trump expected to come touting an America First agenda that hits US allies with trade tariffs and threatens multilateral free trade deals.

Several commentators says they expect Trump's stance to receive such a hostile reception from the other leaders of the world's richest democracies that some observers have suggested renaming the G-7 summit the G6+1.

L'Opinion for its part holds that for the European leaders flying to Quebec the big question is whether the moment they are experiencing is just a bracket that will pass away once Trump is gone or the dawn of a new world they will have to live in.

In the first hypothesis according to l'Opinion, they must engage in a damage control operation, like Macron or prepare for an unpleasant clash with the American leader. But as the newspaper points out, the big question is whether Europe can afford to get into a confrontation with the United States without putting its fragile unity in jeopardy.

 

Furthermore, l'Opinion casts doubt over their readiness to pay the price of a full-fledged divorce with their so-called protector, advising EU leaders to stay on as America's allies and pray that the Trump hurricane will last just one Presidential term.

 

Today's Le Figaro comes back on the divisive issue of what to do with hundreds of French jihadists returning from the battlefields in the Middle East and thousands of weak-willed and brain-washed individuals suspected .of being ready to commit terrorist attacks against their country. The paper says they now constitute a legion of internal enemies.

 

According to Le Figaro France should prepare for the worse as in under 18 months 50 Islamist terrorists and 400 inmates radicalized behind bars will be freed from prison.

According to the newspaper, while France is unlikely to fold its arms and watch, no illusions should be permitted in containing the threat they are likely to pose. For Le Figaro, there is an imperative to reinforce the dragnet on a permanent basis to deal with Jihadists -- the watch word --once an Islamist, always an Islamist.

 

La Croix publishes a survey showing a deep split of Catholic perceptions and attitudes towards migrants. According the study ordered by the Catholic daily, 45 percent of respondents support an open arm policy while 33 percent are against, 22 percent divided.

The publication says the deep disagreement underscores the distrust of massive numbers migrants arriving but not necessarily about the manner to deal with the influx.

La Croix however notes that the fears and resistances observed have not stopped the most skeptical of Christians to show gestures of solidarity towards migrants and from helping them in various ways.

  

L'Eclair des Pyrénées saririzes about the very political visit President Emmanuel Macron paid to the French national football team at their Clairefontaine their training base outside Paris as Les Bleus prepare for the World Cup in Russia kicking off in just a week's time.

The paper claims that such presidential trips have become a ritual as Macron like his predecessors look up to the National football team to offer moments of pleasure to the country which successive governments have failed to give them. As the paper explains, relations between sportsmen and politicians in France is a weapon which is likely to serve the President.

According to the Pyrenees publication, in 1998 for example,  France's crowing as World Champions transformed Jacques Chirac from a the hugely President into one of the most liked tenants of the Elysée Palace. The newspaper says it is legitimate for Emmanuel Macron to pray for a successful Russian campaign for the French since it will boost his popularity -- L'Eclair stating that the stakes of this World Cup are not only sporty but also obviously political.

 

Libération consecrates its front page story on ex-President François Hollande, quite delighted to see him back. The investigative report comes as the former Socialist leader forced to abandon a second bid for the Elysée, pulls crowds at the signing of his new book titled "Lessons of Power".

 Libé says that after watching how elated Monsieur has been, it is hard to imagine he doesn't have a political plan ticking in head. But it believes the conditions for a political comeback are not necessarily in place.