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France Press review

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French press review 4 October 2018

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President Macron haunts for a new Interior Minister.


The storm over Gerard Collomb's resignation as Interior Minister isn't going away with today's commentators warning that it is gathering winds could be as devastating as a tropical storm.

Le Figaro claims that in just a few days the new world which President Emmanuel Macron talked about has been dealt a sharp blow.

The conservative publication says graceful separation - Macron was desperate to stage with his mentor Gérard Collomb - ended up just like that of environment Minister Nicolas Hulot, who announced he was quitting in a radio interview.

According to Le Figaro, that is 4th Republic politics, like the times when government instability was a chronic disease.

As the publication puts it, watching Prime Minister Edouard Philippe take charge of the Interior Minister's portfolio on top of his own responsibilities takes the French people further back to Georges Clemenceau's days, during the First World War when he held the two offices.

La Croix urges Monsieur Macron, undermined by catastrophic polls, the collateral effects of the Benalla affair, sluggish economic activity, and precipitated cabinet walkouts, to set a new road map for his high office.

Macron needs to stop wasting time talking about how sensitive he is to peoples' concerns, the paper reads.

According to L'Humanité Gérard Collomb didn't quit because of a major political disagreement with President Macron but because The Elysée Palace got the Benallah “bee under his bonnet”.

For the Communist daily l'Humanité, Collomb departs from the Place Beauvais Interior Ministry through the back door. There is nothing he will be proud of, observes the paper.

The only thing he has to his his credit, it says, is the iniquitous asylum law in which he tried to justify the administrative detention of children which ended up being "submerged by a populist venom".

L'Opinion for its part holds that in the reconstruction project which Macron start without waiting, he must fill the yawning political void exploited so well by his opponents.

According to the right-wing daily, the defections of Nicolas Hulot and Gérard Collomb offer him an opportunity to correct his act and weave a rock solid political alliance with the Republicans.

Libération says it knows what may be driving Monsieur Collomb back to Lyon. One of the arguments it brings is that he probably prefers to be the Number One in Lyon than to be Number 2 in the government in Paris.

Lyon, Libé argues, is after all Europe's second city behind Rome. In the 11th century it recalls, the Catholic Church conferred on Lyon the title of Primacy of the Gauls, the city's Archdiocese holding exceptional powers over all the other ecclesiastical provinces.

Libération also notes for the record that Lyon hosted several ecumenical councils including the coronation of Pope Clement V.

The left-leaning daily claims that after being France's foremost city after Paris for centuries, Lyon prepares to push and shove with Marseille instead.

According to Libération, what Gérard Collomb is preparing to do is write the umpteenth episode of France's urban supremacy wars.