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French press review 2 April 2013

Kenya's new President Uhuru Kenyatta and vice-president William Ruto; French  President François Hollande's growing unpopularity, and tonight's football match between Paris and Barcelona headline the French papers today.


Kenya earns a front page editorial inLe Monde, full of praise for the east African nation's handling of the crisis in the wake of the recent presidential election.

The Supreme Court in Nairobi has issued its ruling, defeated candidate Raila Odinga has accepted that his goose is cooked, peace, reconciliation and national development are the way ahead.

However, the ethnic rivalries that are part of Kenya's social fabric have not suddenly lost force. The country remains very poor. And the two men at the helm . . . president elect Uhuru Kenyatta and vice-president William Ruto . . . both face charges of crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court for their alleged roles in the violence that followed the 2007 election.

It is not easy to see how the pair can effectively run the country while facing such serious charges, especially since the trial, due to open in The Hague this summer, will obviously resuscitate terrible memories and do nothing to soothe inter-ethnic tensions.

Right-wing Le Figaro wonders how long it will be before President François Hollande, plumbing unprecedented depths of personal unpopularity, is obliged to reshuffle the government. Trouble is, laments the eduitorial on the front page of the same Le Figaro, the socialist ranks are not bursting with potential ministerial talent.

The prize-winning French novelist Michel Houellebecq features on the front page of Libération, assuring us that "the world is no longer worthy of poetry". Which is a bit ironic given that he's just published a book-load of the stuff, poetry I mean.

You could roughly translate the title of the collection as Configuration of the final shoreline, and a sample of the content as "The numbered bloc/Of the closing eye/In the crushed space/Contains the final term". What oft was thought but ne're so well expressed?

Popular Le Parisien looks forward to tonight's football match between local heroes, Paris St Germain and the cracking Catalans of Barcelona. The sides meet to decide the first leg of their European Champions League quarter final, and it's as much about big business and world domination as it is about football.

On the business front, Barcelona would appear to have it all wrapped up. The catalan club made a profit of nearly 50 million euros last season, while PSG recorded a loss of five million. Good luck to all concerned.

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