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French press review 29 July 2013

Left wing daily Libération headlines with what it calls “the second act of the Arab spring”, comparing what it describes as the “chaotic situation” in Cairo to the more recent protests in Tunisia.


Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

The paper says, the high risk scenarios in Egypt and in Tunisia are sadly not surprising, after decades of autocratic, if not dictatorial powers.

Libération's editorialist says only unconditional optimists would have believed that democracy would rise in just a few months. Two years after the first Arab spring, both nations have no choice but to admit to the failure of their respective revolutions.

The Tamarod movement in Egypt, which started the recent anti-Morsi protests, is now beginning to worry about the army’s presence and the increasing power of general Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi.

As for protesters in Tunisia, Libération says they have lost any hope of dialogue with the islamist party Ennadha and the paper notes that the largely similar situations in both countries are not improving.

Communist L'Humanité, also reports on Tunisia, with a headline message from the Tunisian people to the Islamists which simply reads: Get out!”.

The assassination of left wing politician Mohamed Brahmi led to a wave of protests this past weekend, and today’s edition of the paper includes the reactions of some of the 20,000 people who took to the streets, calling for the resignation of the Islamist government.

Right wing Le Figaro also dedicates part of it front page to the uprisings. It focuses mostly on the developments in Egypt, where 74 people have died in confrontations between protestors and the military, raising fears of an inextricable political dead-end and the return to a police state.

But the daily also headlines with Pope Francis' final mass at the 28th World Youth Days in Rio de Janeiro’s famous Copacabana beach.

The paper reports the event was attended by some 3 million people, adding that during his closing speech, Pope Francis encouraged young Christians to become what he termed “athletes of God”.

Le Figaro says the 2016 edition of the WYD will be held in Cracov, in Poland, near Pope John Paul the 2nd's birth place.

The popular daily Aujourd’hui en France reports on the staggering 40 million euros-worth of diamonds and other jewels that were stolen on Sunday from the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes.

Dossier: Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution

A single gunman stuffed a suitcase with the gems before making a swift exit, reports the daily, in one of Europe's biggest jewellery heists in recent years.

And finally, in sports the French swimming team won the gold medal in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay final at the world swimming championships in Barcelona, and obviously they make the front page of the national sports daily L’Equipe.

Upholding the French’s reputation of modesty, L’Equipe’s front page headline also reads: “the French swimming team’s supremacy is indisputable”.

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