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French press review 19 August 2013

Teddy Tamgho, the 24 year-old French triple jumper makes the headlines today, as he became the third best triple jumper of all time with a mark of 18.04 metres in the 2013 World Athletics Championships this weekend.


“18.04m Prodigious!”, headlines the sports daily L’Equipe. By going over the legendary 18 meters mark at the triple jump – which hadn’t been done in 15 years. Teddy Tamgho gave France its only gold medal of the World Championships in Moscow, says the paper, calling the athlete a “phenomenon” and his performance “magical”.

He "saved France’s honor” with his “golden jump”, headlines the right-wing daily Le Figaro, which also reports on the athlete’s prowess.

Dossier: IAAF World Championships

But the main story remains the ongoing unrest in Egypt.

To use a military term, “Egypt is standing at attention”, headlines the left-wing newspaper Libération.

After five days of violence, the mobilization of Morsi’s Islamic supporters is losing pace, reports the daily, while the army imposes its authority. But it might be a deceptive calm, says the paper, and the Islamists may now opt for more radical action.

Countered by regional actors with conflicting interests, the EU may well have been one of the most active foreign players, reports Libération, but it remains powerless over the situation in Egypt.

In a new attempt to put pressure on Egypt, the EU could threaten to suspend the five billion euro aid it had promised the country in November of 2012, says Libération, but this aid is already frozen, as Egypt did not meet the deal’s requirements.

And if it did manage to suspend its aid, says the paper, it would not weigh very heavily against the 9 billion euro that were recently promised to the Egyptian Generals by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

The communist paper L’Humanité explains how the Egyptian crisis is an illustration of the fractures within the entire Arab world.

According to the paper, Saudi Arabia made a strong comeback on the international stage, thanks to the Egyptian unrest, while Erdogan's Turkey remains in fear a similar scenario. In this crisis, says the paper, the political Islam is heavily weakened, which could eventually benefit more Salafist, conservative Islamist movements.

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

And in France, the government is going back to work after a rather agitated and eventful two weeks of summer holiday. But the French ministers had been given some homework to do over the summer. They were asked to share their vision of the country in twelve years.

Le Figaro asked experts to read, evaluate and grade their answers and - according to the right-wing daily - many of them got very bad grades. Idealists, naive or elusive on important issues, those are the comments and critics made by Le Figaro’s experts on what the main French ministers had to say about France and its future.

As for the popular daily Aujourd’hui en France, it takes a look a the highly sensitive and controversial issues that will be dealt with in the upcoming months.

Before the end of the year, the government aims at implementing a tax raise to bring in some six billion euros, find a solution to the social security deficit, boost the country’s productivity and competitiveness, make some major cutbacks on the budget and stop youth unemployment.

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