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France

French press review 29 August 2013

Syria makes the headlines in a few papers today, and both the right wing daily, Le Figaro and the popular daily, Aujourd’hui en France have practically the same headline today: “Syria: a high risk intervention”.

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The threat of military action against the Syrian regime is growing strong and divides public opinion and the French political class, writes Le Figaro.

The paper reports that experts are concerned about the possible response from President Bashar al-Assad and his allies as they fear a retaliation that would go against the interests of the countries leading the operation without the approval of the UN.

Polls conducted by Le Figaro show that the French population is very divided on whether or not the UN should intervene in Syria, with just under than half against it. In a follow up question, numbers show that if the UN did, in fact, intervene, most of the French population would be against the involvement of the French military.

Within the political parties, 70% of socialists support the intervention of the UN, but only slightly more than half think the French military should get involved.

Within the Extreme Right wing Front National, however, only 3 out of 10 think the UN should take action in Syria, and a mere 2 out of 10 support the French military’s involvement.

“The clock is ticking”, headlines Aujourd’hui en France, taking a look at the dangers of a military intervention in Syria, a move which could lead to set the entire region alight. The paper also publishes a map of the military forces in the region, from American plane carriers in the Indian Ocean to British and French frigates in the Mediterranean sea.

Aujourd’hui en France also publishes an interview with Ahmad Jarba, president of the Syrian opposition National Coalition Force. He calls for the arrest of Bachar al-Assad and a fair and public trial at the International Criminal Court, fearing the possibility of a rise in the power of Al-Qaïda.

The left-wing daily Libération dedicates its front page to an exclusive report on the French nuclear industry.

Basing its investigation on a Greenpeace report published today, Libération takes a look into the relationships between some French MPs and major companies of the energy sector.

The paper questions the nature of these relationships and how they will affect the upcoming debate on the energy planning law in France.

The ousted ecology minister Delphine Batho, who was fired recently from the government for criticizing its budget cuts, tells the paper how major companies and economic powers manage to stop parliamentary reforms from ever being voted.

In an interview to Libé, Batho explains how the government and the Parliament sometimes have their opinions dictated to them by lobbies.

According to Denis Baupin, a Green MP, the nuclear lobby will go all out and use any means at its disposal to assure the upcoming energy transition bill works to the nuclear sector’s advantage.

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