French press review 22 February 2014
Ukraine takes front page prominence for a second day running as the national dailies welcome Friday’s signing of a deal to bring an end to four days of violent protests that left nearly 100 people dead, the country’s worst crisis since independence.
Aujourd’hui en France salutes what it says is the rebirth of hope. It publishes an interactive chronogram of events which culminated with the signing of an accord between President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition parties. The Parisian paper shares the anguish of some protesters disappointed that the deal will do nothing to repair days of vicious bloodletting in which police used snipers and armoured vehicles against demonstrators.
It’s a great moment of appeasement, explains Le Figaro, the right-wing paper buoyed by the deal on a national unity government, with the powers to reinstate a trade pact on EU partnership, an amnesty for detained protesters and early elections before December. The right-wing daily welcomes the European Union's involvement in creating the deal.
Libération also salutes the mediation process led by EU foreign ministers from France, Germany and Poland. Ukraine's parliament moved swiftly after the deal, adopting a flurry of opposition-backed laws including a vote to release opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, who has been serving a seven-year jail sentence for "abuse of power". For Libération, Ukraine’s task to build a nation has always been a daunting one, due to the determination of the country’s oligarchs to protect their egg baskets.
Libération is also following the diplomatic war that has broken out between the United States and China after US President Barack Obama received the Dalai Lama at the White House on Friday. Obama offered his "strong support" for the protection of Tibetans' human rights in China during the tête-a tête, according to Libé.
And Aujourd’hui en France sets the stage for the Salon de l’agriculture, - the Grand National farm show - opening in Paris today. The paper takes its readers on a two-day guided tour of a large farm in La Manche in the Basse Normandy region.
Le Figaro reports new technology will be the main attraction at the week-long show with remote controlled tractors, robots, drones and satellites used daily by farmers to improve crop quality, production as well as environmental conservation.