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French press review 14 November 2014

Africa has pride of place in the French press this Friday as several newspapers comment about the breakthrough in the dialogue to set up a transitional government in Burkina Faso and follow the Ebola outbreak in west Africa.


Stakeholders in Burkina Faso agreed on a plan to appoint a 25-person cabinet headed by a civilian or military prime minister to run the country just two weeks after veteran president Blaise Compaoré was forced to resign and flee the country.

Dossier: War in Mali

Libération reports that a conference of 80 Burkinabé political party representatives, traditional, religious and civil society leaders and military representatives erupted in applause and then sang the national anthem after the transitional charter was adopted in a unanimous vote.

Euphoric delegates shared their emotions with Libé about the new prospects the deal opens for their country and especially for the Burkinabé youth, the architects of the popular uprising. Others, meanwhile, hailed the great maturity shown by the people, their extraordinary ability to succeed where their neighbours have failed.

The people of Burkina Faso are on the verge of going down in history, writes l’Humanité. The Communist Party newspaper credits the military with facilitating the 30 October revolution, now firmly in the hands of the opposition parties and civil society.

La Croix says a prayer for the success of three anti-Ebola clinical trials about to be launched in west Africa by the French charity Médécins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders or MSF). The research on antiviral drugs and the plasma of recovering Ebola patients is being led by French, British and Belgian researchers at Ebola treatment centres run by MSF, according to the Catholic newspaper.

Dossier: Ebola outbreak 2014

French President François Hollande will need some divine intervention to keep his promise not to raise taxes in 2015. His latest pledge to slap a moratorium on all levies has made Hollande the laughing stock of today’s national dailies. An exasperated Le Figaro says it hasn’t even taken a week for Budget Minister Christian Eckert, to contradict the president. Eckert said on Thursday just days after Hollande’s remarks in a television interview that his “no-more-taxes” pledge was not engraved in marble.

L’Opinion describes Eckert’s stunning remarks from a junior minister as a glaring example of how Hollande’s authority has been eroded. Eckert was later forced to rectify his line after a stinging rebuke by government spokesperson Stéphane Le Foll.

Les Echos describes this latest slip up as a pointer to anyone ruling a country, that it is a huge error to promise things that are impossible. The economic newspaper argues that this promise to put a lid on taxes was even less credible, adding that nobody takes him seriously any more.

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