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French press review 8 June 2015

French press watches G-7 leaders as they grapple with a tray of threats to global security. Greece tests the nerves of its creditors as it threatens to default on its collossal debt; Climate experts in race against time as clock ticks on to Paris conference and wows for Stan Warwinka after denying Noval Djokovic a dream year at Roland Garros.


The G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps in Germany is today’s most-covered story as World leaders seek a united front against global security threats ranging from jihadist insurgencies, Russian aggression in Ukraine, the haggling between debt-ridden Greece and its international creditors as well as the battle for climate change ahead of the Paris UN conference.

Libération reports that the summit being held at Elmau Castle opened with all the leaders in attention on Sunday but now Russian President Vladmir Putin has placed himself offside by snacking on his Ukrainian neighbour.

According to the left-leaning newspaper, Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the Kremlin’s failure to comply with the terms of the Minsk 2 accord have further strengthened the resolve of the G-7 to extend biting sanctions which had been set to expire in July.

Libération doubts there will be such unanimity on the Greece’s colossal debt. This is despite a spirited attempt by US President Barack Obama to secure a rescheduling to avert the earthquake of Athens’ exit from the euro which could leave grave consequences on the global economy.

Greece is expected to get paid the remaining 7.2 billion Euros under the second bail out plan which includes the lowering of pensions and increase in value added taxes for electricity, two measures considered as unacceptable by Greek Prime minister Alexis Tsipras.

The Greek government has up till the end of June to settle a global check of 1.6 billion Euros to the IMF out of which 300 million euros as early as last Friday, which was ruled out by Tsipras as absurd, according to the Catholic daily La Croix.

Le Monde says Tsipras’ posture is fanning dissent among Greece’s creditors looking to cut a deal with Athens by next week.

“Tsipras puts creditors’ nerves to test”, headlines Le Figaro as it reacted to news that EU President Jean Claude Juncker has refused to pick up a phone call from the Greek Prime Minister. The Communist party newspapers L’Humanité is pleased to see how Greece is disrupting the prom of the almighty, describing Juncker’s conduct as nothing more than shear blackmail.

With the COP21 Paris Climate conference just months away, some papers are expecting the G-7 Summit in Germany to clear the main hurdles.

For Le Monde, it is the responsibility of the gathering to get other nations to commit to reducing dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, which threaten to melt ice caps and glaciers, raise sea levels and bring more violent storms and floods.

Libération claims that the outcome of UN conference hinges on an 86-page draft proposal being debated by196 stakeholders in Bonn over the past week. This is the taskforce charged with submitting the draft declaration to be tabled before the Paris summit, according to the paper.

But as it points out, the negotiations are bogged down instead by lexical issues rather than the substantives such as reducing the average increase global temperatures to 2° Celsius as opposed to the pre-industrial age and setting long-term targets beyond 2030.

The Communist party daily L’Humanité sat down with former French Development Minister Pascal Confin to assess G-7 efforts to raise the 100 billion euros promised at the Copenhagen Summit in 2009 to help poor countries adjust to global warming.

Confin describes the funds as a precondition to the success of the Paris conference. He wonders how developing nations can commit themselves on reducing greenhouse gas emissions if the financial pledges made by rich countries in 2009 are not met.

That’s the least they should do, warns L’Humanité, adding that it is all about reparations for a major injustice committed.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also describes funding as being key to the brokering of an accord at the climate summit. He speaks to Le Monde notably about the urgency of securing a global 40-70 percent reduction of green house gases 2010 and 2050 as defined by the inter-Governmental Group of experts.

He also discusses G-7 pledges towards the funding of a vast investment program for clean energies in Africa. According to Laurent Fabius, the battle for climate change is not a 100-meter sprint but a marathon.

“Wawrinka wins, Djokovic in tears”, headlines Libération as it showers praise on the 2015 winner of the French Open tennis tournament after securing a 4-set win over World Number One Novak Djokovic.

He was what Le Monde branded as the “mal-aimé” or unloved of Roland Garros when he entered the final. Now he rules the world, according to the l’Equipe. The man was stronger than the machine writes the sports daily in its description of the superb final in which Stan foiled Djoko’s dream of winning the only title missing from his record.

Roland Garros is Warwinka’s second Grand Slam title, after his triumph at the Australian Open in 2014, according to the paper.

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