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French press review 20 August 2015


The Le Pen family feud tops the French papers as Jean-Marie Le Pen goes before the far-right Front National's executive bureau today for possible expulsion. And more judgement is meted out, this time to Justice Minister Christiane Taubira who gets told off for being too lenient with child offenders.


Marine Le Pen and her father Jean-Marie square off in the latest episode of their family feud, reports Le Monde and Le Figaro.

The former headlines with "Judgement Day" for the party's honorary president, who goes before the executive committee today for disciplinary action relating to remarks he made about the Nazi gas chambers, along with other unsavoury comments.

The historic leader could be excluded from the party he founded, which has been trying to get rid of him for weeks now. They haven't as yet succeeded and were even forced to take him back, after his recent suspension was overturned by French courts.

So, even if he is kicked out today, he could always appeal the decision and come back through the back door anyway.

Le Figaro writes that Marine Le Pen won't to show up to today's meeting, nor will her PR specialist Florian Philippot, whom Jean-Marie Le Pen accuses of "bewitching" his daughter.

The conservative paper saves its vitriolic outpouring for Justice Minister Christiane Taubira. She's facing fresh criticism from the right over her plans to soften punishment for under-age offenders, writes Le Figaro.

Since she came to power, Taubira has been in the firing line of conservative groups. They've never forgiven for her passing the gay marriage law and they certainly won't forgive her if she gets rid of correctional courts, as she intends to do before the end of this year.

They say that juvenile delinquency is on the increase and what's needed is severe punishment. Le Figaro's whole editorial is centred on Taubira, who it says is living in denial. The justice minister argues that France is one of the most severe countries when it comes to punishing youth crime.

The backdrop of this story goes back to the same old ideological debate, which holds that the right is authoritative and knows how to enforce the law whereas the Socialists don't. And Figaro's question of the day is "Should parents also be sanctioned as well?" Insinuating that even if kids aren't punished, at least their parents will be.

Elsewhere, the migrant crisis is still making waves. Le Monde says that Germany has become the latest refuge for migrants. The country looks set to receive over 700,000 migrants this year. That's more than three times the amount it received in 2014. As a result, Berlin is asking for substantial aid from the European Union to cope with the influx.

Turning now to l'Humanité, the Communist paper warns its readers not to fall ill in France during August. Why? Because there are no doctors or nurses on hand to treat you.

On the front page you have a photo of an empty emergency room with the shutters closed, and these words "fermé pendant l'été" (closed for summer). And if you still aren't convinced, the opening paragraph starts, "Haemorrhage ...Mayday!" Except it's the health sector that needs treating, it needs to start employing more staff to fill the 20 per cent shortfall of workers.

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So, there is employment. Contrary to all the talk about dismal growth figures. Yes there are jobs, but no one seemingly wants these.

Finally in Libération, you have this provocative headline about the Green Party, which meets today in Lille to devise its strategy for December's regional elections. The left-leaning paper asks '"Do we really need a Green Party?"

It says the Greens are on the brink of implosion, torn apart by internal bickering and rivalry. And this is worrying, because at a time where all the other parties are gearing up for crucial climate talks in Paris at the end of the year, the Greens are nowhere to be seen.

The Greens are like an endangered species, about to become extinct, Libé concludes.

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