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French press review 23 March 2016


French press splashes on Brussels attacks


“Brussels rocked by terrorism” groansLe Monde,  with a photograph of the devastated departures terminal at Zaventem airport splashed across the front page.

The paper carries a minute by minute account of the explosions as they occurred, the death toll, and an explanation on how the attacks forced Belgian officials to shut down the airport and the Brussels subway.

La Croix leads with the death toll - at least 34 in its latest head count - and expressed shock at the fact that Brussels was hit in the heart by the terrorist attack.

Does it really mean anything anymore to say that a city is being careful? That, according to the paper, is the general feeling in Brussels today as the people of that country come to terms with the pain and anguish resulting from the attacks.

Why them wonders the Catholic daily. Maybe, it argues, Belgium is paying the price of the arrest on Friday of Salah Abdelslam, one of the key suspects of the Paris attacks last November.

Brussels March 22 2016. That’s the grim caption in today’s Libération, the left-leaning newspaper clearly aggrieved by what it calls the chagrin of the Belgian people which it claims is deeply shared by the French people.

After Madrid, London or Paris, it argues, Brussels - another leading European city and the exciting, generous, welcoming political capital of Europe - is hit in the heart.

What a pity says Libé that the French cousin, just a train away across the French border  and which toiled throughout its history to facilitate compromise and preferred complicated compromise over confrontation,  ended up becoming the target of fanatics.

Le Monde’s cartoonist actually sums up the mood in Paris and the outpouring of French emotions towards their Belgian neighbors with a cliché of man draped in the French flag his hand over the shoulder of a Belgian, tears dripping down their eyes, as both are now united in grim remembrance of the November 13 and March 22 bombings.

It is Europe that is the real target of the attacks holds Le Figaro argues and that the EU is now faced with the daunting task of staging a riposte, with France reinforcing security measures as it prepares for a dirty war against hardline Islamism.

For Le Figaro by striking Brussels the terrorist have simply extended the attack plan inaugurated in France in 2015. Hence Le Figaro’s question “who is next?

That’s also an issue of grave concern to l’Humanité outraged by the fact that after Tunis, Beirut, Paris and Bamako, the murderous fury blindly intended to terrorize and spill as much blood as possible has now hit Brussels.

According to the Communist party newspaper, coming just days after Abdelslam’s arrest it is likely that their goal was to cripple a country which after being complacent towards preachers of Jihad finally opted to join the war against the fanatic killers.

For the paper, the Islamic Armed Group which has suffered setbacks in Iraq and Syria, is clearly trying to export its war, with the intent of wreaking havoc around the world, spreading their primitive ideology of decline and fear with the intent to split society and erode ideals such as democracy and the security order.

And the sports daily l’Equipe is calling for tighter security measures in France as the country prepares to host the Euro 2016 tournament which kicks off in just three months.





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