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French weekly magazine review 27 March 2016


"Terror and tears", "Ugly Belgian drama", "the face of evil", "Will we lose the war on terror?" "How to halt the angelic approach to the fight against terrorism". Commentators comb their minds for answers to Brussels attacks and the implication on France's anti-terrorism efforts.



 l’Obs this week sets the stage with an investigate report on the 126 day international hunt for Salah Abdelslam, the only surviving terrorist involved in the Paris attacks leading to his arrest by Belgian police right inside his Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek.

L'Obs reports that Abdeslam managed to remain in hiding in his small world by benefiting from the silence of a network of childhood friends.

Le Canard Enchaîné

The satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîné would have preferred the Belgians to "keep the fries", a light-hearted manner of scorning the Socialist led government in Paris which had been banking on Salah Abdeslam's arrest to recoup its disastrous image. 

According to Le Canard, Prime Minister Manuel Valls wasn’t the only politician, desperate to draw political gain from the Belgian tragedy. National Front leader Marine Le Pen, the weekly reports, called for the immediate closure of the Franco-Belgian border. running the risk of forfeiting her wages as MEP.

Le Canard Enchaîné, scorns Congo’s veteran leader Denis Sassou Nguesso, who after 32 years in office, re-doctored the constitution of his country to win another term.

According to the satirical weekly all communications including the telephone and internet connections were cut offrduring first round voting on Sunday, reportedly to prevent fraud. It was the inauguration of a new revolutionary experience of “democracy behind closed doors writes the journal.

It’s worth recalling that Sassou (whose first name was transformed into an opposition campaign slogan “Sassoufit” or enough), won the vote by 60 percent even though as Le Canard says 50 percent of the population of the oil-rich country lives below the poverty line.

Le Figaro Magazine

Le Figaro Magazine says the outpouring of emotions, masks attempts in Brussels and Paris to dissimulate the failures and flops of anti-terrorism policy. Molenbeek is in France writes revisionist columnist Eric Zemour. And the right-wing magazine follows the hook with a knock out blow stating that in the face of a conquering Salafism the authorities simply capitulated.

Le Point

Conservative Le Point charts a level-headed course. There is no way to separate the tears of the Belgians from ours, and their cry resonates right into our hearts mourns the magazine. We knew our destinies were linked but with the twin attacks in Paris and Brussels the pair are bound even further by fate as they engage in a drawn out battle against Jihadism.

Le Point actually consecrates its cover page story on the genesis of international Jihadism, a movement with well-known founders, thinkers, strategists, organizers and foot soldiers taking orders.

The fathers of Islamist terrorism ( from the Muslim Brotherhood to Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda and to the Islamic State armed group) have an elaborate vision of history says Le Point adding that it is up to the Europeans to promote theirs and stop being terrified by fear and our vulnerability.


L’Express, meanwhyile , has virtually ruled out ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy’s prospects of returning to the Elysée Palace in 2017. The right-wing publication lists five reasons why the main opposition Les Republicains leader should pull out of the race.

Firstly - and not because of the string of scandals hanging around his neck with a so-called politicized judiciary desperate to get his scalp -  due to his massive rejection in the opinion polls. According to l’Express, the French people no longer believe in Sarkozy and equally don’t want anymore of Nicolas.

Another run for the presidency risks becoming one race too many argues the magazine. For L’Express even if the bitterness of defeat can be wiped away by causing the downfall of an intimate enemy,like Jacques Chirc did against Valery Giscard D’Estaing in 1981, a Sarkozy bid will clearly be seen as an attempt to revenge his defeat by Francois Hollande and to prevent arch rival Alain Juppé from becoming President.

But the magazine advises him to bow out gracefully and use his energy instead to promote generation change in the French political class.



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