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French Press Review 20 February 2018

The death of a musician and a sporting victory interest the papers today. There's advice for German Social Democrats and you can find out where to play table tennis in the Libyan capital.


Le Monde dedicates more than half a page to the French jazz violinist and composer Didier Lockwood, who died on Sunday due to a heart attack.

Today’s Le Monde also reports on the thrilling win by Martin Fourcade in the biathlon at the Winter Olympics. It terms it a victory on a razor’s edge, referring to Fourcade’s win over Simon Schempp by few millimetres.

With this win, Fourcade took his overall Olympic gold medal tally to four, making him the most successful French sportsperson in the history of Winter Olympics.

Merkel awaits SPD members' vote

Le Figaro’s front page editorial is on the uncertainty over German Chancellor
Angela Merkel's fate.

Merkel’s chancellorship hangs in the balance ahead of a vote by the 450,000-plus members of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) on whether to renew the grand coalition with her Christian Democrats.

Since the parliamentary elections of 24 September, Germany has been living in a period of political uncertainty, the editorial points out. This situation, the article states, speaks volumes about the degree of wear and tear Merkel has suffered.

The article reasons that, considering the risk of a new political crisis, wisdom would dictate that SPD members vote yes to the coalition. According to opinion polls, their party would be the main loser in a new election in which it could be overtaken by the far-right AfD.

However, there are some, like 28-year-old Kevin Kuhnert, the leader of the SPD youth wing, who aren’t in favour of this coalition.

Ping pong in Tripoli

Liberation has a feature on a new café that has become the centre of attraction in Tripoli. It is the first entertainment centre to open in the Libyan capital since the 2011 revolution.

The café boasts gaming consoles, ping pong, billiard tables and dart boards.

People flock the place, primarily to spend quality time through gaming activity, which has been a rarity over the past few years.


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