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French press review 29 September 2018

Do Marine Le Pen's judicial wrangles give her more publicity? Should medically assisted procreation be allowed for lesbian couples ? These along with comments on the Benalla affair and a piece about rape in the colonial era make French newspaper headlines on Saturday.


Is condemning Marine Le Pen in French courts helping the far-right movement?

That is a question asked by Le Figaro's editorial today.

The right-wing newspaper refers a French judge's order that the leader of the National Rally (previously the National Front) undergo psychiatric evaluation.

This is a part of an ongoing judicial inquiry into Le Pen's tweeting of pictures of violence perpetrated by the Islamic State armed group in 2015.

Le Pen's party is also undergoing an investigation into the possible misuse of European Parliament funds.

Two million euros were held as part of the investigation but half these funds were subsequently released.

Le Figaro says that these judicial decisions were too severe and gave Le Pen the opportunity to complain that she was the victim of injustice.

Brexit ball in Britain's court

Centrist daily Le Monde says that, as concerns Brexit, the ball is now in Britain's court.

The newspaper's editorial suggests that the 27 other member states should show signs of lightening up.

The UK, despite Brexit, will always be a nation in Europe and an indispensible partner in European security and defense, Le Monde opines.

It says that all must be done to find the European version of "the art of the deal", Trump-style!

Rape and colonialism

Left-wing paper Libération features a piece on rape during the colonial era

It talks about research published by experts after studying historical archives during three years.

This showed that rape was used as a weapon during colonial times

It is now evident that sex was used as a weapon to exercise authority on colonised nations, the paper says.

Intrigue and media frenzy in Benalla case

Regional newspaper L'Union talks about the Benalla case.

French President Emmanuel Macron's former aide is being investigated for abuse of power and violence on protesters at a rally.

The newspaper says that Benalla should have been dismissed on the spot.

Macron, who is known for his communication skills, should have reassured the French people that all was well.

Instead, the whole affair became a hellish alliance between frenzied media and political intrigue, according to L'Union.

Medically assisted procreation and falling birth rates

Regional papers La Voix du Nord and Le Télégramme talk about another issue being debated in France at the moment - medically assisted procreation for lesbian couples

La Voix du Nord, which serves north-east France,says more and more people have concerns about a society that is increasingly controlled by scientific and technological progress.

Le Télégramme, which is based in Brittany, in the north-west, points out that in France opponents to medically assisted procreation for lesbians are usually associated with the right-wing Catholic movement La Manif pour tous.

However, some left-leaning movements are also against the measure, it says, citing left-wing Euro-MP José Bové as an example.

At the same time Catholic newspaper La Croix's front page features an article on how to boost birth rates in France

It appears that birth rates in France are falling and that the ratio between births and deaths has never been as low since 1945

The paper suggests ways to help couples reunite their professional and personal lives to boost France's falling birth rate.

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