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French press review 22 October 2018

France feels the trauma of gun violence in school as teenager threatens teacher with fake pistol.


We begin with reactions to last Thursday's shocking video of a teenager threatening his teacher who marked him absent from class with what turned out to be a fake gun at a high school in a tough Paris neighbourhood of Creteil.

Le Parisien reports that the incident, which was filmed and uploaded onto social media by one of the teen's classmates, caused a storm in Paris, forcing the 15 year old to present himself to police accompanied by his father, shortly before an investigating magistrate laid charges of aggravated violence against him.

The paper says that even though the boy pleaded that his gesture was meant to be a joke, he faces up to 40 months in prison if found guilty.

La Presse de La Manche regrets that in today's French society which is terrified by its very own shadow it has become a habit to mistake routine habits for bad behaviour.

According to L'Est Républicain it is all the more disturbing that criminal temptations in children has become deeply entrenched in system to a point where it cannot be easily expelled from their mindset.

And for Nice Matin, here is once again a stain, not a new one but one that is so systemic which must be added to the road map of the new interior Minister.

Les Echos reports that in the wake of the outrage expressed by President Emmanuel Macron and the right-wing opposition, education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer and interior minister Christophe Castaner announced plans to convene a high-level meeting this week to discuss ways to end violence in schools in low-income city suburbs.

It's another episode of President Macron's politics by images, according to the economic newspaper.

Schools are no longer sanctuaries of a civilized society regrets Républicain Lorrain. The publication holds that such an extravagant gesture is all the more shocking because the people of France are more used to seeing children wielding guns in the United States and not in their good old country.

For L'Alsace it is wishful thinking to expect schools to repair the failures of parental responsibility. That's not its role argues the paper. If the state doesn't impose its authority everywhere, it warns, then France should expect darker days ahead as it will be in the issue of impunity that right-wing extremists thrive.

Libération comes back on the furious reaction of leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon to last-week's raids on his home and party headquarters.

The operation left him shouting at police officers, shoving a prosecutor and attempting to force open the door of his party's offices while the search was ongoing. This, into allegations of irregularities in his 2017 presidential campaign accounts and that he used EU funds for European Parliament assistants to pay staff for work carried out in France.

According to Libé it's been a week that has seen dark clouds settle on the political stratosphere of the French Indignants’ leader.

In the publication's view, the police raid revived the old populist’s reflexes that had gone asleep in the veteran leftist making him resemble the likes of Donald Trump and Beppe Grillo. He is the Italian comedian, actor, blogger and political activist who together with Gianroberto Casaleggio founded the country's ruling Five Star Movement.

Le Courrier Picard says Mélenchon made a big mistake when he turned on the camera of his smart phone to film the police raid at his home last Tuesday.

It turned out not to be the big PR scoop he expected but the exposure in front the whole of France of the erratic character hidden behind his charming figure.

According to the regional daily, that's a sequence which will stick with him like Marine Le Pen's disastrous performance during the 2017 Presidential debate.

And today’s Le Figaro has everything you need to know about the November 6 midterm congressional elections in the United States as US President Donald Trump faces a daunting challenge from Democrats in traditional Republican bastions.

The outcome, according to the right-wing publication looks like a referendum for or against Trump with 35 seats up for grabs in the 100-member Senate and 435 in the House of Representatives will be in play.

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