French press review 22 January 2015

Today's French dailies all report the security measures French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced on Wednesday.


Le Figaro is headlining on the measures.

The government is going to create more than 2,500 jobs in order to fight "terrorism".

The right-wing newspaper is, for once, welcoming Valls's answer to the terrorist attacks that happened two weeks ago.

"Manuel Valls is doing his job and we can only welcome this," its editorial says.

But there's something missing, according to Le Figaro. The Socialist government is forgetting the justice system.

"Jihadists are recruited among repeat offenders, those who benefit from the recent [Justice Minister] Christiane Taubira bill," says the paper.

Slideshow Charlie Hebdo

Le Figaro has always been a big critic of the bill and today, it says it is time to rewrite it. For one, jail sentences for repeat offenders should be longer.

At the other end of the political spectrum, L'Humanité doesn't agree at all with that stance.  The Communist Party daily says Valls is forgetting social equality. 

"The government is fighting evil and not its source," it writes.

For the newspaper, Valls's announcements are not answering the real issue - the fact that poor suburbs are not funded and have been left on their own for too long.

"We need more social workers," a member of the CGT union told the paper. "We should stop talking about Islamisation and start taking care of housing, health and work."

L'Huma is accueses Valls of a poor choice of words yesterday. He talked about "a territorial, social and ethnic apartheid" in France. For the Left Front, the use of that word is "irresponsible".

Website Rue 89 takes a look at the unexpected consequences of the Charlie Hebdo attack. For example, did you know that since the attack, Charlie has become one of the most popular names for newborns?

The attacks also impacted sales.

"Between fear after the shooting and possible fear of new attacks in crowded places, the impact has been catastrophic," says the website.

If you've taken the metro in Paris recently, you may have noted that the number of alerts for suspicious items is up, too. The Paris region transport network, the RATP, finds two or three bags or other items of luggage left in the metro every day. Over the last couple of weeks, that number went up to 11.

But, for the left-wing website, the most unexpected consequences of the attacks is that the police are now popular. 

"People from the 1960s and protesters were at least as amazed at that as the policemen," it writes.

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Libération is worried about secularism in France.

We’ve heard a lot of comments criticising - or not criticising - French secularism in the aftermath of the attacks. But the left-wing newspaper says it might be time to be a bit more flexible when it comes to religion.

Sure, "we shouldn't change the principles of secularism in France", it says. But the separation of church and state shouldn't be used as a weapon against Islam, it adds.

For example Libé thinks forbidding mothers from wearing a headscarf when they accompany their children on school trips is unnecessary.

"Real secularism is a sense of compromise," concludes Libération.

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