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French press review 9 July 2015

Text by: William Niba
3 min

It’s the Greek crisis on the front pages for yet another day as a midnight deadline closes in on Athens to produce a badly needed default plan or face expulsion from the eurozone. And  Richard Gasquet downs French Open champion Stan Warwinka in an epic battle at Wimbledon but he must climb Mount Everest to see his first-ever Grand Slam title.

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The paper analyses Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' vow on Wednesday in front of European Union lawmakers that his country's new plan asking for billions in euros would contain "concrete proposals, credible reforms, for a fair and viable solution".

But La Croix predicts Germany and other eurozone nations don’t trust Greece’s ability to meet the austerity conditions attached to the loans. The Catholic newspaper says the two parties are facing their hour of reckoning, less than three days away from Sunday’s EU Greek decision summit in Brussels.

French President Francois Hollande is the target of a scathing attack by both left- and right-wing publications. “He has remained in the dressing room, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel goes around trying to restore order," grumbles Libération. That, according to the left-leaning newspaper, is why public opinion in France and Germany now eye Hollande as the weak link in the Franco-German couple. In the Hollande-Merkel Franco-German couple, it says, she is the one wearing the trousers, while Hollande has the ladies’ underpants.

Le Figaro claims that the right-wing opposition “Les Republicains” party has noticed that. The newspaper reports that the party’s leader Nicolas Sarkozy is trying to capitalise on President Hollande’s vulnerability and is piling pressure on him by supporting a compromise with Greece but not at all costs. This is while right-wing presidential candidate and ex–prime minister Francois Fillon accuses the French leader of endangering the negotiations by showing leniency to the Greeks.

From Le Figaro’s point of view, spending too much time talking about Greece’s misfortunes could end up making the struggling French economy an issue of envy, despite France’s presence in the short list of “sick” European countries which aren’t improving.

Tsipras’ delaying tactics, tricks and circumlocutions all seem intended to exploit President Hollande’s weak leadership and to buy time. Hence the conservative publication’s assertion that the Western creditors are up against “Francois Tsipras and Alexis Hollande”.

L’Humanité rejects Le Figaro’s painting of Prime Minister Tsipras’ address at the European parliament on Wednesday. What he did was to make the people of Europe his witnesses after refusing the sacrifice of social justice in the eurozone, explains the Communist party newspaper. It argues that this was a debate Europeans should have had a long time ago.

L’Equipe splashes out for Richard Gasquet, the French 13th seed who downed the 2015 Roland Garros champion Stan Warwinka in a five-set epic battle at Wimbledon on Wednesday. He won the marathon with his right arm, his legs, his guts and nerves.

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