French press review 11 July 2015

Greece, the Pope and Omar Sharif dominate this morning's front pages. Sharif because he's dead, the Pope because he says the global economy is a machine for murder and marginalisation and Greece because the current round of the debt saga looks like it could all end in, well, further loans.


Le Figaro marks the demise of 83-year-old Egyptian actor Sharif with the headline "Doctor Zhivago is dead".

The Pope, leader of the Roman Catholic Church, continues his South American tour among the "humble, the exploited, the poor and the excluded". The pontiff has been defending his social policy, criticising a global economy that murders and marginalises and calling for a revolution in favour of people instead of the current focus on money, systems and concepts.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Speaking of which, the Greek parliament has accepted the proposals made on behalf of Athens by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, an acceptance which should lead to further handouts and an at-least-temporary end to the crisis which made Europe tremble.

All papers wonder if last weekend's Greek referendum was really necessary, since Tsipras seems to have caved in on practically all the major demands made by the country's creditors.

The only remaining question is whether the rest of Europe believes that the Greek promises go far enough to warrant the loan of a further 60 billion euros.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to be sceptical, while France's President François Hollande is enthusiastic.

Right-wing paper Le Figaro says the Greek rout is a lesson to populists and losers of every political hue: there are no free dinners.

Le Monde gives front-page space to a tragic piece of news that could well have major implications in the choice of America's next president.

Earlier this month 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle was shot dead while walking by the sea in San Francisco. The man accused of the killing has been named by local police as Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal immigrant from Mexico. He did not know Steinle, had no motive for murder and claimed that he was, in fact, aiming to shoot one of the sea lions who have made the Marina area of San Francisco their home.

The problem is that the gun he used had been stolen from a federal employee, Lopez-Sanchez has a drug-related police record and has already been deported from the United States on no fewer than five occasions.

With six months to go to the start of the US presidential primaries, those who campaign for the legalisation of America's 12 million undocumented immigrants could well have done without the Lopez-Sanchez publicity.

Billionaire Republican contender Donald Trump has treated the case with customary nuance and finesse, describing all immigrants from south of the Rio Grande as "drug dealers, criminals and rapists" and calling for increased border security. Trump is now rated second to Jeb Bush, Doubya's younger brother, in the race to secure the Republican nomination.

Le Monde also looks critically at the efforts being made by Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta to wipe out corruption in public life in the east African nation.

Last March the president warned that the days of illegitimate luxury at state expense were over for all public servants, himself included.

The current list of shame published by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has 175 names, including those of the current Kenyan energy, transport and labour ministers and 13 state governors. They were all supposed to stand down while their cases were examined.

No case of alleged corruption has been judged; no one knows what became of the estimated 2.5 billion euros paid for dud contracts; and now the president and deputy of the Kenyan anti-graft commission have been suspended, allegedly for incompetence.

According to local anti-corruption champion John Githongo, the current situation verges on the absurd.

"We have an administration committed to the fight against corruption," he says, "but it's one of the most corrupt governments the country has ever had."

Kenya is ranked 145 in Transparency International's list of the world's 175 most corrupt countries.

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