French press review 8 December 2015

As might be expected, every newspaper is headlining on France's far right Front National today, the result of the first round ofSunday's regional elections being still on everybody's mind. 

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"How can we stop the brown wave?" asks the CommunistParty paper L'Humanité's front page, referring to the colour associated with pre-war fascist parties.

In its editorial, the daily warns that Marine Le Pen's party winning three regions would mean "seeing it putting into place, on a large scale, the policies of exclusion and segregation" it has already tried in the towns it controls.

But who is to blame for the historic score of the far-right party?

For L'Huma, the responsability lies with those who decided to blame foreigners for the crisis in France and to talk about security issues during their campaigns.

Catholic La Croix, on the other hand, thinks its time to stop being against everything, including the Front National, François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, and start being in favour of things. For the daily, the answer to the far right is to have "serious projects" for the French.

Click here to read more articles on Paris attacks

Le Figaro headlines with how Hollande's Socialist Party and Sarkozy's Republicans are reacting to the election result, the right-wing newspaper takes a look at the two parties' strategies. And a front-page editorial calls on right-wing voters to go to the polls next Sunday.

The editorial seems surprised that, "the mediocrity of the left-wing government translates into votes for the Front National".

Why, it wonders, are French people not voting for the Republicans?

The party came second in Sunday's elections at 27 per cent, doing less than most opinion polls were forecasting.

The answer to that question lies on the second page of Le Figaro: former French President Sarkozy's strategy of campaigning on the same themes as the far right didn't work. And this means the right has some work to do before the 2017 presidential elections.

Left-leaning Libération doesn't spend as much time talking about the right. Instead, today's edition explains that the mainstream political parties' attempts to fight the Front National have been a complete failure.

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In its editorial, the newspaper explains that it wasn't enough to accuse Marine Le Penof being xenophobic and describe her economic programme as unrealistic.

"Because they stuck to the moral argument, the parties of government, dragged down by their own failures, lost the support of the working class," it says, adding, "the most vulnerable French people are afraid of globalisation."

That's what needs to be adressed, says Libé, but not by saying the borders need to be closed. According to the newspaper, what's needed is a Europe with a better social policy and a government that cares more about the people.

In short, "a republic that respects its own principles, that doesn't belong to an elite but to the people."

And finally, there are still a lot of articles about the Paris attacks of 13 November that left 130 people dead. One of them is a blog post of The Huffington Post, written by Daniel, who was shot in the leg at the Bataclan concert hall.

The title: "Getting shot at didn't make me become an idiot, so you don't need to become one for me". Pretty straightforward non?

Daniel, who is still recovering in a Parisian hospital, complains about the state of emergency.

"I would rather get shot at than live in a police state," he says.

But his real message is for people who decided to vote Front National after the attacks.

"I understand the post-attack trauma," he writes. "I'm in a rather good position to grasp the psychological impact of such an atrocity. But let us think for a moment, reflect together and not against each other.

"France is in shock and is studipdly acting out of fear. (...) Let's calm down quickly and vote with our heads (...) Let's not make France a stupid country." 

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