French press review 28 January 2016


Almost all of the French papers are headlining on Christiane Taubira and her resignation from the Justice ministry this morning. The papers are really divided on seeing Taubira go - that's not a surprise, she has proven to be a very divisive figure.


"She was idolised by the left and the favorite punching-ball of the right" writes left-wing Libération.

"She was the incarnation of the debate on gay marriage" says the paper, which explains that Taubira really became an icone of the left the day she managed to have the parliament vote for the law, despite months of violent debates.

"Her decision to resign validates the choice of Hollande and Valls to re-centre themselves on the right" says an editorial. With her, she takes "the nostalgia of a left of the heart without which the side of the progress gets weaker".

On the other side of the political spectrum, it seems Le Figaro will not miss Taubira, and that's putting it mildly.

"It's about time" says the front page editorial of the right wing paper.

"The truth is, the Place Vendome activist deserves to be ranked as one of the worst Justice Minister of the 5th republic" it explains.

Le Figaro, unlike Libé, doesn't remember foundly the gay marriage debate "that profoundly divided the country". But really, it's her reforms of the Judicial system that are a problem for the daily: Taubira was too righteous and too kind.

"The war against jihadist will be without any mercy" concludes the editorial: what it needs, is "men and women who don't doubt".

Le Monde is analysing what Taubira's resignation means for the government.

"Taubira's resignation has been predicted so many times [...] that it is a true surprise" says the paper, which thinks it's no coincidence that the former Justice Minister chose to leave the same day the controversial constitutional reform starts being debated by the parliament.

Her resignation is an act "of clarification" from Manuel Valls and François Hollande that started in 2014 when former ministers Arnaud Montebourg, Benoit Hamon and Aurélie Filippetti left the government.

But without her, uniting the left might even be more complicated. "She was subjected to attacks of an extreme violence from the far right and part of the right [...] but she also was a token for the elft for the Valls government" says Le Monde.

L'Humanité is also headlining on Taubira and it seems the communist daily will miss the former Justice minister. But there's another interesting article in the paper: this one is about how poor housing impacts on health.

Those conclusions are from a report by the Fondation Abbé Pierre, which says "insalubrity, but also the cost of housing, has a negative impact on French people's health".

We knew about insalubrity: according to L'Huma, "someone living in a house that's too humid has 40% more chances to be in poor health".

But what's interesting is that people struggling to pay their rent are impacted too. And that's logical: according to the study, 44% of the people who struggle to pay their rent decide to cut down on health.

Which of course leads to more illnesses going undetected.

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