French press review 19 May 2016
French press reaches a general consensus that the police are right to protest their stigmatization, following their crackdown on troublemakers infiltrating the unions' nation-wide protests against the government's controversial labour reform.
For the past two months, demonstrations against the so-called El Khomri laws - named after French Labour Minister Mriam el Khomry - have ended in violence.
Several papers say they understand the display of outrage by the police unions "Alliance" and "Synergies" as 3000 of their members turned out at the Place de la République in Paris Wednesday to denounce growing 'anti-cop' vitriol..
The paper argues that while verbal hostility towards the forces of law and order are commonplace in the history of the French Republic, insults thrown at police, have clearly gone over the edge. It reports that slogans such as "cops, pigs, killers,everyone hates the police" have become common at rallies, as anti-riot police battle trouble makers.
The paper holds the view that Wednesday's so-called "casseurs" - or rioters - crossed a new red line, when an ultra violent group in Paris, fired a Molotov cocktail into a police car, forcing two officers inside to jump out before the vehicule went on fire.
Libération reports that three men have been placed under custody in connection with the attack.
According to the regional newspaper, it is for this reason that the police are fed up. The paper explains that they can't do more overtime, the problem of postponed vacations, insults and some cases acide being thrown at them.
For La Voix du Nord, some of the violence is clearly due to a lack of support from the French unions protesting against the El Khomry laws.
For its part, Le Figaro criticizes the government's failure to contain the violence noting that yesterday's attempt to burn two policemen in their car, provoked sharp criticism from the right-wing opposition about the government's lack of authority. According to the paper, the far-right National Front has also denounced what it perceives as the "complete weakness" of the Hollande administration.
The communist daily argues that the government's strategy of deliberately letting things slide out of hand, is on the verge of succeeding.
It poinst out that the talk of the day is no longer about the labour bill ramped through Parliament and the "suffocation of democratic debate", but about "images of brutality by rioters, on the one hand and by police on the other".
According to the the journal the finality of the "little fool's game" being played by the government is clearly to "discredit opponents of the El Khomri law" and especially the left-wing CGT union.
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