French press review 5 October 2016

French government rescues Belfort Alstom factory with huge train order but political enemies condemn "face-saving patchwork" in this election season. And "youthful" Emmanuel Macron holds first political rally, rules out "vassalic fidelity" towards President Hollande. 


'Artificial' orders, state's largesse, patch work, Alstom derailed. These are some of the captions you can find in today's papers as commentators react to the huge order for trains placed by the French state to save jobs at the historic Alstom factory in Belfort, eastern France.

Le Parisien

The paper reports that the State virtually opted to derail by releasing the 40 million euro package to buy 15 trains for the national railway transporter SNCF.

Le Figaro

Fast-speed electoralism" jeers the right-wing publication. For Le Figaro the so-called " comical episode at the Belfort factory" will end up in a disaster whatever way you look at it. As it puts it, it is wrong spending public funds to rescue the plant.

For Le Figaro, it is absurd to give the impression that the State can still go around rescuing businesses in difficulty. "That's naturally not true", says the conservative publication, adding that many workers who risk losing their jobs will end up disappointed.


"The Alstom affair is the perfect illustration of the "longstanding short-sighted approach to France's industrial policy". Libé wonders if the plant would have been rescued, "had this not been an election year".

La Croix

The Catholic daily criticises the conspicuous absence of the industrialization issue from the presidential campaign, just as much as the controversial issue regarding the sale of Alstom's energy branch to its American rival General Electric.


The Communist newspaper slams the State for tinkering on half-baked face-saving measures instead of using the full force of its secular arm to safeguard jobs in the crisis-hit sector.

According to the paper, the Belfort factory crisis exposes the depth of the railway crisis and long-term strategy it will take to resolve issues such as social mobility and climatic change.

Sud Ouest

According to the regional publication, "François Hollande will definitely be remembered as the President who slowed down fast speed locomotives made to circulate at 320 kms an hour, which some critics will jump on to see it as a metaphor of his term of office.

Macron pledges no "vassalic fidelity" towards Hollande

La Charente libre

The paper comments about the first political meeting of France's youthful former Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron.

La Charente Libre observes that during the landmark meeting in Strasbourg on Tuesday, the former presidential aide shrugged off charges of infidelity towards his mentor.

According to the paper, during his address to supporters, Macron ruled out any "vassalic fidelity" towards Hollande and reasserted his right to pursue his own political ideas and objectives.

La Charente holds that on the wings of Macron's adventure, are a cream of advisers, who for months have been busy trying to jump start his political career on the back of some 84,000 members who have joined his "On the Move" party launched only a few months ago.

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