French press review 17 October 2016

Anti-gay marraige coalition stages a protest in Paris to put family values on the agenda of the Republicans' primaries. President Hollande confirms a high-tension visit to the closed Arcelor Mittal steel plant in Florange.


Republican Primaries/Protest for All

We start with reactions to the anti-gay marriage protest in Paris on Sunday that saw tens of thousands of demonstrators returning to the streets to press their call for candidates in next year's presidential election to support "traditional family values".

The march was according to Le Figaro organized by the "Manif pour Tous campaign" which is determined to make their weight felt, during the primaries and later in the 2017 Presidential elections.

Le Parisien quotes police as saying that up to 24,000 people turned out to reiterated their concept of the family, with signs and slogans such "A father and a mother -- it's hereditary" and to denounce what they called "crappy leaders who oppose the power of the people."

Le Journal de la Haute-Marne says more than 200,000 people attended the march, citing organizers. But it noted that whatever the exact numbers, turnout was far short of the great flood of people who took part in the 2013 protests, then estimated at 1.4 million.

The regional newspaper highlights the conspicuous absence from the demos by the right-wing candidates taking part in the Republican presidential primaries except Jean-Frederic Poisson the flag-bearer of France's small Christian Democratic Party.

According to the Haute Manche newspaper, the six others preferred to stay away after polls showed that the conservative and reactionary positions of some of the movement's leaders do not reflect the views of a majority of French citizens.

President Hollande and Campaign Promises


Sud-Ouest comments about the continuing standoff within the French government between Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Environment Minister Ségolène Royal over the  Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport project.

According to the paper, 4 months after inhabitants of the rural district voted overwhelmingly in a referendum for the airport, Madame Royal called for the project to be abandoned as a gesture of appeasement to hardline environmentalists or “Zadistes”, who have refused to evacuate the site since the death of their colleague in a battle with anti-riot forces.

Sud Ouest claims that a bad climate now surrounds the project, pointing to the government's inability to enforce the decision of the courts and the stake holders vote which President Francois Hollande himself supported is becoming something of a symbol.

According to the publication, Hollande never really backed the airport, basing its assumptions on revelations made in a new book about things President Francois Hollande in a book. President Hollande's flip-flopping and the state's reluctance to enforce its word has become a symbol of his stewardship says the publication.


And talking about President Hollande's promises, some newspaper react to an announcement by the Elysée Palace that the Head of State is due to honour a pledge to visit the former Arcelor Mittal steel factory in Florange.

During the trip Hollande is due to inaugurate the newly constructed Public Institute for metal Research in the Moselle neighborhood of Uckange. Le Figaro reports that the unions have vowed to prevent Hollande from setting his foot on Florange soil.

For L’Humanité, Florange remains one of the striking symbols of "betrayed promises. The trip to the devastated territories of the former industrial basin in the Lorraine region resembles a New Year's Eve visit to the cemetery.


As the anti-IS alliance including the US-led coalition, Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi government forces tighten the noose around Mosul some papers claim that the recapture of the city would shatter the group's claim to be running a "caliphate" and all but end its presence in Iraq as a land-holding force.

La Croix recalls that it is now two years since the jihadist organization occupied the major northern Iraqi city where a great part of its administration and its armory are based.

The Catholic daily holds that from the point of view of France where IS-sponsored terrorism has left a heavy toll, the fall of Mosul will be a deadly blow to the bloody and apocalyptic agenda sought by IS.




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