French press review 3 November 2016

French Republican candidates to square off in decisive televised debate ahead of November 20 primaries while Donald Trump scares the markets as his prospects of   winning the White House brighten.


French Republican Primaries

Today's front pages are all about tonight's second debate by the seven right-wing rivals in the race for the right to stand the French presidency.

"Attention danger !", warns l'Humanité. According to the Communist newspaper the debate will be an odious exercise of overbidding over civil servants, joblessness and the unions, issues Conservatives have always obsessed about.

For le Républicain Lorrain, last month's first debate was an observation round.

Now with less than three weeks away form the vote, the atmosphere is likely to be charged, especially between the two heavyweights in the race betwen former president Nicolas Sarkozy and the polls' favourite, Bordeaux Mayor Alain Juppé.

Le Parisien claims that despite his poor showing in the polls, which puts him behind Juppé, Sarkozy remains confident he can win. The paper says he is banking on mobilizing a hard core of right-wing voters who prefer a hardline approach to resolving the country's problems instead of the solutions offered by Juppé.

Sud-Ouest writes that Bayrou will definitely be the big absentee from the debate, even though he is not one of the candidates.

The Catholic daily La Croix explores the reasons behind Sarkozy's disaffection asserting that he is suffering from lingering questions about his role in a number of graft scandals and a deep-rooted rejection of his personality.

A leap backwards?

As the seven conservative candidates prepare for the final sprint, Libération says a liberal revolution is not what the French people want.

It points to a new Viavoice survey documenting a strong rejection of the key measures contained in the Republican party's political manifesto.

According to Libé, 57 percent of respondents are opposed to the 300,000 job cuts in the civil service while 64 percent reject plans to raise the retirement age to 65.

The newspaper found out that up to 69 percent of people polled are against a repeal of the wealth tax and tax cuts on businesses. For the paper, the left could halt this backward jump if it was a little lucid and more organized.

Donald Trump and the markets

US Presidential candidate Donald Trump is the subject of renewed concern for Les Echos as the markets fretted over the rising chances that maverick Republican could end up winning the US presidency in next Tuesday's election.

According to the economic newspaper, investors see Trump as a loose cannon and a mountain of unpredictability, an outlook they hate the most.

For Les Echos nobody knows where the US is headed if Americans end up picking Trump as leader of the world's greatest superpower.

Some investors, it writes, even expect a shock result akin to Britain's June vote to exit the European Union, which was not predicted by opinion polls.

La Dépêche du Midi says it is terrifying to think that the only thing the world knows about Trump is his strong attachment to the free acquisition of guns and his reckless reflections about the possible use of the atomic bomb.





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