French press review 11 February 2017

Donald Trump remains upbeat despite a judicial rejection of his order banning nationals for seven Muslim-majority nations. He says he'll just draft a new presidential order. Europe is getting worried that Marine Le Pen could win the French presidential election. And US scientists are scared at their president's choice of conspiracy theorists, creationists and climate-change sceptics as his closest advisors.


Le Monde gives the front-page honours to the latest judicial setback for American president Donald Trump, who says he won't appeal to the Supreme Court against the decision to block his order banning entry to the United States for nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries. Instead, says Trump, he'll just draft a new presidential order. But, he says, he remains determined to keep Islamic terrorists out of America.

Suspending the presidential decree signed by Trump last week, the federal appeals court in San Francisco noted that no national from any of the seven countries targeted by the American president had ever been involved in a terrorist attack in the United States.

Trump has criticised the decision against him by the San Francisco court, promising that he will react rapidly to ensure the safety of American citizens.

Philosopher debates Islamophobia

Le Figaro interviews the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner. He says the whole concept of Islamophobia has become a powerful force of intimidation. The twin objectives are to silence antiracist voices in the West and to sideline liberal and reformist members of the Muslim community.

Europe worried by French presidential shambles

For its main story, the right-wing daily says the French presidential scramble is worrying Europe.

In fact, according to the Le Figaro small print, Europe is really worried about the fate of poor François Fillon, going backwards in the opinion polls because of his laudable efforts to reduce unemployment by taking on three members of his own family as parliamentary assistants.

As Fillon struggles, many European observers see far-right contender Marine Le Pen as the chief beneficiary, with some predicting that she could be the next French president.

The one feeling shared in Berlin, London, Rome, Stockholm and Warsaw, says Le Figaro, is that French politics is sheer madness.

Will Macron's campaign details delay cost him dearly?

Emmanuel Macron is the man currently credited by the opinion polls with second place behind Le Pen in the first round, outright winner in the second.

But even he has his problems. Le Figaro says the centrist canddidate continues to insist that he is working on a detailed, realistic and fully argued presidential programme and that he will reveal all on 2 March.

The right-wing daily notes that Macron has been harshly criticised by several of his opponents, notably François Fillon, for not making his platform clear and available.

Among Le Figaro readers this morning, with 28,000 votes, 78 percent say they consider "unusual" the delay in clarifying the Macron program.

Macron's climate credentials far from credible

Libération has already run the rule over Macron's environmental programme and found it to be full of nice phrases, with a promise to end the reign of fossil fuels, but nonetheless ambiguous and incoherent.

There will, for example, be no more coal-fired power stations in France five years after Macron becomes president. But that's an old story. There are only five such stations left, and current President François Hollande has already promised to close them down, before being told it would result in power cuts. Macron had nothing to say about the 46 French-run coal-burning power stations outside France, cumulatively responsible for 151 million tons of carbon dioxide every year, nearly half of France's total pollution output.

US scientists scared of Trump

It's hard to escape Donald Trump this morning. He's on the front page of left-leaning Libération, standing at the head of the standard evolutionary scale from ape to Neanderthal to homo sapiens. But Trump is facing in the wrong direction.

According to Libé, the US scientific community feels itself under attack by a president who has chosen to surround himself with conspiracy theorists, creationists and climate-change sceptics.

And now, for something completely different

Also in Le Monde . . .

France remains the most popular country in the world for tourists, with 83 million foreign visitors last year. That's impressive, even if down on the record of 85 million set in 2015.

And Cédric Herrou, the man accused of helping illegal migrants get into France and housing them on his farm not far from the Italian border, was yesterday given a suspended fine of 3,000 euros. He has promised that his door will remain open to those in need.

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