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French weekly magazine review 21 May 2017

Revue de presse des hebdomadaires
Revue de presse des hebdomadaires DR
Text by: Tamara Thiessen
4 min

A week after Emmanuel Macron was officially sworn in as France's new President, the weeklies are still close by his side. But the stars on La Croisette in Cannes are competing for media space.  

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Macron of course outshines Cannes, especially with the critical legislative elections looming next month, which will decide on the composition of his government, and whether he can form a parliamentary majority.

If he fails to he would be forced into so-called cohabitation with a Prime Minister from another political camp other than his centrist La République en Marche - Republic on the Move party.

On that point, finance and political magazine Le Point reports on the latest shenanigans by the disarrayed right-wing Republicans - that is les Républicains - ahead of the vote.

"In full doubt, the right launches the battle of cohabitation," says the headline, as les Républicains seek their moment of glory in the new government.

This comes after the right's election campaign leader, François Baroin, urged his party to push their differences aside and unite to ensure a better result - even a victory of kinds - in the first round of the elections on June 11.

No more plain left vs. right?

"Yesterday in the heart of the Bois de Vincennes park in Paris, the Républicains held a national meeting to launch what Baroin called "the mother of all battles" reports Le Point.

Before a crowd of two thousand people, the senator - a former finance Minister in Nicolas Sarkozy's government and Mayor of the north-eastern French city of Troy - tried to settle the score a bit after Emmanuel Macron's wooing of a les Républicains as his Prime Minister last week.

Macron made sparks fly when he appointed Édouard Philippe, mayor of Le Havre in Normandy, to lead his bid for a parliamentary majority, and help push through his plans to loosen strict labour laws.

Philippe supported moderate, centre-right former prime minister, Alain Juppé, in the party’s presidential primary race last November.

So, "Emmanuel Macron choses a right-wing prime minister. Let's go all the way," François Baroin rallied, or rather jibed, then "let's give him a majority of the right and the centre!"

Sarko era arms deal probe

L'Express also reports on the right's rally, the only national meeting of les Républicains ahead of the elections, reporting their leader Baroin as saying "democracy is not a government mercado". Not a commodity.

According to the weekly, he "blames the strategy of Emmanuel Macron for sowing further confusion with the Républicains".

Macron’s victory signalled an historic end to or disintegration of the old left-right cleavage given his party was neither nor, rather middle of the road. And this was the first time in recent history that both the Socialists and Republicans were out of the French presidential race.

Meantime L'Expressreports that the French justice is probing a possible bribe case tied to a €6.7 billion arms contract signed in 2009 between France and Brazil when Nicolas Sarkozy was French President.

In December 2009, Sarko travelled to Brazil with about thirty entrepreneurs to sign a series of contracts the magazine writes.

Among them, the contract in question, under which France was to supply four submarines in Brazil, build a shipyard and a military base.

His counterpart at the time was former Brazilian president, Lula da Silva, who now just happens to "be entangled in a corruption case".

Star-studded cast

L'Express also reports on the Cannes film festival now underway in southern France, saying the whole Palais des Festivals had to be evacuated last night due to a forgotten object, which sparked panic in the palace ... a bag as it turned out, containing two batteries.

And that you might say is a bit of an anti-climax ... thankfully so.

After a thorough search by dogs trained to sniff out explosives, so called cynophiles as opposed to cinephiles, film lovers, hundreds of people were allowed back into the venue on the famous, star-studded Boulevard de la Croisette.

To which left-wing L'Obs dedicates a special issue, though the vedettes of la Croisette compete on its cover for attention with political star, Emmanuel Macron, who is pictured racing ahead, la République en marche! Amid a series of exclamations ... "He dares everything", "Macron the American”, “He disperses the parties in a puzzle fashion" ... and of course, "He appoints a PM from the right."
 

 

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