French press review 21 June 2017

US President Donald Trump has forced the American car giant Ford to shift production from Mexico, to China. What will France's new anti-terrorist law look like? And what has the actor Daniel Day-Lewis decided to do now that he's 60?


Le Monde reports that the new Ford Focus motorcar will be built in China, despite all the noise made by US president Donald Trump about American companies making American products in America.

Trump was loudly triumphant in January when Ford cancelled palns to invest in a new production site in Mexico, where the Focus was to have been produced. What the motor company didn't tell the big man was that the new plan was to invest in a new production site in China, which is where all US Focuses will be built from 2019.

The problem is that Trump's efforts to force down the price of petrol - by selling the strategic reserve and allowing drilling in environmentally sensitive locations - have encourgaed Americans to buy bigger cars, leaving the Focus struggling to find a strong domestic market.

Ford says the cars have to be cheaper and that means making them in China. The move will save Ford at least one billion dollars and won't cost a single American job, the company says.

General Motors and Volvo also sell Chinese-constructed cars in America. Le Monde says the latest decision by Ford is a message to the White House that shareholders and balance sheets will decide company policy, not the blonde bellowings of the president.

French interior minister explains anti-terrorist proposals

Right-wing daily Le Figaro gives pride of place to French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb and his proposals for a new anti-terrorism law. This is the legislation which is broadly intended to take up the slack once the current state of emergency comes to an end in November.

The general lines of the proposed law will strengthen the police protection of major public events, close places of worship suspected of having links to terrorism, limit certain individual freedoms and create a new type of magistrate who will specialise in the fight against fundamentalist attacks.

The minister says he believes his propositions strike a perfect balance between the demand of public security and the protection of civil liberties.

But he goes on to admit that nothing in his new law could have prevented, for example, Monday's attack on police officers in central Paris.

Paris attacker was already on police danger list

Le Figaro's editorial laments the fact that Monday's attacker was already known to the anti-terrorist police, being named on the extremist watchlist since 2015, indicating that he posed a potential threat to state security. But he was still legally entitled to own an automatic weapon.

Supposed to be under house-arrest, he was nonetheless able to make repeated journeys to and from Turkey. His family are locally known for their ultra-rigorous religious practises.

A search of his home uncovered a sophisticated arsenal.

The police say the man was jugded to represent a "slight" threat, mainly because he had managed to avoid any court convictions. Le Figaro wonders how such an individual can be categorised as "slightly" threatening.

Accepting that no anti-terrorist system will ever be completely foolproof, Le Figaro says this case points to the terrible failures of the current arsenal intended to keep dangerous individuals under supervision.

The right-wing paper warns the interior minister that his proposals for change will be a complete waste of time and energy if they do not confront the problem posed by the 12,000 people on the watchlist. It's good to know these individuals are potentially dangerous, says Le Figaro, but what do you do next?

Daniel Day-Lewis decides to call it a day

Several French dailies note the fact that the multi-Oscar-winning Irish actor Daniel Day-Lewis has decided to retire, at the age of 60.

Thanking those with whom he had the privilege to work, Day-Lewis said in a statement that the decision was a personal one and that there would be no further information or discussion of the retirement.

Day-Lewis is the only actor to have won the Best Actor Oscar on three occasions, for My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood, and Lincoln.

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