French press review 17 October 2017

Text by: William Niba
4 min

Lawmakers brace for a fight over fiscal handshakes offered the rich as President Macron's first budget goes to Parliament while French women flood social media with #Denonceyourpig slogans as the scandal engulfing Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein sparks revulsion in France.


We begin with reactions to US President Donald Trump's announcement on Monday that a "total termination" of the Iran nuclear arms deal remains possible, after refusing to certify the 2015 accord and leaving its fate to Congress.

Trump's comments came as the EU announced it was sending its chief diplomat to Washington next month to try to save the agreement that saw Tehran dramatically scale back its nuclear ambitions in return for an end to punishing sanctions.

Le Monde says the world had been forewarned that the United States can no longer be trusted, Donald Trump having lost the little credibility he may have had.

According to the publication US foreign policy is now driven by the caprices of a President whose trade mark is incoherence and deliberate enterprise to wreck the hard work of his predecessor without subjecting himself of any obligation to explain his political and diplomatic choices.

As lawmakers begin examining President Emmanuel Macron's first budget today the commentators says they expect heated exchanges especially over the government's projected reform of the controversial wealth tax.

The economic daily Les Echos presents the bill explaining that it contains proposals to cut public spending by 15 billion euros, seven from the public service budget, including controversial cuts in housing subsidies, 5 billion from social security and 3 billion from public grants to local councils.

Le Parisien predicts that Macron's first finance bill will not go down well with the French left as he transform the wealth tax into a flat tax worth 30 percent of fortune in real estate, which is set to leave the state budget with a revenue short-fall of 4.5 billion euros.

The Communist daily l'Humanité is happy to announce that not less than 1.200 amendments have been tabled against the finance bill.

For its part, Le Figaro argues that despite an outcry about the tax breaks offered the wealthy and complaints that struggling households have been forgotten, President Macron has no reason to get worried.

The right-wing publication believes that in the face of a fractured opposition the bill will be passed by his tightly-knit majority in the house with the economy set for greater stimullus thanks to the new finance bill.

Meanwhile, there is a flurry of reactions to the tabling in parliament of a new bill seeking to impose on-the-spot fines for the harassment of women in the streets of France, as the sex scandal engulfing Hollywood honcho Harvey Weinstein sparked revulsion in France.

The legislation is being piloted by 34-year-old feminist Marlene Schiappa, who is Secretary of State in charge of Equality between Women and Men.

The legislation tackling sexist male attitude in public places is due to be subjected for a voted by lawmakers next year.

Le Parisien reports that the bill couldn’t have come at a more timely moment as a string of French actresses have jumped on the escalating scandal over Weinstein's alleged sexual assaults to reveal their encounters with the producer.

Libération says the #MeToo slogan has encouraged thousands of women around the world to share their experiences of abuse on Twitter, with French women also using the #balancetonporc slogan.

La République des Pyrénées, notes that in just three days more than 160,000 victims of sexual harassment have posted messages about their ordeal on twitter.

Le Républicain Lorrain wonders why it has taken them so long to break their silence, in a society where dignitaries such as the head of the IMF, priests and lawmakers are at the center of some of the most shocking sex scandals of their time.

Liberation presents the campaign as a necessary first step to start tackling the perennial issue of gender parity in wages and rights warning that if there is no collective approach to resolving the issues of equality raised by women as a national emergency it could end up exploding, far beyond the confines of social media.

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