French press review 25 October 2017

Text by: William Niba
3 min

President Macron scales first foreign policy hurdle by securing an EU "detached worker's deal while there is a  growing clamour for a ban of the weed-killing glyphosate forces EU Commission to cut the deadline.


We begin with reactions to the reappointment of Chinese President Xi Jinping as head of the Communist Party Wednesday, in a highly choreographed congress at Beijing's massive Great Hall of the People.

Le Figaro reports that after the 64-year old Xi got his eponymous political theory enshrined in the Communist Party constitution, his first move was to shake hands with his predecessors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.

According to the right-wing publication on top of his new 5-year mandate as the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist party, Xi Jinping's doctrine secured him an inviolable mandate to rule and possibly positioning him to retain power for decades to come.

"Xi Jinping in the Pantheon" leads la Presse de la Manche. The regional publication holds that the always and very dignified Xi received a rare standing ovation from the congress with the humility typical of great leaders.

La Presse says that Xi's humble ways won't stop him from becoming China's undisputed leader.

The paper however satirizes about one danger the Chinese strongman has to guard against  believing like Napoleon that he can make a bigger Commander-in-chief by trying his hand on a few daring military conquests.

Le Monde looks at Tuesday's accord between EU labour ministers on the stringent management of the so-called detached workers contracts which had Western and eastern European countries on a war path.

The paper says that despite the shortcomings of the deal, President Macron who initiated the proposal jumped his first European hurdle successfully.

The paper explains that there no guarantees from the start that he would be able to rally countries such as Romania, Bulgaria to avoid Poland and Hungary from blocking the new directive.

La Croix says it is gratifying to see that after two decades of obstructive policies the EU turning away from blind protectionist policies which put economic competition above social cohesion in the Eurozone.

Several publications react to the European Commission's proposal on Tuesday to renew the license for the weed killer glyphosate for a shorter than usual seven years, amid fears that it causes cancer.

Le Parisien reports that the European bloc's executive arm, had originally recommended the license for the herbicide be renewed for 10 years.

According to the publication, the shift came just hours after the European Parliament approved a non-binding resolution calling for the chemical to be banned by 2022.

Le Figaro says scientists, lobbyists, elected officials and NGO's and even France's Ministers in charge of ecology and Agriculture had been tripping over each other for months about the dangerousness of the world's best-selling weed killer some clamouring for a mandatory ban, while others opposed it.

The paper points out that up to 77 percent of Germans, the French, Italians, Greeks, and Portuguese stand united in their demands for an outright ban of the ban of the use of the weed killer in farms across Europe.

Libération believes that the replacement of the noxious product with a panoply of farming techniques and new knowhow wil put Europe at the forefront of the new agricultural revolution.

Libé urges the EU’s leaders to move quickly now that they agree on the issue and decide within a reasonable but short deadline to ensure that their decision is understood and accepted by all and that it will not be detrimental to the interests of EU farmers.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning