French press review 10 May 2018

Text by: William Niba
4 min

French commentators join world leaders in scramble to blast Donald Trump's scrapping of the Iran nuclear arms deal and his power play in the Middle East.


Le Parisien says Trump' rash decision to pull out of the UN-brokered Iran nuclear accord and reimpose sanctions on the Islamic republic, worsens the instability in the Middle East and throws Iran into a period of uncertainty with billions of euros of business with Iran threatened.

According to the newspaper, the US President's move has become a headache not just to the regime in Teheran, but for all stake holders in the Middle East with French president Emmanuel Macron playing a crucial role in the geopolitical chess board.

Paris, it says, is the sole negotiator capable of holding direct talks with the super powers involved in the Iran nuclear arms file. But the publication wonders if it is still possible for France to express dispproval of Trump's latest diplomatic move without hurting his American friend.

Furthermore Le Parisien voices pessimism at Macron's ability to prevent Iran from also withdrawing from the accord once it starts feeling the pinch of renewed US-sanctions. The paper also pops a question waiting for answers about what French and European businesses eyeing juicy contracts with Iran will do to secure their investments.

Libération slams Donald Trump for pushing his own very own western allies into a tight corner where they are compelled either either allow Washington dictate their foreign and commercial policy or seize the moment and transform the European Union not into a superpower, but into a global economic and political heavyweight.

As Libé points out  at a rare moment when Europe's main leaders share a common position on the need to safeguard the Iran accord, it would be regrettable to miss the opportunity.

For Le Figaro, by walking out of the Iran nuclear arms accord, Donald Trump poured cold water on the transatlantic relationship which was already on a rough ride by the Americans.

According to the conservative publication, his attitude can only provoke the anger of his European allies who feel let down. Le Figaro claims that there could be a salutary twist to the crisis if EU leaders gather courage and formulate their own  autonomous defence policy and stop relying on the United States as it has been the case in the past.

There is hardly a single French newspaper that isnt following the investigations into the shocking death of a young woman just hours after being mocked at by the operator of the emergency service who received her distress call.

Le Parisien reports that Naomi Musenga aged 22 called the SAMU in Strasbourg on December 29 last year form her home complaining of severe stomach pains saying she was dying. According to the paper, the attendant on the other side of the line responded sarcastically saying You're going to die, certainly, one day just like everyone else,"

Le Parisien also claims that the female operator was later heard mocking Musenga's complaints with a colleague, before telling the victim to call a doctor for a house visit. The tragedy is that she died five hours later after arriving a Strasbourg hospital from a heart attack. Le Monde, reports that an autopsy revealed that she had suffered multiple organ failure.

The tragedy prompts a public outcry and renewed calls from several papers for more funding for health services.

Le Journal de la Haute-Marne says it is chilling to imagine that the SAMU service in Strasbourg tried to cover-up the affair for months with the risk of discrediting the professionalism of its staff instead of holding the operator accountable for her conduct.

For L'Union/L'Ardennais, the lack of resources for French emergency services have turned the services in mere call centers while the number of distress messages they receive having tripled in 30 years.

According to l'Est Républicain expresses the wish that Naomi Musenga's death could restore a culture of work and duty at the service of human dignity on which the French values of equality and solidarity enshrined in the constitution.

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