French press review 23 October 2018

Text by: William Niba
3 min

French teenager in 'fake' gun threat against teacher is charged with aggravated violence. And revisionist Robert Faurisson who described the Auschwitz gas chambers as the "biggest lie of the 20th century" dies at the age of 89.


The disturbing upsurge in school violence in France following last week's fake gun incident at Paris suburban school continues to dominate the news.

This, after the 15 year-old French teenager who was filmed threatening his teacher with a fake gun in the tough suburb of Créteil was charged with aggravated violence which carries a sentence of 40 months in prison.

Le Figaro takes up the pledges made by President Emmanuel Macron, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer to restore discipline and authority in French schools.

The conservative daily wonders if the classroom which is custodian of knowledge transmission will be able to combat an evil it has proven incapable to define for years.

The daily says schools will never fully incarnate authority if education officials continue to clamour for the hiring of instructors instead of teachers.

For Les Echos, it was gratifying to see Monsieur Blanquer ‘steal a march’ over his colleague of the Interior Ministry on the sensitive security-related issue, as he hit the road for a series of school visits and meetings with parents to address the malaise affecting teaching staff.

He is right to get tough on the worsening problem argues the economic newspaper adding that there needs to be a big bang on the issue of school violence before something more terrible than the Créteil video shows up on social media .

Today's Le Monde takes up the continuing outrage against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the killing of exiled Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi after entering the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

According Le Monde, France, Germany and the United Kingdom have taken a common stance in demanding clarification from Riyadh after rejecting the hypothesis brought forward by the Kingdom that the country's leader was not aware of Khashoggi’s murder.

On Monday, details of the killing continued to seep out, as CNN broadcast images showing a Saudi official playing a body double for Khashoggi, wearing the journalist's clothes, exiting the consulate.

According to Le Monde, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has raised a possiblesuspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia if the revelations promised by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, confirm the macabre scenario of the execution of the journalist by a hit squad dispatched by Riyadh.

L'Humanité leads reactions to the passing of Robert Faurisson, a former French academic who was convicted several times for claiming that the gas chambers in Auschwitz and mass killings of Jews by Nazi Germany were the "biggest lie of the 20th century".

A defender of Marshal Philippe Petain's French Vichy regime which collaborated with Nazi occupiers of the country during World War II, he died on Monday at the age of 89 in his hometown of Vichy, central France.

According to the Communist daily, Faurisson became notorious in 1978, when he published a column in Le Monde defending Marshall Petain’s commissioner for Jewish affairs Darquier de Pellepoix. L'Huma says that while Faurisson now belongs to the past his death will neither put an end to negativism nor anti-Semitism.

For Le Républicain lorrain Robert Faurisson was the incarnation of the madness driving the worst fanatics the world has ever witnessed

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