French media

The Good, the Bad, the Scary - and the media!

President Emmanuel Macron's new cabinet featured across the front pages of all the French press.
President Emmanuel Macron's new cabinet featured across the front pages of all the French press. © Fotomontagem RFI

The new French government has no new names, a few personalities close to their sell-by date, and a justice minister who looks like a front-row rugby forward after a series of scrums against the All Blacks.


Le Monde finds "few surprises" in a team which, according to the centrist Paris daily, has increased the weight of the government's right wing.

Right wing shift

That's already a surprise, given that the same paper was telling us yesterday that this reshuffle would, crucially, have to redress the balance towards the ruling majority's left, given that the newly-appointed team captain, Jean Castex, is a former close advisor of conservative Nicolas Sarkozy. But that was yesterday.

Business daily Les Echos sees the same confirmation of a right-wing shift.

Not for the first time, there's agreement between right-wing Le Figaro and communist L'Humanité. Both papers say this cabinet bears the all the hallmarks of ex-president Sarkozy.

There's Castex at the helm. Then there's the new interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, another Sarkozy protégé, who moves from the realm of finance to take on the troubled relations between this administration and the forces of law and order.

The bull in the china shop, combative criminal lawyer Éric Dupond-Moretti, is a close personal friend of the ex-president. He's now French justice minister. Which, while it may come as a relief to the criminal classes, has certainly put the wind up the nation's magistrates.

Roselyne Bachelot returns to the political realm, having served under both Chirac and Sarkozy, to take on the potentially explosive culture portfolio.

Media Glitter

Le Monde says Bachelot and Dupond-Moretti have been chosen, at least partly, to give the government a bit of media glitter. Two heavyweights, ready and willing to engage in public combat, brought in to enliven a cabinet that might otherwise vanish behind its own shadow.

Ecology gets a boost, with the appointment of European Green Barbara Pompili to an enlarged ministry which will now also look after housing. She becomes the government's second most senior minister. That's a sign, says Le Monde, that the lessons of the successes of various ecology movements in the recent municipal elections have not been lost on President Macron.

The front page of left-leaning Libération attempts to combine coverage of the new cabinet with a back-handed hommage to the late Hollywood composer Ennio Moricone. In an echo of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," Libé's main headline reads "The Returnee, the Green and the Rowdy Bastard." No prizes for guessing which role Éric Dupond-Moretti gets to play.

Nine ministries remain unchanged.


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