Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

Read more

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more

FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more

ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2009-10-27

Debate on French national identity causes controversy

Immigration Minister Eric Besson’s call for a national debate about French identity has drawn criticism from the left-leaning press. Is this just a bid to win over voters from the far-right Front National party?

Libération says the debate on national identity should not be seen as an issue that belongs solely to the right-wing. In it’s editorial, the paper says this is probably a calculated move to win over voters from the Front National, France’s far-right party. There are also suspicions that this move is a means of distracting the public from several damaging controversies that have affected the UMP-ruling party in recent weeks. Eric Besson also has an interest in shifting attention away from the deportation of three Afghan immigrants.

The right-leaning paper Le Figaro reports the news in a more factual manner. It says that the education system needs to be re-hauled. One of it’s roles is to reinforce the notion of French identity, yet many students leave the French school system still identifying more strongly with their country of origin, the paper notes.

Le Parisien is somewhere in between the positions of Libération and Le Figaro. It reports on the opposition of left-leaning politicians to Besson’s call for a debate on this matter.

Other stories in today’s French papers:

Le Parisien
More and more women are being employed in jobs traditionally associated with men.

La Croix
770,000 extra people have found themselves unemployed in France since the beginning of the crisis one year ago.

L’Equipe
France’s biggest sports paper leads with Sunday’s cancellation of a Paris Saint Germain – Olympique Marseille football match over concerns about swine flu. When will it be rescheduled, the paper asks?

 

By James CREEDON

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-01-20 Gambia

'On Inauguration Day, respect for the office and hope for the nation'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 20.01.17: The volatile situation in Gambia is in the spotlight today. But the real story dominating the press is the upcoming inauguration of Donald...

Read more

2017-01-20 Donald Trump

French papers before Trump's inauguration: 'Here we go!'

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 20.01.17: All eyes are on the US today as the country gets ready to inaugurate its 45th president: Donald J. Trump. French papers are alarmed by the...

Read more

2017-01-19 François Hollande

Is Hollande eyeing 'European Council president' post after he steps down?

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Thursday, January 19: The seven candidates hoping to be the French left's presidential pick go head-to-head in the final debate before the primaries this...

Read more

2017-01-19 climate change

11th hour: Scientists say primates facing 'imminent extinction'

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Thursday, January 19: 2016 was the hottest year on record, a phenomenon that is being blamed on human activity. Also endangered: primates who are facing...

Read more

2017-01-18 Brexit

French papers: A small slap for Valls, a major PR blow for his campaign

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 18.01.17: French papers react with alarm to the British prime minister's highly anticipated speech in which Theresa May clarified her government's "hard...

Read more