Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Nigerian elections: early results show close race

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"Slap in the face" for Socialists in French local elections

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Nigeria: Millions prepare to go to the polls on Saturday

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: And the winner is... Tense wait for election results (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: And the winner is... Tense wait for election results (part 1)

Read more

Access Asia

2015-03-30 17:45 ACCESS ASIA

Read more

ENCORE!

Jeanne Added on her classical pop-crossover

Read more

BEYOND BUSINESS

Race of ideas: is the US pulling away from France?

Read more

REVISITED

Video: A wind of freedom blowing in Kuwait

Read more

Live from the newsroom, we provide an overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

IN THE PAPERS

IN THE PAPERS

Latest update : 2009-11-20

Belgium’s PM named EU’s first President

Belgium’s papers all lead with the nomination of Herman Van Rompuy to the post of President of the European Council. In the UK however there's less interest in Catherine Ashton’s selection as the EU’s first High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

Herman Van Rompuy won’t have to pack his bags – he’s staying in Brussels but donning a new hat. The Belgian Prime Minister has been selected as the EU’s first President. Flander’s biggest selling paper, Het Laatste Nieuws, leads with a photo of Van Rompuy and the headline “A Belgian as the First”.


The French-language paper Le Soir wonders whether Obama will call Van Rompuy when he needs to “speak to Europe”. Neither Van Rompuy nor Ashton have a high international profile compared to other candidates for the two top jobs.


The Independent
in the UK says Catherine Ashton has a lucky habit of being in the right place at the right time. She’s leader of the House of Lords yet has a low profile in the British Labour Party. Some commentators believe her post carries more clout than that of the President of the Commission. She will head up Europe’s beefed up diplomatic service with 5,000 staff posted to 130 EU Embassies around the world.

The Guardian focuses on the machinations behind the selection of the two leaders. Apparently the former Italian PM Massimo d’Alema was the front runner of Asthon’s job but Israel opposed his candidacy because of his pro-Palestine position. This put the ball in Britain’s court. Because Ashton now has the foreign policy job, Britain is out of the running for the Commission’s economic posts. This suits other EU heavyweights – it means France and Germany will be able to lay claim to the big single market, financial services, trade and competition portfolios. The UK is afraid that EU legislation to regulate financial services could threaten the City.

French left-leaning paper Libération worries about the charisma vacuum in the choice of Van Rompuy and Ashton. The paper compares the Belgian Prime Minister to a ‘local anaesthetic’ and says the only person more boring than him is… Catherine Ashton!


Other stories in today’s international papers:

The Irish Times
Government calls for replay of match with France

The Irish Times
Not falling into a trap of pointing the finger

 

By James CREEDON

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2015-03-30 French elections

The political recovery of France's right

The second round of local elections has seen a resounding victory for the UMP party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy. The National Front made sweeping gains, but fell short of...

Read more

2015-03-30 French elections

Success for Sarkozy as France turns right

Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP sweeps to victory in France's local elections, but even members of his own party have questioned some of the further right rhetoric he used during the...

Read more

2015-03-27 Germanwings flight 4U9525

'The co-pilot who wanted to end it all'

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 27.03.15: French papers focus on the latest shocking developments in the Germanwings plane crash. Yesterday, the public prosecutor of Marseille said the...

Read more

2015-03-26 Germanwings flight 4U9525

NYT: Germanwings pilot was locked out of cockpit before crash

FRENCH PAPERS - Thurs. 26.03.15: An article from the New York Times is getting a lot of attention in the French press today. It claims that one of the Germanwings pilots was...

Read more

2015-03-26 Yemen

Fans distraught as Zayn leaves One Direction

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs. 26.03.15: An article from the New York Times is getting a lot of attention in the press today. It claims that one of the Germanwings pilot was...

Read more