Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REVISITED

Norway: Utoya massacre survivors still seeking answers

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Tunisia clashes: Police exchange fire with armed terrorists near capital

Read more

FOCUS

Ukraine's crippled elections

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Manuel Valls and the 'art of putting one's foot in one's mouth'

Read more

REPORTERS

Why does Catalonia want to leave Spain?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Canada's Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Burkina Faso: Govt seeks referendum on presidential term limit

Read more

FOCUS

Indian uranium mines take heavy toll on locals and environment

Read more

ENCORE!

Paris rediscovers Picasso

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

2014-10-24 Manuel Valls

Manuel Valls and the 'art of putting one's foot in one's mouth'

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 24.10.14: Yesterday, in a TV interview, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he thought a single work contract was "an interesting idea". This has drawn...

Read more

2014-10-24 Canada

'Canada's Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 24.10.14: Canadian papers continue to focus on Wednesday’s attack on Parliament Hill. Meanwhile, the media in Canada has drawn praise for its coverage...

Read more

2014-10-22 Total

French papers pay tribute to Christophe de Margerie

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 22.10.14: There's lots of emotion in the French press as papers pay tribute to former Total CEO Christophe de Margerie following his death in a plane crash....

Read more

2014-10-22 Oscar Pistorius

Pistorius and the lone walk to prison

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 22.10.14: Papers across the world focus on the sentencing of South African Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius. Opinions are split over the fairness...

Read more

2014-10-21 Indonesia

Jokowi: 'A new hope' for Indonesia

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 21.10.14: In Indonesia, Joko Widodo's arrival in the presidential palace after a peaceful transition is celebrated as a confirmation of the country's...

Read more