Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Iraq: Who is Moqtada al-Sadr?

Read more

FACE-OFF

New labour reform bill: A major gamble for Hollande

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It’s Donald Trump’s Party Now'

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Fast fashion: Wearing the world out

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Candidate Hollande hits the campaign trail

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Google signs self-driving car deal with Chrysler

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Cameroon's president heads to Nigeria

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande unofficially kicks off his re-election campaign

Read more

THE DEBATE

Do you believe in miracles? Longshots Leicester defy football odds (part 1)

Read more

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.

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

2016-05-04 US Presidential Election 2016

'It’s Donald Trump’s Party Now'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 04.05.16: US politics is in the spotlight. Last night, Republican hopeful Ted Cruz dropped out of the presidential race. His exit leaves Donald Trump...

Read more

2016-05-04 François Hollande

Candidate Hollande hits the campaign trail

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 04.05.16: French papers focus on a speech François Hollande made yesterday. Officially, the president was commemorating a chapter of political history but...

Read more

2016-05-03 Iraq

Champions! Leicester City win Premier League title

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 03.05.16: Papers across the world focus on political unrest in Iraq, Syrian journalists exiled in Turkey, the controversial "refugee swap" deal...

Read more

2016-05-03 labour law

Parliament set to be 'Up All Night' debating El Khomri labour reform

FRENCH PAPERS - Tues. 03.05.16: For weeks now, papers have been focusing on the government’s controversial plan to reform the labour code. The so-called "El Khomri" law is set to...

Read more

2016-05-02 Syria

Druids protest alcohol ban

US Secretary of State John Kerry is on a diplomatic push to persuade Moscow to persuade Damascus to stop or at least limit attacks on Aleppo. We look at reaction in the French...

Read more