Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Dance like nobody's watching!

Read more

DEBATE

Burundi's Brutal Standoff: One month on tension spirals (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Burundi's Brutal Standoff: One month on tension spirals (part 1)

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Masoud Barzani: 'We are prepared to recover Mosul very quickly'

Read more

FOCUS

Lebanon marks one year without a president

Read more

REPORTERS

A year after coup, Thai opposition resists junta rule

Read more

REPORTERS

Are there lessons to be learned from Chirac’s foreign policy?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Novak Djokovic: 'I have grown'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

At least three dead in grenade attack in Bujumbura

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

2015-05-25 Cannes Film Festival 2015

'French cinema triumphs'

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Mon. 25.05.15: It's Cannes, Cannes and more Cannes in the French press today as the country celebrates success at the Film Festival. Palme d'Or, Best Actor...

Read more

2015-05-25 Spain

'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'

IN THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS - Mon. 25.05.15: Spain's local elections herald a "seismic shift" in the country's politics, according to El Pais and French paper Le Monde. The...

Read more

2015-05-22 Syria

'Why should the U.S. fight for the Iraqis?'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri 22.05.15: Lots of talk of the US's strategy against I.S. today – or rather lack thereof. Editorials in the Washington Post and Daily Beast say there...

Read more

2015-05-22 Syria

"Inequality takes hold"

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Fri 22.05.15 : Palmyra is once again on the front pages, after IS took over the ancient city. And Liberation and Le Figaro questions the U.S.'s strategy in...

Read more

2015-05-21 Syria

'Bin Laden's secret porn stash'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs. 21.05.15: The Islamic State group's victory in the ancient city of Palmyra is featured across the press, from Lebanon's L'Orient Le Jour to the UK's...

Read more