Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Kenya’s opposition leader to take poll dispute to Supreme Court

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's 'unprecedented transgression'

Read more

THE DEBATE

US racial tension - How far should freedom of speech be allowed to go?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Burkina Faso attack: How to restore security in the Sahel region?

Read more

THE DEBATE

India and Pakistan mark 70 years of independence: Can the two countries ever reconcile?

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

India: Cows at heart of political debate

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Trump again blames both sides for Charlottesville violence

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Macron: The shadow of a doubt'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Talks to begin on revamping NAFTA trade deal

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 : 2010-02-09

French debate on national identity was a “fiasco”

Libération’s editorial this morning is entitled “rabbit fart” – not exactly a flattering summing up of Immigration Minister Eric Besson’s three-month debate on French national identity. Le Figaro is also critical saying that the Government’s proposals at the conclusion of the national identity debate “fall far short of expectations”.

Libération calls the national identity debate “a fiasco” and Eric Besson is the man responsible for it. Yesterday, French Prime Minister François Fillon tried to “bury” the initiative at a government conference marking the end of a three-month public debate on what it means to be French.
 
The paper’s editorial likens the debate to a “rabbit fart”! It was meant to ask some profound questions but the debate on French national identity has ended with “tails between legs and the sound of a broken trumpet,” the paper says.
 
When the debate began last November, a large conference was promised at its end with varied proposals and a Presidential speech. “Instead there was a low-key and flat inter-ministerial council with three dull proposals.”
 
And the sentence of the day is: “A display of grandiose national pomp has been transformed into a Bessonian rabbit fart.”
 
The paper goes on to say that the Immigration Minister “was betrayed by right-wing elements in the UMP who revealed the real intention of this debate through a series of gaffes…This debate was unfairly putting Islam in the dock and it was disastrous.”
 
However, the paper notes, the debate’s spectacular failure is paradoxically “a source of comfort” because “its latent xenophobia was rejected by the good sense of the public”
 
“For once,” Libération concludes, “those who had been designated as ‘foreigners’ won’t be seen as the scapegoats for current difficulties.”
 
 
Other articles in today’s French papers:
 
Le Figaro: Fillon tries to defuse the debate
 
 
Aujourd’hui en France / Le Parisien: Interview with Socialist Party deputy leader Harlem Désir on the national identity debate
 
Aujourd’hui en France / Le Parisien: Bernard Henry-Lévy’s big gaffe
 

By James CREEDON

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-08-16 USA

Trump again blames both sides for Charlottesville violence

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 16.08.17: US President Donald Trump has sparked outrage across party lines for once again blaming both sides for the violence in Charlottesville, in...

Read more

2017-08-16 Emmanuel Macron

'Macron: The shadow of a doubt'

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 16.08.17: Papers across France focus on Emmanuel Macron’s first 100 days in office. It’s been a complicated summer for Macron. After riding on a wave of...

Read more

2017-08-15 India

Has the horror of partition overshadowed independence?

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 15.08.2017: As India marks its 70th anniversary of independence, Indian and Pakistani papers do some soul-searching about the violent legacy of...

Read more

2017-08-14 Donald Trump

'These are your people, President Trump'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Mon.14.08.2017 : American papers condemn the president's response to a violent, white supremacist rally in Virginia. For USA Today, the killing of a...

Read more

2017-08-10 North Korea

#AintNoCinderella: Indian women stand up against 'victim shaming'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs.10.08.17: The Guam Daily Post warns that Donald Trump's bellicose rhetoric towards North Korea "puts Guam in harm's way". The Guardian, meanwhile,...

Read more