Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Donors pledge millions at Uganda refugee summit

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Depp plumbs depths of bad taste

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

France's new frontman, America's absent center, May's Brexit gambit, Saudi royal reshuffle, after Mosul & Raqqa fall

Read more

REVISITED

Senegal’s Casamance hopes for new era of peace

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

FARC disarmament a 'historic day' for Colombia, says president

Read more

FASHION

Cruise collections: All aboard for Dior and Chanel's latest fashions

Read more

ENCORE!

Colombia comes to France

Read more

#THE 51%

The last taboo: Helping women and girls. Period.

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Who benefits when the ice caps melt?

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

2017-06-23 Brexit

'Philando Castile's death poses questions that still need answering'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 23.06.17: British Prime Minister Theresa May gets a warm welcome at a two-day EU summit in Brussels, but many papers expect a clash to come....

Read more

2017-06-23 weather

When it's hot, how much skin can you show at work?

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 23.06.17: One year after the Brexit referendum, many French papers are still holding out hope that the UK will remain in the EU. Meanwhile, the photo of the...

Read more

2017-06-22 Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's 'Prince of Chaos'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs. 22.06.17: The Washington Post gets a glimpse of the Senate Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act - criticised as a "stingier" version...

Read more

2017-06-22 Emmanuel Macron

Macron's government, take two: 'Reviewed and corrected'

FRENCH PRESS - Thurs. 22.06.2017: The re-appointment of the French government following legislative elections is usually just a formality, but Emmanuel Macron had to make several...

Read more

2017-06-21 Portugal

Portugal's papers soul-searching after deadly fires

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Thursday, June 21: Portuguese papers are soul-searching today as they try to make sense of devastating fires that have killed dozens of people. Also, the...

Read more