Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

2015-09-02 20:45 MEDIA WATCH

Read more

THE DEBATE

Erdogan's Toughest Battle? Turkish president reverses course on key issues (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Erdogan's Toughest Battle? Turkish president reverses course on key issues (part 1)

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

EU policy consigns Greece ‘to deeper depression’, says Stiglitz

Read more

FOCUS

India - Pakistan: A new generation takes up arms in Kashmir

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

The road to exile: A Syrian family’s journey across Europe

Read more

ENCORE!

Film Show: Wes Craven, ‘The Brand New Testament’, ‘This Ain't California’

Read more

FACE-OFF

How Europe’s migrant crisis became a political battle

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

France cracks down on internship abuses with system overhaul

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 : 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

2015-09-02 finance

'Enough with dirty Paris!'

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds.02.09.15: Papers are focusing on Michel Combes, the former boss of telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent and his €14 million “golden parachute”. Executive...

Read more

2015-08-31 Japan

Grassroots and new faces in Japan's protests

INTERNATIONAL PRESS - Mon. 31.08.15: The Japanese press examines what may be the largest demonstration in the country since World War II. Meanwhile, the i newspaper looks at how...

Read more

2015-08-31 Socialist Party (France)

Hollande’s Socialist Party is ‘tearing itself apart’

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Mon. 31.08.15: The Socialist's Party summer meeting in La Rochelle is overshadowed by infighting. And one of the French journalists accused of trying to...

Read more

2015-08-28 migrants

Refugee drama: 'A truck full of corpses'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 28.08.15: Papers across the world focus on grim news coming out of Austria: an abandoned truck was discovered containing dozens of decomposing...

Read more

2015-08-28 Morocco

Two French journalists arrested for 'attempted blackmail of Moroccan king'

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 28.08.15: Two French investigative journalists were arrested in Paris yesterday on suspicion of trying to blackmail the king of Morocco. French papers take a...

Read more