Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

Read more

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more

FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more

ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

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

2017-01-20 Gambia

'On Inauguration Day, respect for the office and hope for the nation'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 20.01.17: The volatile situation in Gambia is in the spotlight today. But the real story dominating the press is the upcoming inauguration of Donald...

Read more

2017-01-20 Donald Trump

French papers before Trump's inauguration: 'Here we go!'

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 20.01.17: All eyes are on the US today as the country gets ready to inaugurate its 45th president: Donald J. Trump. French papers are alarmed by the...

Read more

2017-01-19 François Hollande

Is Hollande eyeing 'European Council president' post after he steps down?

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Thursday, January 19: The seven candidates hoping to be the French left's presidential pick go head-to-head in the final debate before the primaries this...

Read more

2017-01-19 climate change

11th hour: Scientists say primates facing 'imminent extinction'

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Thursday, January 19: 2016 was the hottest year on record, a phenomenon that is being blamed on human activity. Also endangered: primates who are facing...

Read more

2017-01-18 Brexit

French papers: A small slap for Valls, a major PR blow for his campaign

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 18.01.17: French papers react with alarm to the British prime minister's highly anticipated speech in which Theresa May clarified her government's "hard...

Read more