Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Cameroon's president heads to Nigeria

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande unofficially kicks off his re-election campaign

Read more

THE DEBATE

Do you believe in miracles? Longshots Leicester defy football odds (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

How much is too much? Growing calls to cap executive pay (part 2)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Fontainebleau: Home sweet home for King Francis I

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Brazil's bumpy countdown to the Rio Olympics

Read more

ENCORE!

'Luminous Discontent': Robert Longo’s monochrome vision

Read more

FOCUS

Migrants: Austria building fence on border with Italy

Read more

EUROPE NOW

Finland: Migrants and money (part 2)

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

2016-05-03 Iraq

Champions! Leicester City win Premier League title

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 03.05.16: Papers across the world focus on political unrest in Iraq, Syrian journalists exiled in Turkey, the controversial "refugee swap" deal...

Read more

2016-05-03 labour law

Parliament set to be 'Up All Night' debating El Khomri labour reform

FRENCH PAPERS - Tues. 03.05.16: For weeks now, papers have been focusing on the government’s controversial plan to reform the labour code. The so-called "El Khomri" law is set to...

Read more

2016-05-02 Syria

Druids protest alcohol ban

US Secretary of State John Kerry is on a diplomatic push to persuade Moscow to persuade Damascus to stop or at least limit attacks on Aleppo. We look at reaction in the French...

Read more

2016-04-29 Syria

London's new naked restaurant

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 29.04.16: Papers across the world focus on renewed fighting in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, a major crisis within the British Labour party over...

Read more

2016-04-29 protest

Protesters and police clash violently: Who is to blame?

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 29.04.16: Papers in France focus on yesterday's protests against the government's plan to reform the labour code. Violence broke out between police and...

Read more