Don't miss




Pope arrives in Uganda, calls Africa 'Continent of hope'

Read more


France's "Hommage National"

Read more


Hollande’s Grand Coalition: Conflicting interests undermine fight against Jihadists (part 2)

Read more


France in Mourning: What response to Paris Attacks? (part 1)

Read more


Going above and beyond to measure pollution

Read more

#TECH 24

COP21: How technology fights climate change

Read more


Burkina Faso gears up for crunch presidential elections

Read more

#THE 51%

Standing up against violence

Read more


Cutting the cash flow: How governments are tackling terror financing

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.



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




2015-11-27 Turkey

'Donald Trump Is Our Jean-Marie Le Pen'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 27.11.15: Papers continue to focus on "sizzling tensions" following the shooting down of a Russian warplane by Turkey. Also, France wants Britain to...

Read more

2015-11-27 Paris attacks

A moving tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 27.11.15: French papers focus on today’s national tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks. The government has called on people to fly the French flag...

Read more

2015-11-26 Russia

'World War Three has not started (yet)'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs. 26.11.15: Papers focus on the aftermath of Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian warplane. The whole world held its breath, bracing itself for the...

Read more

2015-11-26 French politics

National Front gets boost from Paris attacks

FRENCH PAPERS - Thurs. 26.11.15: Next month’s regional elections are in the spotlight today. According to Le Parisien, the far-right National Front party got a boost following...

Read more

2015-11-25 Tunisia

'The Turkish missile crisis'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 25.11.15: Tunisian papers mourn the victims of yesterday's deadly bombing in Tunisia. Meanwhile, papers across the world react to Turkey’s shooting...

Read more