The French press reports on the euphoria in Egypt following the revolution there. And also raises the prospect tens of thousands of Tunisians may be preparing to leave their homeland to go to France via Italy. Some illegal immigrants have already crossed the Mediterranean to land at Lampedusa, a small island off Sicily.
Events in North Africa are dominating the French press, as they have done for weeks. The Catholic Daily La Croix leads with a photo of a young Egyptian woman giving a V for Victory sign. The headline is “the first steps to a new Egypt” as the euphoria remains. The editorial is entitled: “La juste distance”, “Keeping the right distance”. The paper urges the international community to do that and endeavour to ensure the success of what it calls a “Democratic Springtime” for North African countries. The paper says the transition period for Egypt and Tunisia will be a “Long March”.
Egypt’s revolution is also on the front page of L’Humanite, France’s far-left paper. It says the protesters want to maintain the momentum following their victory in deposing Hosni Mubarak. The editorial is headlined: «Vous avez dit courageux monsieur le Président?». It slams President Nicolas Sarkozy for his comment that Hosni Mubarak’s decision to resign had been “courageous”. The paper says that is a sign of how little the French President understands about events in North Africa. Sarkozy, the paper, says should have said: “Well done” to the Egyptian People.
Libération, meanwhile, leads on Algeria and again shows a photo of a young female protester. The paper asks whether France’s former colony will be the next to have a revolution. It argues in its editorial - headlined “Contagion” (the term would be “Domino Effect” in English) - that the ingredients that came together to bring down Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt are in place in Algeria. That includes despair among young people and corruption in the military and their families.
The main tabloid France Soir leads on the flight of Tunisians to Italy with the headline: “L’Afflux des Clandestins”, “The Influx of Illegal Immigrants”. France Soir says three out of four the illegal immigrants want to move to France. Tunisia’s new Tourism Minister Mehdi Houas tells the paper: «If nothing is done, 350,000 Tunisians will leave the country ».
Aujourd’hui-en-France/Le Parisien leads on Saint Valentine’s Day with the headline how to make your partnership last longer. It suggests a few golden rules for lovers including do not try and get your partner to fix your life for you, don’t get obsessed one particular fault you see, think in the long term and carve your own path.