Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Madagascar political crisis: top court orders formation of unity government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Ireland's abortion referendum

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Weinstein in court; Ireland abortion vote; Italy's populist takeover

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Sugar and spice: The flavours of the French Caribbean

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

The French are so rude! Or are they?

Read more

REVISITED

Video: After key battle, Syrian town of Kobane looks to the future

Read more

ENCORE!

The writing's on the wall: Revolutionary posters from May 68

Read more

REPORTERS

'We heard there might be a civil war': May 68 seen from abroad

Read more

#THE 51%

U.S. mid-terms: Record number of women running and winning primaries

Read more

IN THE PRESS

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 : 2011-08-19

Ice cream and champagne

Most of the French papers lead on the Pope's visit to Madrid. Also in the news are the attacks near the Israeli resort of Eilat and a former French Prime Minister's involvement with efforts to broker the Libyan conflict. Barack Obama eating ice cream in the Midwest gets a mention too. Those stories, and the champagne harvest, make up today's look at the French press, Friday August 19th, 2011.

Pope Benedict 16th is dominating most of France’s front pages. The Supreme Pontiff is on a four-day visit to Madrid for events marking the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day. Le Figaro has a photo of him in his Popemobile, amid crowds in rapture.

Its other main headline is “Terrorist attacks in Israel”. Gunmen crossed from the Egyptian desert and killed eight people near the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat. It reports that Israel is on alert after three separate attacks and there are concerns about security in Egypt’s Sinai Desert which, Le Figaro says, has become less secure since Mubarak’s fall.

Rue89 Online carries the headline: "The Egyptian border is Israel’s new frontline". It says  that several armed groups have made a base there and points out the tension comes as a key date approaches: the Palestinians will announce a bid for UN membership on 20th September.

The former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, Nicolas Sarkozy’s arch-rival in the right wing in France, is apparently involved with talks on Libya. Le Figaro says he has met Gaddafi envoys at the Tunisian resort of Djerba and is doing so to “avoid a bloodbath in Tripoli”. He says he was asked to take part because he knows the region well. The Elysée denies that it made the request. Le Figaro was picking up on a story covered by Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui-en-France on Thursday called « Dominique de Villepin’s mysterious diplomatic trips ». It says that Villepin has made several trips to the region.

That paper is leading on the Pope’s visit to Madrid, with the headline “between fervour and tension”. It reports the Pope’s arrival followed clashes between pilgrims and anti-World Youth Day pro-secular activists. It says that though Spain has been strongly Catholic for centuries, it is less so now. The paper argues the clashes are part of the general climate of discontent in Spain. This is the country of "Los Indignados" - the Indignant Ones. Protests have taken place in many towns and cities over austrerity measures. One of the 'Indignados', Juan Lopez, tells the paper that he is not against the Pope’s visit as such but opposes one penny of public finances going to organisng his welcome. He says any such money should go to the people of Somalia.


Libération is leading on the United States and Barack Obama’s bus trek in the Midwest aimed at bumping up his support. The front page photo shows Obama licking ice cream. Libération says that he is trying to pitch himself as the man of consensus after the nasty partisan squabbling to carve out a deal on the US debt crisis. Its editorial argues that he has disappointed over the economy and notes his poll rating is down to 40 per cent, according to Gallup. However, Libération concludes, that we must not rule Obama out of the race for the White House just yet. His approach of seeing voters as intelligent adults has “more or less done him well”, it says.

And back to Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui-en-France which reports that it’s going to be a great year for bubbly as the champagne harvest begins today. The harvest is exceptionally early this year because of the unusually hot and dry Spring. There's just the question of whether we'll be able to afford a bottle with all the financial doom and gloom around.

By Nicholas RUSHWORTH

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2018-05-25 Ireland

Coming #hometovote to end the era of abortions abroad

Friday, May 25, 2018: The Irish Times welcomes the end of a "divisive campaign" as voters in Ireland head to the polls in a historic abortion referendum. Irish expats in favour...

Read more

2018-05-25 North Korea

'The art of the fail'? Papers react to cancelled US-North Korea summit

Friday, May 25, 2018: For many papers, Donald Trump's abrupt decision to cancel his meeting with Kim Jong-un is the story of a bromance gone sour. US website The Daily Beast...

Read more

2018-05-24 Ireland

Does the NFL's new ultimatum on kneeling pander to Donald Trump?

IN THE PAPERS - Thursday, May 24: The Irish papers weigh in ahead of Friday's referendum on making abortion more accessible. In New Zealand, a university comes under fire for...

Read more

2018-05-24 Italian politics

What's in a name? France moves to protect regional term for chocolate croissant

IN THE PAPERS - Thursday, May 24: We look at reactions to the appointment of Italy’s new prime minister. Giuseppe Conte is called the “tightrope walker”. Also, Yulia Skripal...

Read more

2018-05-23 North Korea

Philip Roth: Polarising, prolific, provocative

IN THE PAPERS - Wednesday, May 23: Obituaries pour in for Philip Roth, one of America's most polarising and prolific writers. We also look ahead to North Korea dismantling a...

Read more