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What the papers said 17 May 2018

rfi English, May 17

Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot fuels speculation about his future with talk about evaluating his work this summer break; and French football giants Marseille lick their wounds after a night of broken European dreams.

The dailies share the disappointment of Marseille after their 3-0 defeat by Atletico Madrid in the final of the Europa League Cup played in Lyon on Wednesday.

According to Le Monde, Marseille players had the appetite, but not the level to beat the Spanish side, who simply pushed them aside in the final.

The dream didn't last at all, comments Le Parisien in a report ridiculing the “cheap” early goal Marseille offered to Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann.

Meanwhile, l'Equipe showers praise on the Atletico French striker who it claims wrecked Marseille's dreams. To make the point, the sports daily carries a blown-up photograph of Antoine Griezmann consoling Marseille's captain Dmitri Payet in tears after he was substituted early in the match due to injury.

Several regional newspapers also share their deep disappointment of the Marseille fans.

Le Journal de la Haute-Marne prefers to celebrate the great campaign Marseille waged in the Europa League this year observing that they even had the upper hand, up to the gifted goal and Captain Dmitri Payet's injury. “Heaven was probably too far from Marseille's reach," the Journal reads.

But it also makes the point, that nobody can take away from the fact that Rudi Garcia and his side made the people of football-mad Marseille dream again of silverware 25 years after their triumph in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, on the eve of the summer holidays, some commentators try to read what may be in the mind of Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot whether he will be taking a few vacation days off or whether he will take leave of the government.

That's a issue of utmost interest to Le Figaro. The conservative publication claims that questions about Hulot's future have become a source of growing embarrassment to President Emmanuel Macron who reportedly made the appointment of the TV journalist turned activist, a personal challenge.

According to Le Figaro if Hulot who has openly aired his frustrations about the difficulties he faces in changing political practice in environmental governance leaves the cabinet it would be a serious blow to Macron.

If he stays, the paper argues, then the reservations he expressed about the lack of clarity and audacity in the French leader's environmental policy would weaken the government.

According to Les Echos, from the way things look it seems it will not be President Macron evaluating the performance of members of his government as he promised, but Nicolas Hulot getting ready this summer to evaluate or devalue the government.

According to economic newspaper, such a move on the part of Nicolas Hulot would be perceived a form of pressure" exercised on the President, which Macron will not tolerate.

 

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