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What the papers said 24th October 2018

rfi English, Oct 24

President Macron faces a backlash from car users for raising diesel prices; medically assisted procreation is being discussed; and who’s is the lion cub in a Paris apartment?

The papers are all about Tuesday's confirmation by the government of fresh hikes in diesel prices.

Le Parisien reports that under the scheme to balance its budget Prime Minister Edouard Philippe approved the rise of diesel at 1.53 euros per liter, representing a 25 percent rise in two years, justifying the measure as one of the key promises in President Emmanuel Macron's political manifesto.

For a family of two parents and two children that represents an increase of 576€ in 2022 as opposed to 2017 says the popular daily.

Shutting out diesel drivers from France's major arterial roads next year under a so-called ecological transition plan is nothing and constitutes extortion of struggling families to compensate the government's fiscal handshakes to the wealthy.

For l'Alsace, the diesel hikes aren't likely to shake up the car market because the subsidies to facilitate hybrid and electric car purchases are just a drop in the ocean.

According to La Montagne/Centre France the government needs to understand that ecology doesn’t necessarily have to pass through the tax inspector’s door.

For les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace even if absolutely furious car owners will not change the direction taken by France, they will continue to cling to the fuel on which they calculate their budgets.

L’Est républicain underlines that once again it is the least privileged citizens who will be elbowed out and abandoned at the periphery thereby further crediting the general image that Macron's France is one of two faces, and that he remains the president of the rich.

Talking about purchasing power, Les Echos warns about a likely backlash as insurance policies are also expected to rise with the risk of sparking a new revolt in the wake of the worsening fiscal burden on families.

L'Humanité claims that the new measures go beyond servicing the budget deficit as touted by the government. The Communist daily accuses the government of not being transparent about the diesel price hikes as they were unveiled at a time parliament is still debating the 2019 budget.

L’Humanité urges Budget and Public Accounts Minister Gerard Darmanin to speed up penalties against banks which facilitated fiscal fraud in the Henno Berger affair, reminding him that the billions of euros stashed away in fiscal havens should have been spent on nursery schools for France's children.

La Croix reiterates its grave concern at the government's plan to generalise medically assisted procreation.

According to the Catholic daily there anthropological and practical questions at stake such as the right of MAP-born children to know they origins, whether gamete donations and surrogacy should be paid for by the medical security fund and if there is sufficient mastery of the engendering technique.

Such questions need to be thoroughly debated and with a lot of care over the coming months in due respect for persons eager to bear children through such means.

Libération's front-page splash is all about the Khashoggi affair, the left-leaning publication claiming that the fortunes of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are now in the hands of Turkish Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

This was after the Turkish President stated in a speech that the killing of the journalist inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul had been meticulously planned with the hit squad dispatched by Riyadh, carrying out reconnaissance outside Istanbul and deactivating security cameras at the consulate.

According to Libé, bin Salmane's suspected implication in the affair comes at the worse moment for US President Donald Trump who has made Riyadh the pivot of his crusade against Iran. It's Trump's entire Middle East policy which is in on the brink of being drowned in the high seas according to Libé.

And Le Parisien has the hair-raising discovery of a lion cub in a Paris apartment. According to the newspaper police in Val de Marne were alerted on Tuesday after the 30-year-old owner tried to sell the six-week-old animal for 10,000 euros.

Le Parisien says they found the cub on a child's bed while the man hid in a cupboard at a neighbour's home.


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