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What the papers said 25 June 2018

rfi English, Jun 25

Turkey's President Erdogan wins daring electoral gamble to extend his authoritarian rule, despite biting economic crisis; and the on-going EU migrant arguments.

We begin with reactions to the victory of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sunday's tightly contested snap elections.

Le Parisien reports that the elections authority declared Erdogan the winner by 52,5 percent of ballots cast against 31 percent for his nearest rival Muharrem Ince and can now extend his 15-year grip on power.

According to Libération, the icing of the cake is that with 99 percent of ballots counted Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and their allies claimed an absolute majority in the National Assembly win 293 and 50 seats respectively, enough for an easy majority in the 600-member chamber.

As the newspaper points out, neither the uncertainties of the double election, nor the harsh economic crisis experienced by Turkey, or even the flamboyant campaign waged by his main challenger Ince, sufficed to stop Erdogan from crossing the line in the first round.

Libé says his appeal for a massive turnout was also heard by a record 87 percent of the electorate turning out to vote.

Le Figaro says there is nothing now that is capable of stopping the hyper president from extending his authoritarian drift with a constitution cut according to his size.

Erdogan is simply “insubmersible”, even though his star has lost a bit of its glitter. That the opinion upheld by Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace.

The paper argues that his manoeuvring room remains slim despite everything as his time in office will be haunted by the brutality of his regime and the thousands of opponents he has sent to prison, by the economic crisis and the war he is waging in Syria.

Can the old continent manage to avoid sinking under the migrants challenge floating on the EU's borders? That's a question popped by Le Figaro as leaders of 16 European Union countries failed to reach a deal on mending rifts over migration burden sharing in Brussels on Sunday.

The paper reports that the mini summit was marred by finger pointing by France and Italy over another migrant’s ship turned away by Italy's new government, a dispute Europe has never witnessed since the end of World War II.

According to Le Figaro, far from bringing about the appeasement needed, French President Emmanuel Macron's denunciation of the "aggravated leprosy" has only added salt on the wounds.

For Libération setting up of humanitarian corridors and putting in place decent conditions for so-called economic migrants is neither lax nor tantamount to taking in all the misery in the world, as some people have suggested.

Libé argues EU countries need to reach a deal on migrant quotas, backed with a more ambitious development aid programs in the interest of al the parties, no matter how hard it will be to convince public opinion at home.

La Croix makes the point, that countries shifting the migrants’ burden on the shoulders of neighbours or brutally denying access to the stranded at sea discredit themselves in the search for a solution to the crisis.

L'Humanité agrees, arguing that it is not by chasing away migrants and competing with the National Front on their terrain and rhetoric, like President Emmanuel Macron's government is doing, that the problem will just go away.

For the Communist daily it will be by the hands extended to migrants and the building of bridges of solidarity, through the weaving of urgent partnerships between the EU and so-called progressive forces.

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