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What the papers said 27 April 2018

rfi English, Apr 27

France welcomes five billion euro Borloo Plan for "blast effect" for suburbs; what’s happening in Korea; and how much does Trump love Macron?

We have numerous reactions to an explosive report about the situation in the high-immigration suburbs ordered by President Emmanuel Macron.

Le Parisien reports that the 60-page plan authored by former centrist minister Jean-Louis Borloo calls for a radical change to tackle unemployment levels running at nearly three times the national average.

According to the paper, Monsieur Borloo called for the release of five billion euro to create a "blast effect" warning that failure to integrate "millions of invisible souls" could cause communities to retreat into separate religious and ethnic identities. .

La Croix praises Borloo of having the courage of challenging conventional thinking, starting from his denunciation of 30 years of dilapidation of resources on failed policies in the suburbs.

According to the Catholic daily the new Borloo plan has the credit of confronting the problem on all fronts including urban renovation, transport infrastructure, job creation and education. La Croix welcomes his proposal for the creation of a "leaders' academy" modelled on Paris's elite ENA college, which Macron attended.

Le Figaro says that Jean-Louis Borloo never takes short-cuts when it comes to speaking his mind adding that his plan is a reflection of such a mindset rich in ideas and expensive to fund which is causing skepticism about its feasibility.

The conservative publication argues that the hilarious recipes such as "living together" dripping with imaginings about greater integration and less discrimination are unrealistic.

The commentators also reflect on the upcoming summit of the two Koreas, after Friday’s meeting on the Military Demarcation Line that divides the two countries, between North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in.

Le Parisien reports that by stepping over the line, Kim became the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

Despite the pleasantries exchanged during the encounter, Libération says the upcoming summit opened under uncertainty. According to the newspaper, while some experts are upbeat about the start of a process, it could culminate in peace and reunification, others are warning about a diplomatic sequence that could end up derailing past achievements.

The most likely outcome it argues could be Pyongyang's concerns about America's caprices and deeper intentions which according to Libé may push North Korea's rocket man in a position of weakness to buy time considering his smaller number of nuclear warheads as opposed to those of the US army.

“Only weeks ago, no one except Kim Jung-un was ready to bet on such a dramatic change in the course of history”, argues La Nouvelle République du Centre Ouest. The regional publication holds that the “baby-face”, Kim is fine-tuning a complex strategy for which the Panmunjom official banquet is just a starter.

Would that mean the North Korean leader would make short work of Seoul's Mister Moon? Not certain concludes La Nouvelle Republique. As the paper puts it, “nobody loses face in a game of Mah-jongg” - the free solitaire Chinese game where the player is challenged to eliminate all pieces from the board especially as the gruelling bout in the 38th Parallel is just starting.

And today's Le Parisien carries a video clip about what American comedians are saying about President Emanuel Macron's just-ended official visit to the United States. First the reaction of Night Show host Jimmy Fallon to the latest “macho” handshake exchanged by President Donald Trump and his guest at the end of their White House press conference, wondering how to say “please stop” in French.

Daily Show's Trevor Noah ran an excerpt of a Trump's bragging about the so-called great relationship the two of them have, adding that people celebrating it are all correct and it’s not fake news.

About Trump's removal of what he called some “dandruff on Macron's coat”, Colbert’s audience erupted in laughter describing the whitish stuff not dandruff but cocaine. Fallon concludes with a jab on the Donald caught on camera saying he “likes Macron a lot”. He didn't need to make the point because everyone could tell” concludes the American comedian.

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