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What the papers said 3 May 2018

rfi English, May 3

The Iranian nuclear deal and the European budget are the big issues; there's also bad news for climate activists; and more soul-searching in the wake of this week's violence at May Day marches in Paris.

Two subjects dominate the front page of Le Monde.

One is the grave danger that the Iranian nuclear deal, hammered out by seven nations after years of negotiations, will be scuppered by US and Israeli demands for harsher measures against Tehran.

Le Monde says the recent "proof" offered by Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu that Iran deliberately misled international inspectors is not new at all, the thousands of so-called "secret" documents allegedly "revealed" by Netanyahu having already been examined by European experts. The purpose of the carefully stage-managed performance by the Israeli leader was simply, says Le Monde, to influence Donald Trump.

The US president, who has never made any secret of the fact that he thinks the seven-nation deal was "disastrous," has until 12 May to decide on renewing American support for the agreement with Iran.

Spending Europe's billions

The day's other big story is the European Commission's budget for the period from 2021 to 2027. "Ambitious but explosive" is how Le Monde views the proposals.

We're talking a pile of money - 1,000 billion euros to be exact. Hence the ambition. The suggestion that it will be shared out among member states with those who respect democratic principles getting more, could create the explosion.

Flying to help the drowning

Also in Le Monde, the story of two French pilots who have pooled their savings, bought and equipped a small aircraft, and plan to spend their days flying at low altitude off the coast of Libya in an effort to spot migrant vessels and direct surface assistance to those who seem to be in danger of sinking.

The plane, with additional fuel tanks and an autopilot system, cost €130,000. It offers a vantage point 100 times more effective than the deck of a ship. It was due to fly its first 10-hour mission yesterday, relaying information on sightings to vessels of the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre.

Hot news on global warming

As the representatives of the 195 states which signed the Paris climate deal meet again in the German city of Bonn, the charity Oxfam publishes a report on which nations have kept their promise to provide 83 billion euros every year till 2020 to help poorer countries fight climate change and global warming.

Oxfam's figures will leave many delegations at the Bonn conference blushing.

Of the 83 billion euros promised, 40 billion appear in individual national budgets, and only 16-21 billion will actually go to help the struggling southern nations. Says Oxfam, most of the money promised by the rich is tied up in development projects of which climate in only one element.

Nobody actually knows how much of the promised money individual government have actually paid, because that suits the individual governments.

The Trump administration has paid nothing, the new president having blocked the two billion dollars promised by his predecessor Barack Obama.

Climate experts say more financial transparency is essential, even if it is technically complicated and politically sensitive.

Climate change is going to cost developing countries 1,000 billion euros every year by 2050, even if we manage to keep the global temperature increase below the 2.0°C level recommended by experts.

Bring back the state of emergency!

Right-wing Le Figaro is still having nightmares about the "hooligans" who disrupted this week's May Day demonstrations in Paris.

The paper asked its readers to vote on a re-implementation of the state of emergency, originally intended to defeat Islamist terrorists. Thirty-one thousand quaking readers of the conservative paper took the time to cast a vote, 60 percent of them pronouncing in favour of a return to a regime of house arrest, extended detention and virtually unlimited police stop-and-search powers.

Le Figaro's editorial wonders why it was all allowed to happen, since radical websites had been warning for weeks that anarchist elements were going to turn the first of May into a festival of violence. The conservative paper says the world was offered images of a country at war and that such a global reputation is intolerable. It must not happen again, the paper opines.

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