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What the papers said 3rd October 2018

rfi English, Oct 3

Gerard Collomb finally steps down as Interior Minister.

The resignation of Interior Minister Gérard Collomb, just two days after President Emmanuel Macron refused to accept it, sends the papers on a free rant about how impotent the youthful French leader has become.

Le Figaro describes the confusion inside the cabinet as a full-blown crisis, referring to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s decision to cancel his official visit to South Africa which was scheduled on Thursday and Friday.

Le Parisien publishes a release from the Elysée Palace stating that it is Prime Minister Edouard Philippe who will take charge of the strategic portfolio as Collomb rushes back to defend the Lyon Mayor’s office he held for 16 years before his appointment.

According to the Parisian paper, before leaving his Place Beauvau office, this Wednesday afternoon Monsieur Collomb posted a message on his tweeter handle congratulating the judicial police department for re-arresting runaway armed robber Redoine Faîd overnight.

Left-leaning Libération brands Gerard Collomb’s resignation a gag by the former Lyon Mayor who made public his intention to stand again in next year's municipal elections.

According to Le Parisien, the affair is further evidence that Macron's return for the summer holiday has been nothing but a nightmare, spoiled according to Le Figaro because he'd been reduced to a mere spectator of the caprices and political calculations of people he appointed.

Libération's front page splash is a beaming Gerard Collomb and the caption the "joker from Lyon", tells volumes. The former Lyon mayor, it argues, has in just two years, changed from Macron's staunchest mentor, to become the "saboteur in chief "of his political plans.

Right-wing l'Opinion goes further, accusing Monsieur Collomb of wrecking President Macron move just as he's being manhandled by polls and desperate to recoup his political standing after last month's minor cabinet reshuffle.

What a calamitous summer regrets Ouest-France. Le regional daily accuses Gérard Collomb of spectacularly twisting the arm of the President and his Prime Minister Edouard Philippe under public glare.

For Le Républicain lorrain, the President's inability to put out the fire which had been burning for weeks opens the way for more mutinies and affronts inside his cabinet.

According to le Journal de la Haute-Marne, after the Nicolas Hulot's resignation as environment Minister, Gerard Colomb's resignation is the kind of mess Macron should have avoided.

Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace agrees insisting that in such matter it is the President who stands out as the big loser, as he allowed others to dictate issues as precious as time and the tempo with which he governs.

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