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What the papers said 5 July 2018

rfi English, Jul 5

Will President Macron scrap the universal social welfare system? The furious debate about the migrant burden and how much of the world’s misery France can take, continues to polarize comments in the papers.

Le Figaro upholds recent poll figures showing that up to 53 percent of French people believe there are just too many immigrants in the country.

For the right-wing newspaper, it's only people who live in Paris who consider immigration as good for the country, that welcoming refugees is a requirement of France's hospitality tradition and that the number of refugees in the country is negligible.

Le Figaro, underlines the paradox in Saint Denis on the northern periphery of Paris where the inhabitants are struggling to make way for new arrivals, when they haven’t been able to integrate themselves in French society.

L'Humanité is fuming about the Macron government's determination to reform France's widely envied social welfare system. This was as after French Communist party lawmakers raised an alarm on Wednesday that the draft bill tabled in Parliament would bring the universal coverage system to an end.

The newspaper says the vast operation to personalize the rights of individuals in a points based system is being carried out with unprecedented zeal, warning that if President Macron has his way and the bill is passed it will be "every person for themselves and the devil take the hindmost".

L'Humanité reiterates that it is the current system that has cultivated solidarity between the rich and poor and the healthy and sick. What the capitalists are demined to do is break this system of collective wealth redistribution and it urges its readers to come forward and sign a petition it has drafted to mobilize a popular rejection of the proposed reform.

Libération reacts to a decision by organisers of the Tour de France cycling grand Prix to deploy more than 30,000 security agents along the race course to make it safe for British rider Chris Froome, after the four-time champion was cleared of doping suspicions.

According to the newspaper, 20 years after Festina doping scandal, the Froome case is just one of the latest cases entertaining the trauma. The publication admits that hard work has been done to rebuild the sport through systematic drug controls, the introduction of biological passports for race staff and judicial sanctions for cheats.

But Libération says even though the number of doping cases has dropped it will be naive to imagine that cheats using science and pharmacopoeia to boost cyclists and their machines are always one step ahead.


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