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What the weeklies said 14 October 2018

rfi English, Oct 14

France awaits make or break cabinet reshuffle as President Emmanuel Macron's popularity hits a record low. 

President Emmanuel Macron is on all the cover pages for another week.

This is as he struggles with long torrid months marked by the scandal involving his security aide, cabinet resignations and difficulties to replace them which have seen his popularity ratings down to historical lows.

The satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîné compares the long wait for Macron's cabinet reshuffle to Ken Annakin's 1962 epic war film The Longest Day.

Le Canard says the spectacular walkout by the young president's mentor Gerard Collomb as Interior Minister not only prolonged the political woes facing Monsieur Macron but exposed the acute shortage of experienced hands in his household to take over the strategic posts.

Right-wing l'Express, says a new survey by the IFOP polling agency found out that French people consider President Macron as inexperienced, disconnected and arrogant.

Some of the publications readers reportedly brand him as a paper tiger whose policies appear to be addressed only to people who are as comfortable as he is.

Left-leaning l'Obs wonders if the French really know who Macron is and if there are traits of his character which may be responsible for the difficulties he is facing to govern.

The publication speaks to six analysts and specialists in speech and body language who offer tips to help the young President recoup his standing.

French neuro-psychiatrist, Boris Cyrulnik known in France for developing the concept of psychological resilience holds that Macron benefitted from a charm operation to get elected, something that couldn't last once he got to office.

Psychoanalyst Jean-Pierre Winter, points to the weakness of his ‘affectionate' style of management.

Their learned colleague Serge Hefez raises the ticklish issue of President Macron's atypical marriage arguing that even if he assumes it with panache, some people continue to see him as an eternal youngster.

Le Point speaks to respected Public Relations consultant Julien Vaulpré who worked as an image builder for Nicolas Sarkozy during his time in office.

He claims that “Macronism” boils down to the personality of the young Centrist leader who never wished to spell out his doctrine.

The absence of an ideological framework he argues, constitutes a major risk to his presidency since only a doctrine could have shielded him from drifts in his personal character.

Julien Valpré who heads the Taddeo PR firm claims that while Monsieur Macron did well during his first year in office, the governing mechanism he has in place has proven too fragile to handle the difficulties of his mission.

As Monsieur Macron embarks on pension reform, namely to merge France's 42 retirement schemes into a single fund, Le Point says it will be the most explosive project of his 5-year terms of office.

This week's Marianne explores the deeply polarising issue of immigration warning leftists across France and Germany that it is time for an honest debate about how to manage the crisis which has split the EU down the middle.

The left-leaning weekly argues that in the wake of the tense rows about the Aquarius, the Calais jungle and the rise of populism across Europe, there is a lack of clarity in the positions held by leftists.

Some it observes are promoting crazy concepts of a world without borders, others campaigning for social dumping to maintain ties with the working class.

In the magazine's opinion Leftists need to take a stance about the millions made by people traffickers, and the modern time slavery taking place. Marianne warns that the time for naïve optimism is over.

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