What the weeklies said 27 May 2018
President Macron comes under fire for shelving a Marshall Plan for the French suburbs; a hijab-wearing unionist fuels an angry debate about an ideological drift in the French left; and is President Erdogan of Turkey becoming a new Adolf Hitler?
Le Canard Enchaîné, criticises President Emmanuel Macron's very strange decision to shelve a report he personally ordered to address hopeless conditions in the French suburbs.
The ambitious action plan drawn up by former urban affairs Minister Jean-Louis Borloo, laid out housing, security and youth empowerment, as the key pillars of public action to improve living conditions in the "Banlieues".
Le Canard believes Macron's original enthusiasm may finally have been dented by the 48 billion euros Monsieur Borloo budgeted to implement it.
According to the satirical weekly what was likely to be all the most irritating to Borloo is Macron's suggestion that the 19-point master plan authored by two white males was not going to work in the predominantly migrant neighbourhoods.
The magazine says after giving up like he did, Macron will at least understand now why he is branded as the President of the cities and the rich.
Le Canard Enchâiné underlines an element of bad luck for President Macron, the fact that he decided to abandon the neighbourhoods plan on the day state workers and the unions took to the streets to protest against his government's policies.
Another issue which got tongues wagging this week is the continuing controversy about a student union leader who appeared in a documentary talking about student protests against the French president's educational reforms, while wearing a Muslim headscarf.
The hijab as it is called is banned in French schools and some other public buildings since 2004 but remains legal in universities.
The 19 year-old Maryam Pougetoux, who is Muslim and the president of the student union at Paris's Sorbonne University, first came under attack by Interior Minister Gerard Collomb who branded her dress as a provocation while Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa called it a promotion of political Islam.
Marianne argues that while Pougetoux has the right to wear the Hijab, making her the spokesperson of the UNEF student's union shows the extent of the ideological drift taking place in the French left. The magazine recalls that the students' union was once affiliated to the Socialist party until it claimed its independence.
According to Marianne, UNEF unexpectedly turned the corner of communitarianism which has not only compelled it to justify the wearing of the Muslim headscarf by one of its leaders but also why white students are barred from attending its internal meetings.
"You can't judge a book by its cover", argues the New Observer l’Obs. The left-leaning magazine goes on to denounce what it describes as the use of a piece of cloth to give judgment on substantive issues.
The weekly wonders for how long the French will continue to tolerate the wild fury of arsonists throwing oil on explosive topics such as Islam.
Talking about the changing times in France, l'Express looks back at five years of same sex marriages in the country. The very conservative weekly claims that the apocalypse many had feared after the passing of the so-called Taubira Marriage for All laws in April 2013 has not occurred.
Furthermore, l'Express says that figures published by the National Statistics agency INSEE show that only some 39,000 same sex couples tied the knot during the past five years.
That represents only 3, 5 percent of all marriages contracted in France. L'Express says the vast majority of gay couples saying their vows live in Paris and in the north of France.
This week's Le Point investigates the designs of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in power for 15 years and seeking another term in the June 24 Presidential elections.
The magazine says the autocratic regime and military adventurism in Syria and special friendship with Algeria remain a source of great concern to Europe.
Le Point argues that while it may sound obscene to compare him with Hitler, Erdogan's nostalgia for the Ottoman Empire and dreams of grandeur and cultural expansionism make him look like the Führer in 1933.
As the weekly points out, nothing spells his ruthless designs than the looting, rape ethnic cleansing and Nazi salute by his forces in the village of Afrine captured from the Kurds in Syria.
Nicolas Heras a researcher at the Centre for a New American Security explains to Le Point how Turkish forces are engaged in a “ demographic remodelling” of the 200,000 inhabitants of the Kurdish town - an operation he describes as a "middle finger" pointed at Syria’s Kurdish population.
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