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What the weeklies said 4th November 2018

rfi English, Nov 4

President Macron faces fury over diesel price hikes; Trump is under pressure, and is Brazil’s Bolsonaro an “authentic heir of fascism”?

The growing anger of car users over an unprecedented rise in petrol prices inspired some of the most passionate comments in the magazines this week.

Le Canard Enchaîné observes that while gasoline prices jumped to more than 20 percent in a single year and leaded fuel by 14 percent, nobody is ready to buy the government’s argument that the 75 percent price hikes are linked to the cost of the barrel of oil.

That represents 60 percent of the budgets of car user’s families according to Le Point.

The satirical weekly says that since Nicolas Hulot's resignation as Environment Minister, President Emmanuel Macron lost any credibility he may have had on matters pertaining to ecological transition, especially in the eyes of people who use their cars to go to work.

According to Le Canard, the promise of cash for scrapped cars won't go far enough to calm things down.

Diesel-addicted "ciggie smokers"

The magazine also rebukes government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux for a gaffe that is likely to aggravate President Macron's decline in the opinion polls.

Griveaux branded Laurent Wauquiez, leader of the main opposition Les Republicains party leader as one of ”cigarette smokers driving diesel powered cars”. That was after Wauquiez blasted the fuel hikes as evidence that the government of being out of touch with ordinary citizens.

Marianne denounces the so-called unjust tax targeting only the poor, introduced in its view, under the pretext of fighting pollution arguing that the government erred by failing to change the economic and urban factors obliging inhabitants of rural areas to spend long hours at the wheel every day.

And for the conservative Le Point, even if the fiscal rebellion against the diesel price hikes is justified, the disenchantment tells a lot about French contradictions. They want to fight climate change while continuing with a lifestyle that is destructive to the environment.

“Ecology good, but hurts in the wallet”

For L'Express, Macron's green pills are hard to swallow because he has failed to come clean about what he plans to do with the 55 billion euros of supplementary ecologic tax revenue to be collected during his current term of office.

What he did, it explains, was to have brought out the stick without the carrot, namely a facelift in purchasing power to help struggling families pay for their energy checks.

US Mid-term elections

US President Donald Trump is the big splash on the cover pages of Marianne and l'Obs, as his presidency hangs on the outcome of the November 6 mid-term elections.

The left-leaning magazines undertake a review of his controversial ways, since moving into the White House, from the drift of falsehoods and attacks on the pillars of American democracy.

The magazine holds that in the build up for the November 6 elections to renew one-third of the senate and the entire House of Representatives, democrats are mobilising to resist his populist agenda.

According to l'Obs, maybe it could be the beginning of the end for Trump who spend his campaign tour of the country playing to the crowds, whipping up sentiments against immigrants, and mocking and insulting his democratic opponents.

Marianne's special supplement focuses on the western world's fractured democracies with Trump and Brazil's new-elected President Jair Bolsonaro, sharing the honours of a cover-page portrait.

The left-leaning weekly claims that by lowering taxes and the deficit, Donald Trump has enriched the wealthy and Silicon Valley forgetting the promises he made to bring prosperity to America's blue-collared workers.

Fascism in Brazil?

Brazil's Bolsonaro is even more dangerous than Trump, warns Marianne. The publication rates him among the world's right-wing populists noting that the big admirer of Trump's project and advocate of relaxed gun laws, may turn out to be an "authentic heir of fascism".

L'Express also comments about the populist wave that swept Bolsonaro to power, claiming that it was “carried by an ideological soup prepared with a variety of ingredients ranging from nationalism, authoritarianism, corruption that led to the jailing of ex-President Silva da Lula, homophobia, xenophobia and anti-black racism.

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