French newspaper round-up 22 April 2016

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Will “flashy Macron” be tempted out of the government by excellent poll ratings?; Global warming worse than expected, as world leaders gather in New York for the signing of the Paris Climate Deal; Golden contracts await Ligue 1 stars this summer; and tributes for Prince, the “king of rain” who died Thursday at the age of 57.

We start with a question the commentators are asking themselves in today’s papers. Will the series of surveys showing the nose-diving of President Francois Hollande in the opinion polls expand the wings of economy minister Emmanuel Macron, and could they push him to stand against his mentor in the 2017 Presidential elections?

A new poll for Le Parisien/Aujourd’hui daily and BFMTV shows that if the first round of the presidential election were to take place this weekend, Hollande would win just 15 per cent of the votes, coming third behind former president Nicolas Sarkozy, of the centre-right Republicans, and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

That would mean direct elimination from the second round ballot of next year’s Presidential elections. The poll continues to identify France’s stubborn 10 plus per cent jobless rate as Monsieur Hollande’s main problem. Opinion polls on Thursday showed nearly 90 per cent of voters take a negative view of Hollande’s presidency.

Le Figaro

According to the right wing daily, Macron won’t spend much time on the question about whether he should remain in the government”. Except as the paper puts it, “that he wants to be remembered as the spineless and talkative figure of the disastrous Hollande Presidency”. [A brutal tilt at irony, that one. Ed]

L’Humanité

The Communist newspaper refuses to be dragged into the speculation game, blown open by the surveys, showing that the 38 year-old banker who recently set up his own political movement would fare much better that President Hollande.

According to l’Humanité, “the flashy young Macron who is neither of the left or the right has cheap political calculation aimed at grabbing swing voters “disoriented by the renunciations of the liberal leftists in power”.

Le Monde

The left leaning daily publication examines the deal struck on Thursday by EU Interior Ministers to set up a new border and coastguard force that could intervene in countries like Greece to slow down the influx of migrants.

According to the paper, while it is probably too early to assess the scale of the new influx, the measures have confirmed a new reality. Europe, it says, will have to live for a long time with a massive migratory wave from the south, not just from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but from Africa, the horn of Africa and sub-Saharan Africa as well.

La Croix

The Catholic newspaper dedicates today’s issue on the signing in New York of the hard-won climate deal brokered in Paris last December to fight global warming. According to La Croix, as 165 World leaders, including President Hollande, gather at the United Nations on Friday, for the largest ever one-day signing of an international agreement, new studies show that the rise of water levels could be higher than expected. “Climatologists jolted out of excessive optimism”, holds the Catholic daily.

Libération

The left-leaning newspaper pays glowing tribute to the “king of rain” Prince, one of the most influential figures in music, who died on Thursday. A blown-up photograph of the “virtuoso, pioneer of danceable funk” is splashed across the front page of today’s Libé. The caption is 1958 -2016. Libération regrets that the extravagant megalomaniac and outstanding instrumentalist who produced 30 fabulous albums, died at the tender age of 57.

L’Equipe

The sports daily put up a special supplement on the “golden sales” of this summer’s transfer window. L’Equipe bets on record-breaking contracts for Nice’s Hatem Ben Arfa, Marseille’s Michy Batshayi, Lille’s Sofiane Boufal and FC Toulouse’ Wissam Ben Yedder who are being courted by some of Europe’s biggest clubs during this Mercato.