French press review 1 August 2017


The trumpets are not yet out but for Le Parisien, Paris’ hosting of the 2024 Olympics is a done deal. This was after Los Angeles announced its intent to host the 2028 Olympics on Monday officially clearing the way for Paris to become the 2024 organisers and virtually making the IOC games award decision expected on September 13 in Lima a foregone conclusion.

According to Le Parisien, the Americans have thus accepted the offer by the IOC of a 150 million euro advance to activate its marketing rights earlier than the statutory five years authorised.

“Paris 2024: time to celebrate”, hoots today’s l’Equipe. The sports daily looks back at four years of behind the scenes maneuvering across the world, by the Paris Committee, noting that success was constructed not through big official sessions but through informal meetings.

Midi Libre argues that while it will be LA’s decision to choose the 2028 games which put Paris in the orbit of 2024, it goes without saying that some of the credit must go to the solid file put in by the French bid.

The regional publication also credits President Emmanuel Macron for success of the bid explaining that he was out on the front row at the crucial moment to throw his weight on the scale and tilting it in Paris’ favour.

L’Humanité breaks ranks with the swelling euphoria in the press, to vent its anger over disruptions in railway traffic during the hectic holiday season especially at the busy Montparnasse station in Paris, where there are unprecedented delays in departures.

The causes of the disruptions are still unknown according to the communist newspaper.  L’Huma however attributed the chaos to what it calls the paroxysm of a generalized decay at the national SNCF carrier.

In the words of the publication, the unions had not stopped drawing the attention of state which holds the majority stake at the company about nefarious and talent stifling managerial choices at the corporation.

According to L’Humanité, the traffic woes of the Railway transport company constitute an additional motivation for a more massive mobilisation of workers after the summer break against the so-called demolition spree on public assets launched under the pretext of resolving systemic failures.

Monday’s decision by France’s highest administrative court ordering the state to provide running water and sanitation for the migrants at the Calais jungle inspired a comment from La Croix.

The Catholic daily says the Conseil d’Etat is right to denounce the inhuman and degrading treatment of migrants arguing that it is the fundamental responsibility of the state to satisfy the basic needs of these human beings stranded in the border region as they try to cross into Britain.

The paper’s reaction comes as Interior Minister Gerard Collomb announced plans to open two shelters with a capacity to host 600 migrants sleeping rough around the port of Calais, in the towns of Troisvaux and Bailleul, situated about 80 kilometers inland from Calais, relenting to pressure to improve the lot of hundreds of people hiding from police.

And the national dailies pay glowing tribute to French actress Jeanne Moreau, who lit up the screen in “Jules et Jim” and starred in some of the most critically acclaimed films of the 20th century, following the death at her home at the age of 89, on Monday.

The gravel-voiced actress will be remembered for epitomizing the freedoms of the 1960s and for bringing daring, depth and danger to a string of cinematic masterpieces from Louis Malle’s “Lift to the Scaffold” to Jacques Demy’s “Bay of Angels”.

Leading tributes for the feminist icon and trailblazer for liberated women as well as the face of the French New Wave was French President Emmanuel Macron who described Moreau as an embodiment of cinema” and a free spirit who “always rebelled against the established order”.

For Libération, Jeanne Moreau’s career makes one’s head spin. The publication recalls a 2001 interview she gave to the New York Times, in which she compares life to a mountain, ”where you go up, reach the top and then go down until you are burned by flames.”

According to Libé, the blunt, snappish Moreau who once branded herself as a “scandalous” and “nonconformist” reached to reach the pinnacle of her art and remained there for so long that she leaves the stage as one of the greatest stars of the century.

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