French press review 12 August 2017


We begin with the expressed interest of the French press in the Kenyan elections with the leading papers reporting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election for a second 5-year term with a score of 54,27 % against 44.74 for his challenger Raila Odinga.

Le Figaro says that the opposition has denounced the verdict as an “electoral masquerade”.

Le Parisien also relays Odinga’s allegations of massive rigging in Kenyatta strongholds, and reports the outbreak of skirmishes Friday night in the Nairobi neighborhoods of Kibera, Kariobangi, Mathare and Dandora as well as in Western Kenya where police fired gun shots towards hundreds of angry Odinga supporters who went attacking and looting shops.

 

President Macron’s first one hundred days in office and his desamour or lack of love from the French people is the big splash in today’s Le Figaro as his popularity continues tumbling.

Only 36% of French citizens believe Macron is doing a good job, according to a survey published by the IFOP polling institute on Friday.

Most national dailies underline that his predecessor Francois Hollande was at this same moment of his rule in 2012 credited with a 46 percent popularity rating.

This is “one anniversary the government won’t celebrate”, according to Le Figaro. The right-wing publication says the season of illusions is over and Macron has been caught up by reality, after failing in his promise to restore confidence and hope to the French people.

The paper also points to the young President’s series of missteps and amateurism denounced by the opposition in parliament, urging him to not to expect any leniency from citizens waiting for pragmatic action against terrorism and a complete revamp of the moribund labour code, when he returns from a short summer vacation.

Some publications are closely reading Donald Trump’s lips as he contemplates so-called military options against North Korea which are reportedly on his table.

This was after Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday called his American counterpart urging him to avoid “words and deeds” that would “exacerbate” the already-tense situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Communist l’Humanité warns that even through the United Nations has adopted a series of sanctions against Pyongyang, Trump and Kim have sidelined the world body and locked themselves up in dangerous war-games.

Le Figaro believes there is a probability that the war of words between Trump and Kim could lead to “an accidental, catastrophic confrontation”.

 

Several publications denounce the scandal of eggs contaminated with insecticides which has spread to 15 EU countries, Switzerland and countries as far away as Hong Kong which has forced the European Commission to call for a special meeting on the growing crisis.

Le Monde says that if you followed the dramatic series of four years ago about horse lasagna stamped as pure beef and sold in supermarkets here in France and in 12 other European countries, then you would like the new “exploits” of agro-business — tons of eggs contaminated with Fipronil.

According to the newspaper, the recipe of the scandal is identical — fraud for lucrative purposes by unscrupulous people in the food-processing chain who trade in products banned under strict health rules.

La République des Pyrénées deplores claims by French Agriculture minister StéphaneTravert that there are no health risks in eating fresh eggs with little doses of Fipronil.

According to the paper, this was the same line circulated when the scandal of Romanian horse meat broke out. For the paper the issue at stake is the scandal of junk food and an agribusiness without limits.

L’Alsace says Monsieur Travert took the stance after coming under pressure from lobbies adding that the suggestion from some experts that an adult could eat up to 10 contaminated eggs a day without feeling any effects comes to confirm the reality.

According to the publication farmers are once again forced to live with a situation which is no fault of theirs and which is unlikely to restore the confidence of the French people in the food processing chain.

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