French press review 27 June 2017

We begin with the first sign of discord in the week-old French government with a row between Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot and his colleague in charge of Agriculture Stephane Travert, over a pesticide found harmful to bees.

Travert favours an easing of the French law which according to farmers goes way beyond European law on the issue while Hulot is against.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe finally weighed in, saying that the decision to maintain the ban was made not to roll back the provisions of the 2016 law, well before the appointment of the agriculture minister.

Nonetheless, L’Opinion says the row has exposed the hawkish character of Environment minister Nicolas Hulot that had been a cause for concern to Macron’s strategists when he became the President’s great political catch.

The paper claims that posture taken by the former ecological activist confirmed what many had feared, namely that he is unreliable, hard to manage and not a man of compromise.

According L’Union/L’Ardennais, the misstep first betrays the inexperience of the government whatever Prime Minister Edouard Philippe says.

L’Est Républicain commends the Prime Minister’s quick move to put out the fire involving Nicolas Hulot who is the second ranking personality in the cabinet. It argues that during President François Hollande’s rule it would have taken weeks and even transformed into a major crisis to settle such a row.

“Philippe did his job, by agreeing with Hulot”, writes Le Journal de la Haute-Marne. The paper says he didn’t waiver and took a straight and clear decision imposed by strategic motivations.

The national dailies look forward to Tuesday’s first session of the newly elected French Parliament during which lawmakers are due to vote for the President of the lower House.

Le Parisien, has everything you need to know about the ball of the freshmen opening at the Palais-Bourbon at 3 pm this afternoon. The paper says 424 of the 577 MPs are novices 308 of them from President Macron’s Republic On the Move party.

With regard to the candidates vying for the House Speaker’s job, Libération is happy to note that all three of them are from the Left, two of them women and ex Socialists Brigitte Bourguignon and Sophie Errante turned ‘Macron movers’, while the other is a former official of the European Greens party, Europe Ecologie les Verts François de Rugy.

Le Figaro says it is hard to guess what the long-term conduct of the so-called movers is going to be, considering their different backgrounds: “start-upers”, teachers, former Socialists and centrists.

According to the right-wing publication, it is not far-fetched to speculate about their loyalty to the government once the political weather becomes less favourable to President Macron and his majority.


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