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Tuesday 20th March 2018

French Press Review – April 15th, 2019


7Dnews London

Mon, 15 Apr 2019 19:25 GMT

After the Fall of Omar al-Bashir Confusion Reigns in Sudan

In its headline, “The Disaster in the Mechanics of Sudan” Le Monde asked, “Is the country engaged in a form of transformation or already mired in a sophisticated form of restoration?” exploring a complex struggle to determine the fundamentals that will govern events in Sudan’s change of government. If you look at the profile of the generals who, in the Transitional Military Council (TMC), must influence how Sudan will be managed after the departure of President Omar al-Bashir, says Le Monde, it is reasonable to ask if the country is in transformation or simply stuck in the same mould.

At the head of the TMC is a hastily formed group of ten senior officers who took over after Omar al-Bashir decided to cede power. It looked like another military junta, recreating the previous government in form and structure, whose new leader, General Ibn-Auf, was forced to resign, only one day after the fall of Omar al-Bashir. Hi successor,

General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan Abdelrahmane is less well-known publicly, which, according to Le Monde, plays to his advantage. He has announced the appointment of a civilian prime minister, a move still resisted by public protesters who demand more radical change.

The Big Debate: Macron Plays his Five-year Term Card 

Le Figaro shed light on the eagerly awaited “Big Debate” when the head of state will speak on television before answering questions from journalists on April 17th.

Act II of his five-year period has its trailer, said Le Figaro. On April 14th Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he intends to make the “Big Debate” a process of transition, given the public uproar in France. Macron has also recorded a 20-minute video saying, "Monday, April 15th, at 8 pm, I will answer you." The twenty-minute speech will be delivered from the Elysee Palace as an "address to the French", the most solemn form of presidential speech.

The head of state will announce the "major projects" he wants to launch to respond to the crisis of the "Yellow Vests" and some "concrete measures." This statement will be followed on April 17th in an afternoon press conference at the Elysee Palace, the first of the quinquennium. "All decisions are ready. We are no longer in consultation or brainstorming," said a member of the entourage of the head of state, according to Figaro.

The Franco-German Couple on the Brink of Divorce

Emmanuel Macron seems to be mourning the end of the Franco-German special relationship after it was long believed to be on good terms, writes Liberation. This is reflected in his refusal to align with Angela Merkel's position on a larger Brexit carryover.

The fiction of the Franco-German "couple" shattered during the Brexit special summit on April 10th and 11th. While there have often been deep disagreements between France and Germany, this is the first time that Angela Merkel has publicly displayed it and without excessive diplomatic caution. The Chancellor found Macron’s opinion on the Brexit, "incomprehensible reasoning." Merkel she was ready to give Theresa May another year so May can have adequate time to try to get parliament to pass the divorce agreement with the European Union.

The "reasoning" of the French head of state is simple, however, according to Liberation. The European Union, faced with other challenges, cannot afford to be held hostage by a British political class unable to implement the decision of a referendum it provoked. Finally, a compromise was found, extension until October 31st. Norbert Röttgen, the chairman of the German Foreign Affairs Committee (CDU), did not hesitate to accuse Macron, in a vengeful tweet, of, "giving priority to his domestic policy interests over European unity."

"Your ideas for Europe": The “Parisien” lab is transformed for the European Elections

Le Parisien launches its lab dedicated to the European elections.

After having sifted people’s proposals in the context of the “great debate,” Le Parisien urges people to share their ideas on how to change Europe.

A European army? A European Institute of Culture? New countries in the EU? Create a European champion of research? Develop a European Voluntary Service Organisation? Reform Erasmus? So many themes, and many others people will be able to discuss and Le Parisien will treat according to the principles which guided the citizens’ lab proposals. What does this measure consist of? What conditions need to exist for it to be implemented? Has it already been tested? How much does it cost?

Le Parisien will select many people’s proposals and pass them for testing without saying what is right or what is wrong but trying to bring context and meaning to sometimes very complex topics.

Each week, several of the responses will be published on Le Parisien website as an aid to sharing, thought and discussion.