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French Press Review - February 25th

Politics

Mohamed Zerari

Mon, 25 Feb 2019 11:34 GMT

In Algeria, a new demonstration against Bouteflika's fifth term election


Le Monde sheds light on the growing protest in Algeria, following Boutefika's candidacy for a fifth term as president. Several hundred people protested in the centre of Algiers, following the call of Mouwatana, a "citizen" movement, to oppose President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's election, despite large a police blockade.

The mobilisation was much weaker than the mass demonstrations on February 22nd when tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Algeria, responding to calls made on social networks, especially in the capital, where demonstrations are strictly prohibited,

Nevertheless, the number of protesters, initially fifty, continued to rise to about 2,000, who began to disperse shortly before two o'clock in the afternoon.

Saudi Arabia: For the first time, a woman is appointed ambassador to the United States


Le Figaro focused on Saudi Arabia appointing a woman, as ambassador to Washington. She will be the first woman to hold this key position in Saudi diplomacy. 

Princess Rima bint Bandar will replace Prince Khaled ben Salman, younger brother of the powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, appointed Deputy Minister of Defence. She is the daughter of Prince Bandar ben Sultan, who was ambassador to the United States from 1983 to 2005. She was practically raised in the United States and she is one of the few princesses involved in public life.

Paedophilia in the Church: The pope compares crimes to "anaesthetised hearts"



Pope Francis concluded the summit of the Catholic hierarchy summit meeting dedicated to sexual abuse by the clergy. The victims of abuse were disappointed by his words. 

Le Parisien newspaper tackled the topic of the Catholic institution facing accusations of paedophile crimes. On February 24th, Pope Francis compared the sexual abuse perpetrated on minors to the "sacrifice" of children in "pagan rites", speaking on the last day of a church summit devoted to the subject. "It reminds me of the cruel religious practice, prevalent in the past in some cultures, of offering human beings - especially children - as sacrifices in pagan rites," he said. He also felt that clergy guilty of such acts became "an instrument of Satan".

The euro zone sick of its governance


Liberation newspaper pondered the absence of federal governance of the euro zone. The European Union can only rely on binding thresholds to limit the deficit to below 3% of GDP of its member states. This is an ineffective system for a country like France where the implementation of austerity from above is unthinkable, despite public accounts being too much in deficit for Brussels' liking. 

The crisis of the "Yellow Vests" will, unless cuts in public spending are approved, raise the French fiscal deficit above 3% of GDP in violation of the Stability Pact, the rules of the single currency.

In 2019, France will be almost the only country in the euro zone facing this situation. All its partners, except Italy's Five Star Movement and the League, are coming closer to a forced balancing of public accounts as they have all committed to doing.



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