Politics and controversy as the manhunt continues in Strasbourg
French dailies remain concerned about the killings at the Strasbourg Christmas market and the efforts of the police on both sides of the Rhine to apprehend Chérif Chekatt, the man suspected of having committed the murders. In the absence of concrete developments, the police having more pressing concerns than keeping journalists and, at a time of the instantaneity of the Internet, Chérif Chekatt himself, informed of their activities, the newspapers turned to analysis and controversy.
At the center of the political debate is the question of the usefulness of the so-called S plugs or security files, the list of some 26,000 people considered to constitute a danger for France and subject to special attention by the security services.
The problem is that the Strasbourg suspect, like many of those behind previous attacks, was already on this security watch list.
Laurent Wauquiez, leader of the conservative Republicans party, wonders about the number of attacks committed by people classified as security risks before France adapts its laws to the fight against terrorism. Wauquiez also wants the government to restore the state of emergency that followed the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015, he wants the most dangerous of them on the S list to be placed in preventive detention, and he says those who are not of French nationality should be expelled.
The far-right leader Marine Le Pen of the National Rally is also in favor of the expulsions and she wants the government to “attack Islamic organizations”. Le Pen also called for the establishment of a national anti-terrorism prosecutor. She says fundamental changes are needed since the current policy is clearly not working.
Authorities have simply made it known that now is not the time for this kind of political pointing, with government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux complaining that a right-wing twitter competition is hardly appropriate while the nation is under control. shock.
The yellow vests crisis in France refuses to go away
The other major political concern has been the ongoing “yellow vests” protests.
Should such protests continue at a time when law enforcement is under extreme pressure to capture a dangerous suspect, especially as the security of hundreds of other Christmas markets has had to be tightened?
The government called for calm and responsibility, without imposing any specific measures.
The far left complained that the tragic events in Strasbourg were being instrumentalized in order to deflect the social and political anger of the yellow vests.
On other pages, and briefly. . .
An opinion poll today Le Figaro suggests that Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally has profited the most from the yellow vest crisis and will beat the ruling Republic on the Move party in next year’s European elections.
The Le Pen rally is credited with 24% of the voting intentions, against 18% for the walkers of Emmanuel Macron.
The traditional right-wing Republicans come next with 11%, followed, in descending order, and all with less than 10%, by the far-left party France Unbowed and the environmentalist party. At least according to this poll, struggling Socialists will struggle to garner five percent of the vote.
Paris makes the planet greener
The often criticized mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has dealt a severe blow to the environment, and to the lungs of her fellow citizens. Hidalgo took the European Commission to European Union tribunal, complaining that the levels of nitrogen pollution the commission allowed major automakers to get away with for diesel engines are, in reality, ” a permit to pollute ”.
The world reports that the case of the mayor of Paris was confirmed by the court, which essentially ruled that the commission spoke through its collective tramps to set the initial limits, had no jurisdiction in the matter and proposed legislation that it would be impossible to test. Builders were told to go back to their drawing boards.
European leaders meet to reflect on their options
Daily business The echoes claims the other 27 nations of the European Union, as they are currently constituted, are now being held hostage by Britain due to the Brexit process out of anyone’s control.
The 28 heads of state and government are meeting today and tomorrow in Brussels, under the imposing shadow of the imminent departure from London.
But Les Echos say that’s just the tip of the iceberg. French President Emmanuel Macron has serious domestic concerns. German Angela Merkel is literally on the way out. Theresa May is hanging from the seat of her pantsuit. Belgium and Spain currently have minority governments and no safety net. Italy and Hungary are unlikely to compromise on the crucial issue of immigration. And don’t mention Latvia!
On Theresa May’s chances of getting her 27 fellow leaders to show enough flexibility to soften the hearts of, say, the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, a Brussels diplomat proposed what could well be the line of a shady joke: “There is no question of renegotiating the Brexit deal”, he observed laconically, “but everything else is open to discussion”.
Theresa May probably didn’t find it very funny either.