Election 2012: France

Waiting to exhale, supportive Gaul says, 'Phew'

The U.S. presidential election naturally received heavy coverage around the globe, with broadcasters in most nations devoting plenty of airtime to live coverage, even if time zones worked against them. The global news media across all outlets weighed in with hope, concern and sometimes, biting satire.

The French media’s reaction to President Obama’s re-election could be summed up in one word of relief: Ouf! (or, in English, “Phew!”).

Even though journalists and commentators have expressed skepticism toward Obama’s track record, the vast majority of them celebrated the defeat of Mitt Romney, whose stance on such crucial issues as women’s rights and gay marriage clashed with French views. Plus, Romney’s ideas on foreign policy were perceived as a threat to world peace.

“His re-election is a clear choice in favor of an America that is open, unified, completely engaged in the international scene and conscious of the challenges facing our planet: peace, the economy and the environment,” said French prexy Francois Hollande in a letter addressed to Obama.

Gaul’s newspapers also applauded the vote of American citizens.

“The worst was avoided. Once again, the American democracy demonstrated that it knows how to pull itself together in difficult times,” said a correspondent for Le Monde, which ran a picture of Obama on its cover with the headline, “The best is yet to come.”

Left-leaning newspaper Liberation placed Obama’s victory in the economic context of fallen politicos in France, Spain and the U.K. “Obama succeeded where Sarkozy, Zapatero or Brown failed: being re-elected amid a major economic recession (from) which (his nation has) yet to emerge,” wrote a Liberation journalist.

The presidential race was heavily covered on Gallic TV. Paybox Canal Plus Group hosted La Semaine Americaine, a week dedicated to U.S.-themed shows, films and docus, notably “The Ides of March” and “Page One: Inside the New York Times.”

Still, journos and industryites remain doubtful about Obama’s plan going forward, with many evidently unfamiliar with the President’s first-term U.S.-centric successes like health-care, bailing out the automobile industry and stabilizing the banks. “Obama, he’s classy, but what has he really accomplished? I think he truly is a good guy but he’s got limited courage,” said Wild Bunch topper Vincent Maraval.

Election 2012: The world view
France | U.K. | Germany | Russia | Mexico | The Middle East | Israel | Latin America | China

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