French justice minister quits

The French Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira has resigned in protest at the plans for stricter anti-terrorist legislation. With the departure of the left-wing minister the Valls government has shifted to the right, commentators write.

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Le Courrier (CH) /

French Socialists deny their roots

Jean-Jacques Urvoas, a representative of the conservative wing of the French Socialist party, has been named to replace justice minister Taubira, who resigned on Wednesday. This shows how far the party has distanced itself from its roots, the Christian-social daily Le Courrier sighs:

“The Socialist Party is shifting to the right – to put it mildly. The minister resigned over a fundamental question: whether people should be stripped of their citizenship. ... In view of this moral and political defeat in the Socialist camp, the left-wing minister has stepped down with a reference to 'major political disagreements', insisting that she wants to remain true to herself and her 'relationship with others'. Will that open a loophole for those on the left who refuse to turn their backs on the fundamental values of the workers' movement? When one considers the rubble left by the bomb planter in the Elysée Palace, one can't help but worry.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

Valls won't shed any tears for Taubira

With the resignation of the French justice minister in reaction to Prime Minister Manuel Valls' plans to strip convicted terrorists of French citizenship the last remnants of heterogeneity have disappeared from the government, the conservative daily La Vanguardia observes:

“The minister of justice's resignation leaves behind a more united and less pluralist cabinet. According to Hollande and Valls, meeting the terrorist challenge requires a compact executive that is willing to back the constitutional reform unswervingly (a team with a 'collective ethic and strong coherence', in the words of François Hollande). … The minister on a bike who was the face of ethnic diversity in France and a symbol of the doubts regarding the extraordinary measures at an extraordinary time has made an exit. No tears were shed yesterday at the Hôtel Matignon [the prime minister's official residence].”

Der Standard (AT) /

A loss for Hollande

French President François Hollande's delight at the resignation of justice minister and left-wing model politician Christiane Taubira will be short-lived, the centre-left daily Der Standard predicts, arguing that in the long term her departure is dangerous for the leader:

“Taubira safeguarded Hollande's social, 'moral' flank; to a certain extent she embodied his left-wing conscience. Her resignation robs the president of important backing in his own camp. For a long time it has not been certain that all Socialists will vote for the 'right-deviationist' Hollande in 2017. He faces the prospect of the same kind of first-round disaster that befell his party colleague Lionel Jospin in 2002, which left the conservative Jacques Chirac and the far-right Jean-Mari Le Pen to fight out the second round. Hollande, then secretary of the Socialist Party, will not have forgotten that. But in sacrificing Taubira he is running a considerable risk: namely that of losing ground on the left without gaining ground on the right.”

More opinions

El País (ES) / 29 January 2016
  Taubira didn't want to sacrifice freedom for security (in Spanish)
Libération (FR) / 27 January 2016
  The left's conscience is plagued (in French)