France: knife attack at a playground

In Annecy in eastern France, six people including four toddlers were injured in a stabbing attack on Thursday. Two are currently in a critical condition. The attacker, a Christian from Syria, shouted "Jesus Christ" before the attack. The attack drew immediate calls for a stricter immigration policy from the far right and on social networks. France’s press makes a first assessment of the events.

Libération (FR) /

More complex than it would seem

Those providing facile explanations are on the wrong track here, Libération writes:

“They are out of luck because the suspect is a Christian and has been granted refugee status in Sweden. So he’s here legally under EU law. Everything seems to indicate that this man is mentally disturbed rather than an ideologically motivated attacker. As the Minister of the Interior prepares a new immigration law and many are fine-tuning their arguments, the tragedy in Annecy clearly shows that this issue is far more complex than it seems. And it deserves more than simplistic and hateful rhetoric.”

Alexandra Schwartzbrod
Le Temps (CH) /

Terror trauma spreading again

The mood in France is highly volatile, explains Le Temps:

“The trauma inflicted by years of Islamist terror is deeply rooted in France. And the violence of the debates that these attacks have provoked over time has had such an effect on the French ideological landscape that even after two years of calm, the speed and irrationality of some reactions reveal not only the flammability of the current political landscape but also the powerful emotions that remain latent. At the risk of exacerbating the situation.”

Paul Ackermann