Press Digest: Paris attacks play into hands of European nationalists

Head of France's National Front party Marine Le Pen.

Head of France's National Front party Marine Le Pen.

AFP/East News
RBTH presents a selection of views from leading Russian media on international events, featuring analysis of the impact the Paris attacks will have on the political situation in Europe and the knock-on effect the tragedy could have on the local economy and tourism in the French capital, as well as reports on the talks on Syria held in Vienna on Nov. 14.

ISIS attacks in Paris will only bolster far-right movements in Europe

The centrist daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta looks at the impactthe Paris attacks will have on the domestic political situation in Europe.

Although European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said that “one should not mix those who carried out the terrorist attacks in Paris with refugees who left their countries for serious reasons,” the appeal from the Brussels official, who early last week described migration as “an opportunity rather than a threat” for Europe, has failed to strike a chord with Europeans.

Poland has already declared that after the Paris tragedy there are no “political possibilities” to carry out its obligations on the relocation of refugees. And although the decision on refugee quotas concerns all EU countries, “at the moment, it is difficult to imagine that it will be implemented.”

As for the situation inside France, the country is due to hold regional elections on Dec. 6-13. The ruling Socialist Party led by President Francois Hollande has in recent years lost a considerable share of voter support, while Nicolas Sarkozy’s Republicans and Marine Le Pen’s National Front, on the contrary, keep gaining support.

According to Western media reports, the Paris attacks will play into the hands of the ultra-right political forces led by Le Pen, who has consistently opposed the relocation of migrants to France and has been making anti-Islamic statements. After the attacks, she said that the decision to close its borders was vital for France, irrespective of what the EU made of it. Le Pen urged eliminating “Islamist extremists and preachers of hatred.”

Progress in Syrian settlement stumbles on Bashar al-Assad’s future

The Kommersant business daily reviews the outcomes of the international talks on Syria that took place in Vienna on Nov. 14 with participation of the foreign ministers of the U.S., Russia, and key European and Arab countries.

The tragedy in Paris prompted its participants to step up a search for solutions to the Syrian conflict and attempts to agree on a joint fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) group behind the Paris attacks. The second meeting in Vienna in the last fortnight has become the most significant step in developing a roadmap for a resolution to the Syrian conflict.

Participants in the talks partly agreed on which opposition forces in Syria should be considered terrorist and adopted a schedule for political reforms in the country. However, the meeting once again highlighted the existing disagreements over the main stumbling block, the fate of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Paris attacks could affect local economy and tourist sector

The daily newspaper RBC warns that the Paris attacks may hit the tourism sector and sales of luxury goods especially hard. The attack on Charlie Hebdo earlier this year has already affected the number of tourists visiting the French capital, and demand is being further undermined by reports that tour operators are canceling trips to Paris.

The Japanese tour operator JTB has already taken this step, while in Belgium the companies Jetair, Sunjets and Thomas Cook have asked their clients whether they want to cancel their trips to the French capital. The tourist industry has not yet released an estimate of how much tourist traffic to France may drop.

Read more: ‘A monstrous blow to European civilization’: Russia reacts to Paris attacks

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