The German press focused on new diesel rules.
— Bild said the federal government had found a way out of the “diesel crisis” after carmakers negotiating with Berlin agreed to pay out €3,000 per vehicle for hardware fixes in the 14 cities most affected by air pollution.
— Frankfurter Allgemeine said the compromise deal struck Thursday was under attack, with critics dubbing it a “trickery” because hardware retrofits would only be subsidized from 2020.
— Spiegel Online ran the headline “Call me Manfred,” reporting on the election of Manfred Weber to be the EPP’s lead candidate for next year’s European election. It was “a respectable but not surprising result,” the website said.
— Die Welt said Germans believed Friedrich Merz and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer were equally likely to be successful chancellors — but the third candidate for the CDU leadership, Health Minister Jens Spahn, trailed behind them in a survey by Kantar Emnid.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s plan to respond to rising anti-Semitism was a top story in France.
— FranceInfo carried the PM’s announcement of a 69-percent rise in anti-Semitic acts in France in the first nine months of 2018. A permanent national team will be posted in the education ministry to tackle the situation, Philippe said.
— 20 Minutes said a march would be held in Marseille on Saturday to honor the victims of collapsed apartment blocks.
— Le Monde carried news of Manfred Weber’s nomination as the EPP’s lead candidate but said he was still not the “best placed” to unite pro-European parties. Europe’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier “are holding onto their chances.”
— The website of broadcaster LCI said 10,000 police and military personnel would participate in World War I centenary commemorations this weekend, with 72 heads of state or government expected to attend a ceremony in the north of France.
The British press was all Brexit, Brexit, Brexit.
— The Times published revelations from a leaked letter written by Theresa May, sent to the Democratic Unionist Party, which indicated the British PM would accept the EU’s plan to put a customs border in the Irish Sea if the U.K. crashes out of the EU without a divorce deal.
— The Telegraph said the EU was demanding fishing rights in British waters in return for an all-U.K. customs backstop.
— The Metro ran the headline: “I didn’t think it Dover,” in response to Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab’s admission that he had not fully understood the importance of the Dover-Calais border crossing.
The run-up to next year’s European election also made the Belgian press.
— Le Soir noted Manfred Weber was one “important step” closer to the 13th floor of the Berlaymont.
— DH said hundreds of administrative workers from Brussels’ communes took to the streets on Thursday to protest “too much work for not enough pay.”