Paris air pollution causes 'thousands' of deaths a year

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A smoggy Paris on March 18th, 2015. © Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters A smoggy Paris on March 18th, 2015. © Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Last Sunday Paris banned cars from many of its roads and on Monday the city's councillors voted to pedestrianise a busy route along the River Seine. Both measures are aimed at tackling the problem of air pollution that is affecting Paris as well as other large French cities. It is estimated that such pollution kills up to 2,500 people a year in the French capital, some 60 times more people than perish in road accidents on the city's streets. Mediapart's environment correspondent Jade Lindgaard reports.

SocGen faces 2.2 bln tax break refund over its responsibility in 'rogue trader' losses

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A 'rogue' trader no more: Jérôme Kerviel. © Reuters A 'rogue' trader no more: Jérôme Kerviel. © Reuters

In a ruling by the Versailles court of appeal on Friday, French bank Société Générale was found to have been in large part responsible for the 4.9 billion euros in losses attributed to the reckless trades of its so-called “rogue trader” Jérôme Kerviel in 2008. The court ruling concerned Kerviel’s appeal against the damages he was required to pay the bank, which until now was fixed as the entire sum of the losses, and which it reduced to 1 million euros. Mediapart economics and finance correspondent Martine Orange analyses here the many consequences of the ruling, not least of which is the demand that the bank now pay back a 2.2-billion-euro tax break it was granted as a result of the sums lost.

A sleepy French village torn apart by a centre for migrants

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The Château de Pergaud, near Allex, where migrants will be offered temporary shelter. © L. Geslin The Château de Pergaud, near Allex, where migrants will be offered temporary shelter. © L. Geslin

The usually tranquil village of Allex, in the Drôme Valley region of south-east France, has become agitated over the imminent opening of a reception centre for migrants. Villagers’ opposition to the centre, which will house about 50 individuals, has prompted the mayor to announce a referendum on the issue. Laurent Geslin reports from this small village of 2,500 inhabitants where, as France’s 2017 presidential election campaign draws closer, local conservative and far-right parties have jumped upon the opportunity to stoke the fires of prejudice and resentment.

India eyes China with bargain deal for French jets

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The Rafale fighter jet. © Dassault Aviation The Rafale fighter jet. © Dassault Aviation

The 8-billion-euro contract signed in New Delhi on Friday for the supply of 36 French-built Rafale fighter jets has been hailed by Paris as a major coup that underlines the technological prowess of the French aeronautical industry. But, Mediapart’s India correspondent Guillaume Delacroix reports, the deal was struck after France agreed to massive discounts which virtually halve the total cost. But it also marks a new defence strategy by India, which now regards China as the principal threat to its security, and no longer Pakistan.