France's frail and fragile democracy

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The reaction to Donald Trump's behaviour and the attempts at impeachment highlights the vitality of democratic culture in the United States when faced with executive abuse of power. In contrast, argues Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel, France is served by a low-intensity democracy that has been undermined by the country's system of presidential monarchy.

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A funeral with great pomp and ceremony, national mourning decreed, a minute's silence in schools and state offices, and a deluge of media coverage that overshadows an industrial disaster and the resulting pollution in Rouen in the north of the country. For several days now the French state, politics and media have been mourning their loss and commemorating the passing of one of their own, former president Jacques Chirac, whose life work consisted mostly of the conquest and preservation of power.