Benalla affair

How the Benalla bodyguard affair revealed Macron's brand of populism

France — Opinion

On Monday September 13th 2021 President Emmanuel Macron's former bodyguard and security adviser Alexandre Benalla stood trial following an incident in 2018 when he was filmed assaulting protestors at a demonstration. In addition to assault, Benalla is also accused of interfering in the operation of the police without lawful excuse, of forgery and using a false instrument in relation to a diplomatic passport and unlawfully carrying a firearm. In this op-ed article Mediapart's Fabrice Arfi argues that the importance of the Benalla case goes beyond the conduct of the president's trusted bodyguard and adviser. He says that the high-profile affair, and in particular a speech that the president gave just one week after it was revealed in the press, showed the world there is something quite illiberal about Emmanuel Macron.

Police watchdog targets Mediapart's sources over story that implicates President Macron


In the spring of 2019 Mediapart journalist Pascale Pascariello revealed the lies told by a state prosecutor and President Emmanuel Macron himself over a case involving an activist in her 70s who was injured during a protest amid allegations of police violence. This week, on Tuesday 26th May, the reporter was questioned as a potential suspect by the police body which investigates police actions, the Inspection Générale de la Police Nationale (IGPN). The alleged offence is receiving information passed on as a result of a breach of professional confidentiality. As Mediapart's Fabrice Arfi writes, it is the fourth time in under 18 months that the legal system has targeted Mediapart's sources following investigations that have proved embarrassing for the government.

France's frail and fragile democracy

France — Opinion

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.

Mediapart takes French state to court over attempt to search offices in Benalla affair


Mediapart is taking legal action against the French state for the attempt to search our offices over the so-called Benalla affair involving President Emmanuel Macron's former security aide Alexandre Benalla, writes Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel. We are asking the courts to rule that by ordering this baseless, unfair and disproportionate action, the Paris prosecutor has made the French state liable for breaching the protection given to journalists to keep their sources secret, and for obstructing Mediapart's journalistic work.

Has France's Macron lost his charm?

France — Link

The promises of economic growth and more jobs have yet to materialise, and the French president is shedding popularity fast, says the BBC.

'A man of power like the others': what voters think of Macron after Benalla affair

France — Report

In an attempt to play down the Benalla affair, the minister for equality Marlène Schiappa claimed that the issue did not interest “the people”. To test this assertion Mediapart went to  her political stronghold, the central western city of Le Mans, visiting both its plusher districts where Emmanuel Macron picked up 35% of the first-round vote last year, and more working class areas. As Justine Brabant found, while the affair involving the president's bodyguard dressing in police insignia and beating up protestors has not shaken people's convictions, many profess to be weary of politics – both that of the old world and Macron's “new world”.