Winners and losers in the new map of France

France — Analysis

Since François Hollande personally redrew the map of France in June as part of his local government reforms, the shape of the country's regions have been amended several times. However, French MPs recently voted to approve the latest version of the regional boundary changes, which now seems likely to form the new face of France. Mediapart has examined this regional structure, which reduces the number of regions from the current 22 to 13, to see what impact it will have on demographics, economic growth and employment. It seems clear that one result of the reforms will be to increase the wealth of already well-off regions and leave isolated areas languishing even further behind. Yannick Sanchez reports.

France scraps controversial 'eco' road tax

France — Link

A planned nationwide 'Green tax' on heavy vehicles that led to violent protests is abandoned in favour of road tolls that will raise less revenue.

Storm Ulla batters Brittany, leaves fishing industry deeper in crisis

France — Link

Fresh storms cause havoc across north-west France, with power lines down, roads blocked and the region's key fishing industry at a standstill.

French café fined for undeclared labour after clients return empties to bar

France — Link

Zealous social security payments' agency gave owners of a Brittany bar a 9,000-euro fine for 'illegal' use of clients as a workforce.

Making themselves heard: why sacked workers David and Stéphanie will vote for the far-right Front national

France — Interview

When abattoir employees David and Stéphanie watched TV reports of workers in bitter disputes with bosses over factory closures, they insisted it could never happen to them. Their abattoir in Brittany was reputed to provide 'jobs for life'. But then last October the news struck that the plant was to close, leaving David, Stéphanie and more than 800 other workers out of a job. Here the couple tell Mediapart's Rachida El Azzouzi about their shock at being thrown out of work, their anger at the government in Paris and explain why for the first time they intend to vote for Marine Le Pen's far-right party.

France risks ‘social explosion’ over high taxes

France — Link

In a secret report leaked to the press, regional officials warn government that France risks civil unrest over public anger at tax hikes.

The small-town mayor leading the Breton revolt against the French green tax

France — Interview

Despite government promises of millions of euros in aid and a new 'pact for the future' for the region, the people of Brittany continue to protest against job cuts and the planned eco-tax – even though ministers have 'suspended' it. One of the leaders of this rebellion is a local mayor called Christian Troadec. Mediapart's Rachida El Azzouzi profiles this straight-talking left-wing leader, then interviews him to find out what is behind this upswell of regional anger and why the movement has chosen to adopt as a symbol the red hats worn by Breton demonstrators who protested against a tax imposed by King Louis XIV back in 1675...

France to postpone contested new truck tax 'by six months'

France — Link

Unpopular eco-tax will be implemented next July after local and European elections, says newspaper, as protests against green measure continue.

Government gaffes up pressure on Hollande for reshuffle

France — Link

Latest opinion survey shows deep discontent from supporters of all political camps, with a majority in favour of policy change or cabinet reshuffle.

France suspends introduction of new road transport tax

France — Link

The French government has “suspended indefinitely” a green tax on heavy goods vehicles due in January 2014 after recent violent protests.

French jihadist captured in Mali returns to Paris

International — Link

Gilles Le Guen, also known as Abdel Jelil, arrived in Paris on Tuesday after being captured by French forces in the Malian city of Timbuktu.

French star lawyer found dead near private island-home

France — Link

The body of Olivier Metzner, whose clients included former premier Dominique de Villepin, was found floating in the Gulf of Morbihan, west France.

Monster killer seaweed is born from intensive farming, says official French study


The massive multiplication of potentially deadly seaweed piling up on the coastline of Brittany, north-west France, is the result of chemical pollution of the sea from intensive farming, according to the conclusions of a French government study which calls for sweeping changes in agricultural practices. The toxic algae, which for decades has been invading beaches in the north of Brittany, is blamed for the deaths of dozens of animals (photo) and for plunging several people into near-fatal comas after their poisoning by the lethal gas hydrogen sulphide. The recommendations, if enacted, would be little short of an agricultural and cultural revolution in a region that occupies just 9% of French territory but which is home to 50% of the country’s pig and poultry production. Michel de Pracontal reports.

Wild boars found dead amid algae on Brittany coast

France — Link

More than 30 wild boars have been found dead from suspected algae poisoning on the coast of Brittany, north-western France.