Keyword: Charles de Gaulle

Why failed 1961 coup d'état is still relevant to France today

By Nicolas Lebourg

This spring has inevitably seen lots of attention devoted to the 50th anniversary of the events of May 1968 in France and the accompanying social upheaval. Largely forgotten, however, is another springtime event dating from just a few years before – the failed coup attempt by French generals in Algiers on April 21st, 1961. Yet as historian Nicolas Lebourg points out, the way France's secret services and police handled that plot and its aftermath has important lessons for current events in France.

De Gaulle tomb vandalised

A cross above the tomb of General Charles de Gaulle, the figurehead of French resistance to German occupation in WW2 and founder of France's Fifth Republic constitution who died in 1970, was pushed over and broken in two by a man described by the mayor of Colombey-les-deux-Églises, the north-east village where de Gaulle is buried, as being probably "a little deranged".

Fillon benefactor reveals 'pressure' for his silence and why his memoirs are on hold

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Robert Bourgi. © Reuters Robert Bourgi. © Reuters

Lawyer Robert Bourgi, 72, is a veteran figure of “la Françafrique”, the once-rife secret and corrupt network of relations between successive French and despotic African governments, which included the illegal funding of French politicians and parties in return for favours and protection. His name resurfaced last month in the scandal-hit presidential election campaign of conservative candidate François Fillon, when Bourgi revealed it was he who offered Fillon two expensive tailor-made suits, raising further questions over Fillon’s probity and political independence. In this interview from Beirut, where he is sitting out the rest of the election campaign, Bourgi gave Mediapart his version of his relationship with Fillon, who he says asked him to deny being a benefactor, and lifts the lid on the murky practices in French politics. His account offers an insight into decades of political corruption.

France's dying Fifth Republic reduced to a human interest story

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François Fillon's presidential campaign has descended into a grim farce. François Fillon's presidential campaign has descended into a grim farce.

The French Republic is in its death throes, having been taken hostage by a maniac – François Fillon - who is riding roughshod over the legal system, insulting the press, scorning his own elected representatives and calling on divisive factions for help. Having destroyed political parties, corrupted Parliament and having undermined voting itself, the Fifth Republic is now reaching the climax of its democracy-destroying operation. It is time to get rid of it, writes Mediapart's editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel, before it is too late.

French jets from aircraft carrier 'conduct strikes against IS'

Report says Rafale fighter planes took off from the Charles de Gaulle carrier to take part in an attack on Islamic State's Iraq stronghold Mosul.

French customs find record 51kg of crystal meth at Paris airport

Officials at Charles de Gaulle airport checking cartons of cereal bags en route from Cameroon to Malaysia found them to be 'unusually heavy'.

Fifty years on: role of French Algerians in domestic politics

Mounument to the Pieds-Noirs on the promenade des Anglais in Nice. © Hélène Staes Mounument to the Pieds-Noirs on the promenade des Anglais in Nice. © Hélène Staes

Following Algeria's independence from France in 1962 around 800,000 Algerians of French descent, known as 'Pieds-Noirs', resettled in mainland France, many of them in the south of the country. It has long been assumed that the presence of so many of these repatriated settlers was a major factor in the political rise of the far-right Front National in the Mediterranean region of France. But as Nicolas Chevassus-au-Louis reports, the supposed influence of this ageing group of voters may largely be a myth.

Hollande visits French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle off Syria

The French president met with personnel aboard the French navy flagship, the spearhead for French airstrikes on Islamic State group in Syria.

Jets launch attacks on Islamic State positions from French carrier

Two raids against IS targets in Syria and Iraq were launched from the Charles de Gaulle which arrived in the eastern Mediterranean on Monday.

France to redeploy aircraft carrier in missions against Islamic State group

French president said France's largest warship will return to the Gulf  'to allow us to be more efficient in coordination with our allies'.

Unions warn against 'divisive' Air France strategy after assault on executives

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Le DRH d'Air France violemment pris à partie par les manifestants © Reuters Le DRH d'Air France violemment pris à partie par les manifestants © Reuters

The physical attacks upon two Air France executives on Monday by a small group of airline staff protesting a plan of job losses has been widely condemned by trade unions, management and government. The assaults, in which the Human Resources director and the long-haul flight manager had their clothing ripped off, dramatically underlined the high tensions within the struggling airline over its announcement it is to shed 2,900 jobs over the next two years. Mathilde Goanec and Dan Israel report.

Centrists force Sarkozy to ditch ally over 'white race' France comments

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A leading candidate from the right-wing Les Républicains (LR) party looks set to be de-selected from December's regional elections after she described France as a “white race” country. However, party boss Nicolas Sarkozy only ditched loyalist Nadine Morano after days of public controversy and mounting pressure from the party's centrist allies. As Ellen Salvi reports, the episode highlights the divide between the views of the LR leadership and those of grassroots members.

France deploys aircraft carrier in fight against Islamic State

French navy's Charles de Gaulle in the Gulf from where its aircraft will carry out raids as part of US-led military campaign against jihadist group.

Paris airport to begin screening passengers for Ebola

Charles de Gaulle airport will begin on Saturday monitoring temperatures of passengers arriving from Guinea to detect carriers of the disease.

French presidents' holiday retreat open to public

Fort de Bregancon, which is on a tiny island on the Mediterranean coast, has been popular with French leaders since the days of Charles de Gaulle.