Keyword: Emmanuel Macron

France summons African leaders, threatening troop pullout

Facing hostility in five former colonies over a stalled fight against extremists, President Macron has taken a harsh public stance but few expect him to follow through.

Fighting an overblown presidency

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The feminist march during the Paris demonstartions on January 9th 2020. © Noemie Coissac / Hans Lucas The feminist march during the Paris demonstartions on January 9th 2020. © Noemie Coissac / Hans Lucas

Emmanuel Macron said it himself: he did not want a “normal presidency”. Nor has it been so: since his election in 2017, the number of serious social conflicts has shown the dangers of the exercise of power when there are no limits, argues Mediapart co-founder François Bonnet. The planned public protests on Saturday January 11th against the presidency's pension reform plans could be a turning point, he says.

France hit by fourth mass protest over pensions

Meanwhile ministers inched towards a deal with one labour union to try to end some of the longest public sector strikes in the country’s postwar history.

The Paris-Dakar car rally gets lost in the sands of Saudi propaganda

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Preparations for the Paris-Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia on January 2nd 2020. © REUTERS Preparations for the Paris-Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia on January 2nd 2020. © REUTERS

The Paris-Dakar Rally, often now known simply as the Dakar Rally or Dakar, has been held most years since 1979, and this rally through desert sands is one of the most high-profile motor sports events on the planet. The 2020 rally, which began on Sunday January 5th, is taking place for the first time in Saudi Arabia. Mediapart's Middle East correspondent René Backmann argues in this opinion article that underneath the media din and razzmatazz, the event is nothing more than a PR exercise by the Saudi regime to persuade people to forget its despotic, fundamentalist and brutal nature, as well as the scale of its crimes.

French unions heading for showdown with Macron on pensions

As France returns from the Christmas break this week, the month-long strikes look set to get even more disruptiv.

Longest strike in decades in France stuck in pension reform deadlock

France's transport strike against pension reform has entered its 29th day, making it the longest rail workers' strike since May 1968.

Macron’s New Year address falls flat as pension row deepens

French president calls for ‘rapid compromise’ in attempt to end four-week-long protests but his address to the nation was dismissed as a 'declaration of war against millions of French people who reject his reforms'.

Macron vows to ‘fully carry out’ pension reform in end of year speech

In the traditional presidential end-of-year TV address to the public, Macron said he hoped for a 'quick compromise' with union leaders demanding he abandon the plan.

Macron to step into pension reforms fray on New Year's Eve

After weeks of union-led strikes and protests against government plans to reform France's pension system, and which have severely disrupted transport services, notably in the Greater Paris Region, French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to finally relieve his prime minister on the political frontline by announcing measures to break the deadlock during the traditional presidential New Year's Eve TV address on Tuesday.

'No change': critics say France maintains grip as Eco replaces CFA franc in West Africa

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French President Emmanuel Macron with his Ivorian counterpart Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, December 21st. © Reuters French President Emmanuel Macron with his Ivorian counterpart Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, December 21st. © Reuters

On a visit to Ivory Coast at the weekend, French President Emmanuel Macron and his Ivorian counterpart Alassane Ouattara announced that the CFA franc, the common currency shared by 14 African countries and created in 1945, is to be replaced by the “Eco”. It was presented as a “historic reform” that will see France disengaging its grip over monetary policy in its former African colonies. But some economists in the region argue that, on the contrary, the Eco is a disguised continuation of French dominance, while also representing a death blow to the common currency project of the ECOWAS group of West African states. Fanny Pigeaud reports.

Macron waives presidential pension amid standoff with unions

President Emmanuel Macron, 42, has announced that he will forgo his future head-of-state pension in an effort to be 'exemplary and coherent' amid the standoff with unions which reject his proposed universal pension reforms that would put an end to some relatively advantageous retirement rights.

Macron signals rethink on French-backed Africa currency

Discussions are now to be held over future of the CFA franc in west and central Africa, which critics say is a colonial relic

Macron urges end to detention of French academics in Iran

A senior researcher at Science-Po university in Paris and his Franco-Iranian colleague have been in prison in Iran since June.

Trump slams 'very, very nasty' Macron comments on Nato

At a press conference in London ahead of a summit to mark Nato's 70th anniversary, US President Donlad Trump said comments earlier this month by his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron who said the military alliance was 'brain dead' were 'very, very nasty' and 'disrespectful', adding a jibe that France was 'not doing well economically at all'.

How France's narrow focus on a military solution in Mali has led to stalemate in region

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A French soldier at Gao in Mali deep in reflection in front of the coffins of the 13 French troops killed in the country on November 25th 2019. © Reuters A French soldier at Gao in Mali deep in reflection in front of the coffins of the 13 French troops killed in the country on November 25th 2019. © Reuters

On Monday November 25th 13 members of the French military were killed when two helicopters crashed in Mali during France's ongoing military operations there. The grim news sparked debates back in France about the country's military involvement in the Sahel region of Africa. But as Mediapart's René Backmann writes, the legacy of France's colonial past and the remnants of its post-colonial approach to the continent known as 'Françafrique' suggest that President Emmanuel Macron's government will be unable to see that military combat against jihadism is not the only response that is needed to tackle the region's instability.