Living in luxury: how families of Russian oligarchs escape war sanctions in France

Europe — Investigation

Mediapart can reveal that close family members of Russians sanctioned after the invasion of Ukraine are continuing to use their luxury properties in France, which have escaped from being frozen by the French Treasury as assets. Among those benefiting include family members of Vladimir Putin's veteran spokesperson Dmitry Peskov and several oligarchs. The revelations emerge from a joint investigation carried out with the German NGO Civil Forum for Asset Recovery (CIFAR) and media network European Investigative Collaborations (EIC). Sébastien Bourdon, Yann Philippin and Alexandre Brutelle (CIFAR) report. 

EU probe accuses Marine Le Pen of 137,000-euro fraud of public funds

International — Investigation

A report by the European Union’s anti-fraud agency OLAF, now passed on to the French public prosecution services, accuses Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate who will face Emmanuel Macron in this month’s presidential election final round, of the fraudulent misuse of 137,000 euros of public funds she received from the European Parliament when she was an MEP, Mediapart can reveal. Other individuals close to her are also accused by OLAF of defrauding the parliament. Marine Turchi and Fabrice Arfi report.

France urges UK to 'rebuild trust' after London's Brexit tsar resigns

International — Link

French European affairs minister Clément Beaune has invited the British government 'to rebuild a climate of trust with France and the EU in the interest of all' following the resignation of London's chief Brexit negotiator David Frost.

France threatens to block EU trade deal with Australia

International — Link

As French government anger mounts over Australia's announcement this month that it has abandoned an agreement to buy 12 submarines from France in favour of a defence and weapons pact with the US and UK, French European affairs minister said Paris is ready to block ongoing EU talks for a trade deal with Australia, which he called 'a country in which we no longer trust'.

Macron slams 'Anglo-Saxons' for blocking Covid-19 vaccines

France — Link

Speaking from the Portuguese city of Porto on the sidelines of an EU 'social summit', French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday accused what he called 'the Anglo-Saxons', an apparent reference to both the US and the UK, of blocking exports of anti-Covid-19 vaccines and their raw materials.

EU commissioner berates France over southern England truck jams

International — Link

In an unusally strong statement posted on Twitter, the European Union's transport commissioner, Adina Valean, commenting on the massive logjam of trucks around the English port of Dover following border restrictions introduced by France after a new contagious strain of the coronavirus was found in the UK, said 'I deplore that France went against our recommendations'.

The MEPs shaping the Common Agricultural Policy and receiving its handouts

International — Investigation

Among the Members of the European Parliament are a group of farmers and others with agricultural interests who benefit directly from the subsidies provided for in the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The fact that many of them are at the forefront of negotiations to map out the reform of the CAP, to be put to a vote during this week, raises a clear question of conflicts of interest. Amélie Poinssot reports.

France and Germany plan €500bn recovery fund

France — Link

President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the unprecedented package after talks by video conference.

Coronavirus crisis puts EU credibility on the line, says France

France — Link

European affairs minister Amelie de Montchalin told France Inter radio that if Europe was just a single market when times were good, then it made no sense.

French police violence back under spotlight amid Paris-Warsaw row


Visiting Poland this week, French President Emmanuel Macron slammed the country’s government over its moves to take control of the judiciary, denouncing a “negation of European political principles”. In a tit-for-tat move, Polish members of the European Parliament launched a petition denouncing French police violence in recent demonstrations as “unjustified brutality against protestors exercising their civil rights”. The row has escalated through the week, and returned the spotlight to crowd policing methods in France, already the subject of outspoken concern from international bodies, and which over the past year have left hundreds injured, many seriously. Ellen Salvi reports.

Macron seeks to sooth strained ties with Poland

International — Link

Following talks in Warsaw with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, French President Emmanuel Macron said he hoped his visit 'will mark a real turning point' in bilateral relations because following Brexit 'fragility and doubt' had gained the EU, in a move to appease previously strained ties with Poland's right wing populist government over judicial reforms, climate goals and criticism of the bloc's powers.

Italy, France urge EU shared reception of rescued migrants

International — Link

Speaking at a joint press conference in Rome on Wednesday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and French President Emmanuel Macron called for all 28 member states of the EU to share reception of the numbers of migrants landing in Europe after being rescued from perilous crossings of the Mediterranean Sea, when Macron said those who refused to do so should be 'seriously penalized'.

Macron says EU nominations are positive for Europe

France — Link

French president praised 'capacities and competences' of French ex-minister Christine Lagarde who is set to be new European Central Bank boss.

France blocks EU call for halt to Haftar's offensive in Libya

International — Link

A planned European Union statement calling on military strongman Khalifa Haftar to halt his Libyan National Army's offensive against the UN-backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli was vetoed by France, which has provided military assistance in past years to Haftar in his eastern stronghold.

Paris, Berlin add pressure on Warsaw over Polish judiciary reforms

International — Link

At a meeting of European Union (EU) ministers on Tuesday, France and Germany said they were concerned over reforms of the Polish judicial system, which are regarded as politically intimidating for the country's courts and a threat to their independence, voicing their support for EU Commission infringement procedures which could in theory result in Poland losing its EU voting rights.