France to tackle crushing debt, says French PM

France — Link

Jean-Marc Ayrault has called on the French people to rally behind the government to tackle a "crushing" and "unprecedented" debt crisis.

The massacre of Europe's ancient olive groves

International — Report

They are now about to end their lives amusing the nouveau rich beside swimming pools and on golf courses. The unluckiest will be replanted as zoo-like curiosities in ornamental gardens in northern Europe, even Russia, where the cold and lack of light will turn them sterile. At the current rate of uprooting, these majestic and viable olive trees, many hundreds of years old, some even a thousand years old, will have entirely disappeared from southern Portugal and Spain in the space of a generation. Philippe Riès reports on an ecological and cultural disaster caused by the perverse effects of European Union agricultural policies.

Watershed moment for Europe as France and Greece head for the polls

International — Analysis

France and Greece both go to the urns on Sunday for crucial elections that will, whatever the results, have a significant effect on the future of the EU’s approach to the economic crisis. While the final play-off in the French presidential elections on May 6th could produce a turning point in the use of blanket austerity measures to nurse already strangled EU economies back to health, the Greek legislative elections are in effect a referendum on the country’s continued membership of the eurozone. Mediapart’s Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant reports on what is likely to be a watershed moment for Europe.

Hollande 'dangerous' for Europe and France: Economist

France — Link

Francois Hollande's election to the French presidency will be bad for his country and Europe, says Britain's influential weekly The Economist.

France threatens to pull out of Europe’s borderless travel zone

International — Link

French government says if the EU didn’t back its tougher line on illegal immigration it would lead to the end of Europe's borderless travel zone.

De Gaulle's vision of Europe, relayed by Fischer, lies slaughtered by sharks

International — Opinion

Amid the spectre of the euro collapsing as the debt crisis deepens, the words of General Charles de Gaulle, one of the original protagonists of pan-European cooperation, have a prophetic ring. "Do we, or do we not, want the Common Market to be supplemented by a political organisation without which economic construction will ultimately decline?" he asked in 1962. Antoine Perraud argues that it is time to rediscover de Gaulle's vision of a Europe united by political action and not finance, a vision that was paradoxically later championed not by the General's so-called political heirs in France, but by German Green Joschka Fischer.

France tops European quality of life survey (UK takes bottom spot)

International — Link

A survey of 10 developed European countries gives France top spot and puts UK at bottom of the pile due to high costs of living, low sunshine.

France Expresses Confidence in Banks After Downgrades

France — Link

France dismissed concerns about its biggest banks, insisting that it had no plans to nationalize any of them despite a credit rating downgrade.

Europe's banks are staring into the abyss

International — Link

Distinguished UK economist warns that French government is just days away from recapitalizing the country's banking system for a second time.

European model 'a wretched failure'

International — Link

The view from 'down under' on what The Australian's foreign news editor sees as the 'wretched failure' of riot-torn, debt-ridden Europe.

Leaderless in Europe

International — Link

Europe's leaders are in denial or paralyzed comments the New York Times in an op-ed warning of dire consequences of lack of political vision.

Does Europe need austerity?

International — Analysis

Across Europe, governments have brought in massive budget cuts totalling up to 400 billion euros to stem rising deficits. Ministers say the cuts are necessary to bring about economic stability and reassure the markets. Critics say they are unjust, hitting the poorest the hardest, and unsound, marking a return to failed economic dogmas of the past. So are these so-called austerity plans really unavoidable? What do all these billions in announced savings really represent - and could these drastic plans in fact kill off any return to economic growth?

The staggering public cost of rescuing Europe's banks


In what was a largely unreported announcement in Decemeber, the EU Commission revealed that more than 4.5 trillion euros of state aid was authorized to fund the rescue of Europe's financial sector since October 2008. More than 1.1 trillion euros was actually used in 2009. Analysis and comment by Martine Orange.

Joseph Stiglitz: the "extraordinary risk" of European austerity policies

Économie et social — Video

Back in September 2010, former World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz told Mediapart in a series of video interviews why austerity plans were "counter-productive", threatening a "double-dip recession", and warned how the flawed and derided financial practices that led to the 2008 crash were back in business. "It is conceivable that one or more countries would either default or drop the euro", said the 2001 winner of Nobel Prize in Economics. Why was no-one listening?