Pension reform in France: the grandmother of all battles

Politique — Opinion

The battle against the French government's pension reform is not simply just another protest movement. Three crucial issues are at stake here: social, democratic and civilisational, as shown by the exceptional unity among trade unions opposed to the changes, argues Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel in this op-ed article. All the more reason, he writes, to put all our energy into supporting this combat.

Nine acquitted, four convicted over far-right plot to attack Macron

France — Link

At the end of a four-week trial, a Paris court has acquitted nine out of a far-right group of 13 men and women aged between 26 and 66 accused of plotting a knife attack against President Emmanuel Macron in 2018.

French far-right seeks political gain from horror of girl's murder

France — Analysis

The shocking sequestration, rape and murder in Paris last week of Lola, a 12-year-old girl whose body was found in a trunk in front of her apartment building home, has been transformed by the far-right and conservative hardliners into a political row over immigration policy after it was revealed that the arrested suspect is a young Algerian woman who since August was the subject of an expulsion order. The controversy snowballed this week, forcing the government onto the defence despite an appeal by Lola’s parents that no political gain should be made of the atrocious crime. Lucie Delaporte and Christophe Gueugneau report.

The French far-right's election dilemma: a family split between Le Pen and Zemmour

France — Report

For three generations Melinda and Dylan's family from northern France has voted steadfastly for the far-right Le Pen family at elections; first Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the Front National, and more recently his daughter Marine Le Pen who is president of its successor party Rassemblement National. However, the decision on who to vote for has now been thrown into question by the presence of another far-right candidate in April's French presidential election, the polemicist Éric Zemmour. The dilemma, one faced by many voters across the country, threatens to divide the family. Lucie Delaporte reports.

French far-right presidential hopeful Zemmour fined for hate speech

France — Link

A Paris court has ordered maverick far-right polemicist Eric Zemmour to pay a fine of 10,000 euros after finding him guilty of hate speech during a television appearance when he described unaccompanied migrant children as "thieves", "rapists" and "murderers".

French far-right target journalists amid Macron's 'laissez-faire'

France — Opinion

The threats against journalists, including one of our own, by far-right supporters in France are intolerable, write Mediapart co-editors Stéphane Alliès and Carine Fouteau in this op-ed article. It is high time for French President Emmanuel Macron, preoccupied with ensuring a second mandate in the presidential elections due next April, to take proper measure of the danger that is afoot.  

Far-right puts Dreyfus affair into spotlight in French election race

France — Link

As French President Emmanuel Macron opens a museum dedicated to the exonerated Jewish soldier, ultra-nationalists like maverick far-right polemicist and expected candidate in next year's presidential elections, Éric Zemmour, again question his innocence.

France's ultra-right desert Le Pen for maverick presidential hopeful Éric Zemmour

France — Analysis

French far-right doyenne Marine Le Pen, who just months ago appeared in the running to reach the final, second-round play-off in next April’s presidential elections, is now facing a serious challenge for her electoral turf from a maverick presidential contender, the polemicist and TV pundit Éric Zemmour. While he has no party structure behind him, he is increasingly backed by the ultra-right and its ideologues, who feel betrayed by Le Pen’s attempts to purge her party’s more outspoken extremists and paper over its racist image. “I don’t care about demonization,” says fervently anti-Islam Zemmour who, despite his Jewish origins, has garnered the support of notorious anti-Semites. Lucie Delaporte reports.

Undeclared far-right presidential candidate Zemmour holds 'book' rally

France — Link

Éric Zemmour, a far-right French polemicist and media commentator, who is widely tipped to announce his candidature for next year's presidential elections in which opinion polls suggest he would rival the traditional far-right candidate, on Friday held what had all the appearance of a campaign rally but which was officially to present his recent book.

Macron accused of pandering to far right over Afghan crisis

International — Link

The French president has attracted criticism for saying country must ‘protect itself from a wave of migrants’.

Anti far-right rally organisers claim 150,000 turnout across France

France — Link

Organisors of a march 'for freedoms and against the far-right' held in cities across France on Saturday claimed a total  of 150,000 people turned out, answering a call from 110 orgnaisations, from leftwing parties to NGOs, to join a 'historic' rally. 

The catastrophe now upon us

France — Opinion

After he was slapped earlier this week in a town in south-east France by a man shouting a medieval royalist battle cry, President Emmanuel Macron described the assault as an “incident” that should be “relativised”, and that “all is well”. On the contrary, writes Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel in this opinion article, all is going badly, and the slap illustrates the far-right violence that has been set loose by the cynicism and irresponsibility of the Macron presidency.

French far-right MEP appointed to board of EU-funded pro-democracy NGO


Thierry Mariani, a French far-right Member of the European Parliament who enjoys close links with Moscow, has been appointed to the governing board of an NGO in part funded by the EU and which supports democracy movements in countries neighbouring the bloc, notably countering Russian influence in those to the east. Ludovic Lamant reports on a controversy which again highlights the debate over just how far a strengthened European far-right should be allowed to join in the traditional political process in Brussels.

The rising threat of Europe’s ultra-right as it eyes military and police


The suspect arrested for the deadly attacks last Wednesday on a synagogue and Turkish restaurant in the German city of Halle has said his acts were driven by far-right ideology and a hatred of Jews. The shooting and bombing rampage followed a series of attacks around Europe by ultra-right groups, prompting the EU police agency Europol, in a recent confidential report, to urge increased cooperation to contain the problem. But Europol also gave a chilling warning that the extremists “are attempting to win over members from the military and security services” in order to build “combat skills”.

Macron warns his party against 'bourgeois' view on immigration

France — Link

French President Emmanuel Macron has told a meeting of MPs from his ruling LREM party that it must shed its middle-class image and adopt a hard line towards illegal immigration which he said was pushing the working class 'who live with it' into the arms of the far-right.