Australia to pay France 555m euros in settlement of subs row

France— Link

French defence minister Sebastien Lecornu said the settlement 'permits us to turn a page' on the diplomatic row over Australia's decision last year to cancel its purchase of French diesel-powered submarines, worth a total of 35 billion euros, in favour of a strategic pact with the US and UK in which it will receive technology to build nuclear submarines.

General Electric’s scheme to avoid millions of euros in taxes in France

France— Investigation

Following its purchase in 2015 of the power branch of French engineering firm Alstom, General Electric put in place a vast tax avoidance scheme involving subsidiaries in Switzerland and the US state of Delaware to syphon off hundreds of millions of euros that would otherwise have been subject to taxes in France, according to an investigation by Mediapart’s online partner newsroom Disclose. What’s more, the scheme appears to have had the blessing of the French economy and finance ministry.

Anti-French protests in West Africa spill over into Chad

International— Report

Anti-French sentiment is gaining ground across a number of West African countries, where the presence of the former colonial power, engaged in fighting armed jihadist insurgents across the Sahel, is challenged by growing Russian influence and popular anger against its history of support for strongman regimes. Protests against France’s military presence in the region have now spilled over into Chad, France’s key African ally, governed by a junta, where last month French nationals were targeted in the capital N’Djamena and petrol stations belonging to oil giant Total were ransacked. Rémi Carayol reports.

French cereal production under threat from growing drought

France— Link

Low winter rainfall followed by continuing dry and unusually hot conditions in many parts of France, the biggest grain producer in the European Union, is threatening to significantly reduce the volume of winter cereal production.

France faces entering period of stagflation

France— Link

Household spending in France fell by 1.3% in March, capping a first trimester that saw gross domestic product reaching a standstill, raising fears that the country may be on the verge of a period of 'stagflation' – a term designating a combination of stagnant or weak economic growth and enduring high inflation.

Acclaimed French actor Michel Bouquet dies aged 96

France— Link

A star of stage and screen in a career that spanned seven decades and more than 100 films, widely recognised as being one of France's finest actors, Michel Bouquet has died in Paris at the age of 96.

Paris schools prepare to take in refugee children from Ukraine

France— Link

Amid increasing numbers of refugees arriving in France from war-ravaged Ukraine, the municipal authorities in Paris have set up special provisions for integrating Ukranian children into the city's schools.

How Russia built its soft power in France

France— Interview

For years, Russia led a vast campaign to promote its standing and influence in western Europe, and particularly in France, where the Kremlin’s soft-power strategy had notably, and successfully, targeted political and business circles. In this interview with Mediapart, Marlène Laruelle, director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at the George Washington University, details the history and reach of Russia’s drive to gain influence in France, and which was “destroyed in a matter of days, and for several years to come” following its invasion of Ukraine.

Indonesia agrees deal with France for 42 Rafale fighter jets

International— Link

The Indonesian government on Thursday signed a deal for the immediate purchase from France of six Rafale fighter jets, with an option for a further 36, to replace an ageing air force fleet of mostly US F-16s and Russian Sukhois, and to a backdrop of rising US-China tensions in the Asian region.

Why tensions with Mali could soon lead to France withdrawing its troops

International— Analysis

On Monday January 31st the military-civilian junta running Mali told France's ambassador to leave the country in a further escalation of the tension that has developed between the two nations in recent months. As Rémi Carayol observes, the next stage in the bitter war of words could be an announcement from Paris that France's military forces in the African country will be withdrawn.

France probes 'revolting' claims of rapacious care homes

France— Link

France’s government is pledging to investigate allegations that a world leader in care for older adults has been putting profit before quality, rationing food and other items for nursing home residents.

Iran sentences French national to eight years in prison for spying

International— Link

Benjamin Brière was charged with spying and ‘propaganda against the Islamic Republic’.

France reports record of more than 332,000 new Covid cases

France— Link

The number of COVID-19 deaths in French hospitals rose by 246 in the last 24 hours, taking the total since the pandemic began to 97,670.

France removes EU flag from Arc de Triomphe after rightwing anger

France— Link

Official in the French presidency says removal of flag was in line with planned schedule. 

France takes over EU presidency as national election looms

France— Link

President Emmanuel Macron has announced an ambitious agenda for the 27-member bloc that could also serve his domestic campaign for re-election.