François Hollande

Shooting of a teenager: why it's time for French politicians to stop defending police violence

France — Opinion

The killing of 17-year-old Nahel by an armed police officer in the Paris suburb of Nanterre has made headlines in France and across the world. It has provoked angry reactions in the streets and from a number of politicians. But as Ellen Salvi writes in this op-ed article, the youngster's death has also been the subject of some shameful comments, of falsehoods, efforts at justification and attempts to play it down. She argues that for the last 20 years successive governments and a rampant far right have denied a stark reality: that of a society that is sinking as it forgets its fundamental principles and the values that stem from them.

A ‘truth commission’: Paris terror trial grips France

France — Link

Former president François Hollande appears as witness in a hearing serving as a cathartic moment for the country.

France ‘did all it could’ to foil terror attacks, Hollande tells court

France — Link

Former French president told trial the government had no prior warning of Paris 2015 attacks.

The fall of Macron and Hollande's Syrian 'friend'

France — Investigation

He has been variously described as a “billionaire, a “peacemaker” and a key figure in “inter-faith dialogue”. For ten years French political and religious leaders have rolled out the red carpet for Mohamad Izzat Khatab, a Syrian businessman whose past is shrouded in mystery. According to an investigation by Mediapart, this fan of selfies taken with the rich and powerful has just been placed under investigation in relation to a vast fraud case. Antton Rouget reports.

France's compromising and cosy relationship with Morocco's repressive regime

International — Analysis

The Pegasus spyware revelations show how Morocco has targeted at least 10,000 mobile phones in recent years. These include the phones of several dozen French citizens, including journalists, the president of the Republic Emmanuel Macron and government ministers and senior opposition figures. Yet for the last thirty years the political, media and cultural elites here in France have closed their eyes to the repressive behaviour of the North African monarchy. Lénaïg Bredoux and Iyes Ramdani report.

'Rafale Papers’: the explosive documents in France-India jets deal

International — Investigation

In this final report in a three-part investigation into the controversial sale by France to India of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft, Mediapart reveals, with hitherto unpublished documents, how an influential Indian business intermediary was secretly paid millions of euros by Rafale manufacturer Dassault Aviation and French defence electronics firm Thales. They succeeded in removing anti-corruption clauses from the fighter contract which was subsequently signed by then French defence minister, now foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian. Yann Philippin reports.

Rafale jets sale to India: Macron, Hollande and the blind eye of France's anti-corruption services

International — Investigation

In this second of a three-part series of investigations into the controversial sale by France to India of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft, Mediapart details how the then head of the French public prosecution services’ financial crimes branch, Éliane Houlette, shelved investigations into evidence of corruption behind the deal, despite the contrary opinion of her colleagues. France’s current president, Emmanuel Macron, and his predecessor, François Hollande, are cited in the allegations levelled in the case. Houlette has since justified her decision as preserving “the interests of France, the workings of institutions”. Yann Philippin reports. 

Sale of French Rafale jet fighters to India: how a state scandal was buried

International — Investigation

In 2016 France and India signed a 7.8-billion-euro deal for the purchase of 36 Rafale jet fighters made by French defence group Dassault. Mediapart can reveal that, alongside this controversial deal, Dassault also agreed to pay one million euros to a middleman who is now under investigation in India in connection with another defence deal. The French anti-corruption agency Agence Française Anticorruption (AFA) discovered this separate arrangement during a routine audit of Dassault. The AFA nonetheless decided not to alert the prosecution authorities over the payment. This is the first part of Mediapart's investigation into a state scandal which also raises questions over the both the justice system and the political authorities. Yann Philippin reports.

Ex-French president Hollande promotes domestic violence app

France — Link

A foundation headed by former French president François Hollande awarded a grant for the development of a mobile phone app for women to seek emergency help when victims of violence, now available in several countries, as the numbers of complaints of domestic abuse have soared since the start of the home-confinement 'lockdown' measures in France due to the Covid-19 virus.

Dear Mr President: when letters to François Hollande announced France's current social unrest

France — Interview

During his 2012-2017 term in office, France’s socialist president François Hollande received a total of about one million letters and emails from members of the public, several thousands of which have been studied by political sciences lecturers Michel Offerlé and Julien Fretel. In this interview, Michel Offerlé explains that while the correspondence contained a large number of individual demands for help, complaints over financial difficulties and taxes, and insults about the head of state’s disconnection with the people, they in part collectively represent the social group that has erupted into the ‘yellow vest’ protest movement over falling standards of living which is shaking the current presidency of Emmanuel Macron.

Macron unveils plan to reduce reliance on nuclear energy

France — Link

French president will delay meeting the nuclear energy cap goal set by predecessor, François Hollande, by 10 years.

Just 17 months after election, Macron's Élysée already has an 'end of reign' atmosphere

France — Analysis

A series of controversial affairs involving key staff, some surprise resignations, comments from senior figures in his own administration and dysfunctional behaviour at all levels of government have left President Emmanuel Macron weaker than ever after the summer. There is growing concern inside his entourage where many now recognise that the presidency has a problem; and that this problem involves the president himself. Ellen Salvi reports.

Serge Dassault: a symbol of French-style capitalism

France — Analysis

Serge Dassault, who died on May 28th, 2018, at the age of 93, was a billionaire industrialist in the aviation sector, a former Senator and mayor, and the owner of the conservative daily newspaper Le Figaro. Prevented from having a major role the family business empire until the death of his father, Serge Dassault was driven by ambition and the desire to surpass what Marcel Dassault achieved. But despite his undoubted business successes, Serge Dassault's own legacy was tarnished by corruption affairs and allegations of buying votes, and he was convicted of tax fraud in 2017. Mediapart's Yann Philippin, who has spent many years reporting on the 'Dassault method', reports.

Verdict on ex-minister Jérôme Cahuzac shows French aversion to jail for tax fraud

France — Analysis

After an appeal, former budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac has received a reduced sentence for tax fraud, making it now highly unlikely he will serve any time in prison. It was an unexpected and happy outcome for the former minister whose tax dodge was first exposed by Mediapart in 2012. But, as Fabrice Arfi argues, it sends out an unfortunate message in a country which is already reluctant to imprison white collar criminals – especially those in public life.

Ex-minister Cahuzac gets two years for tax fraud - but escapes jail

France — Link

Judges cut Jérôme Cahuzac's sentence from three years to two, and such jail time is usually reduced in France to community service.