On Tuesday the new prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault outlined to the French Parliament the government’s legislative programme for the rest of the year. In addition to specific policies, the speech also highlighted the very different style of government France can expect under Ayrault and new president François Hollande. And, argues Stéphane Alliès, Ayrault has shown that politically he is not just a close colleague of Hollande – but a carbon copy.
A study just published by the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) reveals that the richest 20% of households in France own 71% of all household wealth. Mediapart finance and economics correspondent Laurent Mauduit argues here why that and other telling statistics from the study highlight the urgency of the new French socialist government’s fiscal reform plans, and shine a harsh light on the hypocritical attack launched against them by British PM David Cameron.
After what appeared to be a remarkably successful first month, the presidency of newly-elected François Hollande was this week rocked by its first crisis, and one which came from the least expected quarter. For, just days before France goes to the polls in the final round of voting in the two-round parliamentary elections in which the Left hopes to win its first majority in ten years, Valérie Trierweiler, French ‘First Lady’ but who refutes the term, embarassed the Socialist Party with a public attack via Twitter against a consituency bid by the president’s former companion Ségolène Royal. The unseemly controversy may have dented the party's chances of gaining an absolute parliamentary majority on its own in the June 17th polling, and raises further questions about the ambiguous role played by Trierweiler. Valentine Oberti and Lénaïg Bredoux report.