government

Presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen's struggle for credibility

France— Analysis

As far-right leader Marine Le Pen approaches what is predicted will be a tightly fought duel with Emmanuel Macron in the April 24th final round of France’s presidential elections, the credibility of her capacity to govern is under heightened scrutiny, not least over her ability to form a government. Lucie Delaporte reports.

Probe into claims that ministers attended 'secret' Paris dinners

France— Link

Prosecutors have started an investigation after a television report about secret meals in luxury restaurants in Paris in breach of Covid-19 restrictions - some allegedly attended by French governemnt ministers.

Macron tightens his grip with change of prime minister

France— Analysis

The composition of a new French government was announced on Monday evening, following the appointment on Friday of a largely unknown senior civil servant and longstanding conservative, Jean Castex, as France’s new prime minister. He replaced Édouard Philippe, who served in the post since Emmanuel Macron’s election in 2017.  Mediapart political correspondent Ellen Salvi dresses here a portrait of the new prime minister, and chronicles the tensions that led to the departure of Philippe.

French parliament approves Covid-19 public health emergency bill

France— Link

The French parliament on Sunday approved the introduction of emergency legislation that gives the government special powers including restriction of people’s freedom of movement and to rule by decree to requisition certain goods and services as part of the effort to contain the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic.

French government announces crackdown on immigration

France— Link

With nationwide municipal elections due next March, when French President Emmanuel Macron's centre-right LREM party will face off with the far-right Rassemblement National, he and his prime minister, Édouard Philippe, have announced tough new measures to curb immigration, including quotas, reduced access to healthcare, enforcement of expulsion of illegal immigrants and forced dismantlement of migrant camps.

Macron government reshuffle delayed until weekend

France— Link

A much awaited reshuffle of Emmanuel Macron's government, prompted by the surprise resignation last week of his interior minister, has been postponed until after the French president returns on Friday from a visit to Armenia, prompting speculation over disagreements with his prime minister.

Eyes to the Right as Macron prepares government reshuffle

France— Link

The departure last week of heavyweight interior minister Gérard Collomb has forced French President Emmanuel Macron into announcing a government reshuffle expected on Wednesday, as he prepares to enter phase two of his government and draw a line under months of scandals and political setbacks.

French farmers' union calls for palm oil blockades to continue

France— Link

Talks to defuse two days of blockades of refineries and fuel depots around France by farmers angry at the importation of palm oil by biofuel plants instead of buying locally produced oilseed crops ended with union officials calling for the protests to continue after their 'disapointment' at government propositions.

The 'sexual corruption' claims against France's budget minister

France

An investigation into rape allegations against France's budget and public accounts minister, Gérald Darmanin, who denied them, has been dropped by prosecutors. But a complaint from another woman against the minister is now the subject of a preliminary investigation, amid allegations that as a mayor Darmanin abused his influence to gain sexual favours – claims he denies. The offence of “influence peddling” is often present in financial and fraud cases, but as Marine Turchi and Antton Rouget report, it can also be a suitable charge in cases of alleged “sexual corruption”.

French environment minister reveals he owns six cars

France— Link

The official declarations by French government ministers of their personal wealth, which can be consulted online, show that French labour minister Muriel Pénicaud is the richest, with assets worth 7.5 million euros, and that environment minister Nicolas Hulot, a figurehead of the Green movement in the country, owns six cars, a motorboat and a motorbike.

How Havas has spun its web around Emmanuel Macron

France

Havas, the communications, marketing and advertising giant owned by French billionaire businessman Vincent Bolloré, has for long played a key role in French politics, steering PR campaigns for both the rising stars and those who have fallen from grace. But its main political influence lies within the machine of government, where it guides ministerial strategies and former staff find new careers as senior advisors and heads of communications departments. As Mathieu Magnaudeix and Ellen Salvi report, with the election of Emmanuel Macron the network of the “Havas boys”, as one former minister described them, has never been more active at the heart of power.

The pale political renewal of Macron's first government

France

The makeup of French President Emmanuel Macron’s new government is crucial to his chances of obtaining a parliamentary majority in legislative elections in June, when his République En Marche party faces its first electoral test against the traditional parties of the Left and Right. The maverick centrist has succeeded in including renegade conservatives and socialists, along with his centre-right allies, as well as a key figure from the Green camp and others from “civil society”. But, as Ellen Salvi and Mathieu Magnaudeix report, it nevertheless remains a pale exercise of what was promised to be a political “renewal”.

Macron mulls ministerial appointments, to be announced Wednesday

France— Link

French President Emmanuel Macron postponed the planned unveiling of his new government from Tuesday to Wednesday as he and his new prime minister, Edouard Philippe, continue to ponder the makeup of ministers who he promised will represent a strict gender parity, a mix of political affiliations and also members of civil society.

Burkini bans split French government as court to rule on legality

France— Link

The burkini bans introduced by mayors in some French coastal towns has divided ministers, while the Council of State will rule Friday on a legal challenge to the prohibitons.

French Greens turn on leader who accepted ministerial post

France— Link

Emmanuelle Cosse, named this week as housing minister in the socialist-led government, has lost leadership of the EELV party which opposed the move.