On the Indian Ocean archipelago of Mayotte, a French overseas territory and département (county), a police operation launched by Paris and codenamed Wuambushu has begun a crackdown against Comoran "illegal immigrants" who face eviction from their shanty town homes and deportation back to the nearby Comoro islands. The decision to launch the roundup is a political monstrosity and the prolongation of a crime, argues Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel in this op-ed article. While maintaining its sovereignty over Mayotte in flagrant violation of international law, he writes, France is staging a massive expulsion of human beings on the pretext that they are foreigners, whereas they are of the same people as Mayotte’s native population.
In early June 2022 state officials signed an order obliging an Algerian doctor who has been working in France for seven years to leave the country within 30 days. This order was finally annulled by a court at the end of September but while he waits for a new visa to be issued the doctor is still prevented from working. Meanwhile his prolonged absence hastened the closure of cancer ward beds at the hospital where he was an intern. Camille Polloni reports.
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.
The newly appointed European Commission, whose members take up their posts on November 1st, is to include a vice-president responsible for migration and home affairs with the title of “Protecting our European Way of Life”. Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel argues here that this semantic choice is a shameful concession to the continent’s far-right, whereby issues of identity have overturned social demands.
Already high tensions between Paris and Rome have further escalated after Italian deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio, leader of the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement, said the EU should 'sanction France and all countries like France that impoverish Africa and make these people leave, because Africans should be in Africa'.
The migrant issue has become a decisive test for all those on the Left who campaign for the emancipation of the people and equal rights for all. Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel argues that far from protecting existing rights, any concession to the politics of rejection, to the favouring of one nationality over others or to policies based on borders and identity, will simply help the cause of the extreme right.
Italian journalist, author and essayist Roberto Saviano is best known outside of his country for his 2006 book Gomorrah, a detailed investigation exposing the activities of the Neapolitan mafia. It earned him worldwide acclaim, both for his journalism and his considerable courage, while the Camorra crime syndicate placed a price on his head. He has lived under permanent police protection ever since. But Saviano, 38, has also become a thorn in the side of Italy’s far-right interior minister (and deputy prime minister), Matteo Salvini, whose xenophobic, anti-migrant policies he regularly denounces – which alarmingly prompted Salvini to threaten to remove Saviano’s police protection. In this interview with Mediapart, Saviano details his appraisal of the Italian political scene and of Salvini, and slams European Union policies on immigration which he says has fuelled the rise to power of extremists.
After France's ambassador to Washington, Gérard Araud, wrote a letter of protest to US-based TV comedian Trevor Noah over his claim that because of the black players in France's football team 'Africa won the World Cup', Noah, a black South African, has publicly replied 'I am not saying it as a way to exclude them from their Frenchness, but using it as a way to include them in my Africanness'.
The French government’s proposed legislation to reform immigration and asylum laws has begun its passage through parliament this week, to fierce attacks from opposition MPs of both the Left and the Right. The conservatives, whose policies under their new leader have veered towards the hard-right, claim the bill is little more than soft tinkering of current laws, while the Left denounce an unjustified clampdown on migrants’ rights, a view shared by some among President Macron’s ruling LREM party. Mathilde Mathieu was in parliament to witness the early exchanges of what promises to be a week of inflamed debate.