Keyword: OAS

Why failed 1961 coup d'état is still relevant to France today

By Nicolas Lebourg

This spring has inevitably seen lots of attention devoted to the 50th anniversary of the events of May 1968 in France and the accompanying social upheaval. Largely forgotten, however, is another springtime event dating from just a few years before – the failed coup attempt by French generals in Algiers on April 21st, 1961. Yet as historian Nicolas Lebourg points out, the way France's secret services and police handled that plot and its aftermath has important lessons for current events in France.

Eight face probe over alleged plot targeting French politicians

The men, who include three minors, face investigation into claims far-right activists plotted to target both French politicians and mosques.

Fifty years on: role of French Algerians in domestic politics

Mounument to the Pieds-Noirs on the promenade des Anglais in Nice. © Hélène Staes Mounument to the Pieds-Noirs on the promenade des Anglais in Nice. © Hélène Staes

Following Algeria's independence from France in 1962 around 800,000 Algerians of French descent, known as 'Pieds-Noirs', resettled in mainland France, many of them in the south of the country. It has long been assumed that the presence of so many of these repatriated settlers was a major factor in the political rise of the far-right Front National in the Mediterranean region of France. But as Nicolas Chevassus-au-Louis reports, the supposed influence of this ageing group of voters may largely be a myth.