The French parliament commission of inquiry into the scandal sparked by media revelations last week of the vicious assault upon a May Day demonstrator by President Emmanuel Macron’s personal security advisor, Alexandre Benalla, who was illegally allowed to take an active part in policing May 1st crowds dressed with police insignia, began its first hearings on Monday, when it quizzed interior minister Gérard Collomb and Paris police prefect Michel Delpuech. In their testimony, both men clearly placed responsibility for what increasingly appears as a far-reaching cover-up at the door of the presidential office.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who for several days has dodged answering questions about his security advisor Alexandre Benalla caught on video assaulting May Day demonstrators, has cancelled a public appearance with crowds along the Tour de France cycle race scheduled for Wednesday, while his interior minister Gérard Collomb was quizzed by MPs about the May 1st events.
Draft legislation which allows for a magistrate to ban publication of information during electoral campaigns that appears false or 'implausible' has met with fierce criticism as debating began in the French parliament, with MPs from Left and Right denouncing dangers of censorship and abuses by 'thought police'.
French President Emmanuel Macron's proposed legislation to open up the state-run railway system to private competition and remove the special employment status of rail staff has been passed by a massive majority in the lower house, the National Assembly, as he insisted he would not back down on his sweeping raft of pro-business economic and social reforms aimed at liberalising France’s economy.
The placing under investigation of Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday for corruption, embezzling public funds and illegal electoral funding by the regime of late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has come about as the judicial investigation is in its fifth year, and seven years after Mediapart first revealed the former conservative president’s dealings with Tripoli. During the entire period, which includes five years of socialist government, the political powers have regularly turned their backs on the disturbing questions raised by the mounting evidence of Sarkozy’s dubious relations with the dictator, and also the circumstances of France’s subsequent military intervention in Libya, to the point of dismissing repeated calls for a parliamentary inquiry. Antton Rouget reports.
The French lower house, the National Assembly, on Wednesday approved a bill of law containing measures aimed at introducing greater probity in public office by 412 votes to 74, sealing a troubled passage of legislation promised by President Emmanuel Macron during his election campaign.
The new Members of Parliament have taken up their seats in the National Assembly following the Parliamentary elections and they consist of new faces, new groups and a new social demographic. Many of them are from a non-political, civic society background, with their own habits, customs and beliefs and bringing with them, too, a desire to circumvent the old political obstacles and delays of the past. But, says Hubert Huertas, this new group may themselves soon end up personifying those very same old political ways.
The four-month enquiry, launched after secretly-filmed video was released of cruel practices and unhygenic conditions in several French abattoirs, also recommended veterinary officers be present in large abattoirs to remove staff's impression of 'virtual impunity'.
The fourth extension of state of emergency, first introduced after the November 13th terrorist attacks in Paris, prolongs the wide-ranging powers until January.
The fourth polongation of state of emergency likely to last until 2017, giving police sweeping powers for searches and facilitating house arrest orders.
Manuel Valls says he is acting in ‘general interest’ of the country after four months of protests against the controversial measures.
Democracy belongs to neither the Left nor the Right, and when it is flouted by governments of either political side every democrat worthy of the name must simply say “no”, argues Mediapart editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel following the socialist government’s decision to force through parliament, without a vote, its controversial labour law reforms which, he writes in this op-ed, represent a social regression for every employee in France.
Faced with a rebellion from its own socialist camp, the government will sidestep a parliamentary vote on its controversial law that has prompted mass street protests.
Thomas Piquemal, who resigned in March over plan to build nuclear plant in UK, told French parliament it carries a 'major construction risk'.