Keyword: prefects

Former French interior minister in dock over cash payments

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Claude Guéant, Nicolas Sarkozy's former chief of staff and interior minister, one-time national police chief Michel Gaudin and three other top officials who worked for the ex-president are in court this week, accused of misappropriating public funds by receiving tens of thousands of euros in cash payments. The money was siphoned off from a ministerial fund supposed to pay for police investigations. Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan reports.

Why we unite against anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonné - but don't want to ban him

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The French interior minister Manuel Valls has sent out tough new instructions to regional prefects encouraging them to ban shows in the imminent nation-wide tour by controversial comedian Dieudonné who stands accused of virulent anti-Semitism. The French president François Hollande has joined the debate, urging the prefects to be 'vigilant and inflexible' in the way they treat the comic. Some have now banned shows in their areas. Mediapart has been warning of Dieudonné's obsessive anti-Semitism for five years. But, as editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel here argues, banning the comedian's shows runs the risks of the socialist government falling into the age-old trap of democracies who undermine their own fundamental freedoms in the name of law and order. This politics of fear, he says, which uses the threat of chaos to undermine democracy, belongs to governments of the Right.

France risks ‘social explosion’ over high taxes

In a secret report leaked to the press, regional officials warn government that France risks civil unrest over public anger at tax hikes.