Last Thursday the seven candidates in the Socialist Party's primary to choose a presidential candidate took part in the first of three televised debates. Mediapart joined a group of party members watching the first debate at Roubaix near Lille in northern France, which is historically one of the staunchest of socialist strongholds in France. As Amélie Poinssot discovered, many grassroots activists are still hopeful the party can be rebuilt despite the massive disappointment of François Hollande's presidency.
Mail order giant La Redoute was once a financial cash cow, a brand known for its glossy catalogues, dominant industry position and massive workforce. Not any more. Its billionaire owner François-Henri Pinault from the Kering luxury goods group has finally managed to sell the ailing firm for a euro in a management buy-out. The controversial deal, which will lead to the shedding of more than a thousand jobs, has split unions, the workforce and the towns in northern France where the company is based. Even those workers who will keep their jobs have been warned they will have to work harder and get paid less. Rachida El Azzouzi talks to union representatives and workers, many of whom feel they have been betrayed by one of France's wealthiest men.