Analysis

  • Why Thierry Breton - Macron's new pick for EU post - is epitome of French capitalism

    By
    Thierry Breton with Emmanuel Macron, who was then economy minister, in 2016. © Reuters Thierry Breton with Emmanuel Macron, who was then economy minister, in 2016. © Reuters

    After his first choice for EU Commissioner was rejected by MEPs, President Emmanuel Macron has nominated the veteran businessman and former government minister Thierry Breton as France's new candidate for the key Brussels post. But just how suitable is he? By flitting between business and politics, the former finance and economy minister has become a bridge between two worlds where collusion, cliquiness and conflicts of interest shamelessly run riot, argues Mediapart's Marine Orange.

  • French government embroiled in row over faith-based election candidate lists

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    Interior minister Christophe Castane, left, and budget minister Gérald Darmanin, right, were the first to raise the issue after the 2019 European elections. © Reuters Interior minister Christophe Castane, left, and budget minister Gérald Darmanin, right, were the first to raise the issue after the 2019 European elections. © Reuters

    Right-wing politicians want religion-based election candidates lists to be banned in France. This comes after a group calling itself the Union of French Muslim Democrats stood in this year's European elections, in which it won just 0.13% of the popular vote. Some members of the government are said to be tempted by the idea of a ban, but President Emmanuel Macron has rejected this approach. Instead, Ellen Salvi reports, he is looking at other possible avenues, including extending the religious neutrality that civil servants have to observe to elected representatives.

  • France sees significant rise in inequalities and poverty in 2018

    By

    According to estimations published this month by France’s national institute of statistics and economic studies, INSEE, social inequalities in the country rose to a higher level in 2018 than at any time since 2011 while, in parallel, the numbers of those in poverty also increased. Mediapart's economics correspondent Romaric Godin analyses the gloomy figures and concludes that they are the direct result of the economic and budgetary policies of President Emmanuel Macron’s government.

  • Jacques Chirac: an obsession with power

    Jacques and Bernadette Chirac on a visit to Sarran in the Corrèze in central France in 1993. © Reuters Jacques and Bernadette Chirac on a visit to Sarran in the Corrèze in central France in 1993. © Reuters

    The former French president Jacques Chirac died on September 26th, at the age of 86. Chirac, who was head of state from 1995 to 2007, and who had previously been prime minister of France and mayor of Paris, leaves behind him 40 years of political combat. But his political legacy is a modest one, the leftover of a career built upon the sole ambition of gaining and clinging on to power. That came at the cost of incessant political trench warfare, alliances and counter-alliances, betrayals and scandals, while blithely shifting positions to court popularity. Mediapart charts the key episodes that mark the political life of a man obsessed with power.

  • Gendarmes still struggle to predict future crime despite new software

    By Alexandre Léchenet

    Gendarmes in Frances have been testing algorithmic software to see if it will help them predict patterns of offences in their areas and thus help them to cut crime. Despite the claims made for the software, analysis by Mediapart suggests that it has had limited effect, far removed from how it is portrayed in science fiction. Nonetheless, as Alexandre Léchenet reports, the crime 'predicting' tool has now been rolled out for general use by gendarmes across France.

  • Macron's big fail at G7 summit: no change on key global issues

    By
    Presidents Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit in Biarritz, August 26th 2019. © Reuters Presidents Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit in Biarritz, August 26th 2019. © Reuters

    In 2018 President Emmanuel Macron experienced a catastrophic period in domestic politics after the summer break. In 2019 the French head of state has tried to hit the ground running by placing himself firmly at the centre of the international stage. His hosting of the G7 summit in Biarritz in south-west France was greeted with unanimous approval by the French press which hailed it a success. Yet as Mediapart's Ellen Salvi reports, nothing in the substance of the issues tackled at the international gathering has changed.

  • Macron's knockout win at G7 summit in Biarritz – the snuffing out of protests

    A protest involving portraits of President Emmanuel Macron held at Bayonne near the G7 summit on August 25th 2019. © Yann Levy / Hans Lucas A protest involving portraits of President Emmanuel Macron held at Bayonne near the G7 summit on August 25th 2019. © Yann Levy / Hans Lucas

    The main 'counter summit' to the recent G7 gathering took place miles away from the French resort of Biarritz, towns were locked down, and some protestors were banned from the area. The result was low-key, small-scale opposition to the meeting of international leaders, representing an undeniable success for the French presidency. Christophe Gueugneau and Elisa Perrigueur report.

  • How Libération's multi-billionaire owner bills the ailing daily for 'services'

    By
    www-liberation-fr

    Much of the French media is owned by billionaire industrialists and businessmen with financial interests that sit uncomfortably with the notion of freedom and pluralism of the press, while some argue that without such wealthy proprietors many titles would fold. One case in point is France’s venerable leftwing daily Libération, co-founded in 1973 by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and now owned by multi-billionaire Patrick Drahi who made his fortune in telecommunications. Laurent Mauduit has been studying the struggling newspaper’s financial accounts, and details here how Drahi last year billed it for 1.8 million euros for “services” by his group, which notably included “restructuring”, further aggravating its vast debts offset in part by public subsidies.

  • Little rejoicing as Moroccan king marks two decades on the throne

    By and ALI AMAR (LE DESK)
    Moroccan King Mohammed VI (r) with his son Moulay Hassan during Armistice Day commemorations in Paris in November 2018. © Reuters Moroccan King Mohammed VI (r) with his son Moulay Hassan during Armistice Day commemorations in Paris in November 2018. © Reuters

    Moroccan King Mohammed VI this week celebrates the 20th anniversary of his reign. The 55-year-old monarch chose to avoid any ostentatious ceremonies, reflecting the sombre social climate in the country where, by his own admission, past policies for the country’s development have proved “incapable of satisfying the pressing demands and growing needs of citizens”. Rachida El Azzouzi and Ali Amar from Mediapart’s Moroccan media partner Le Desk analyse the vast challenges facing the North African kingdom, prone to mounting social revolt, where Mohammed VI once represented a future of hope after the dark years of the reign of his father, Hassan II.

  • How political reality caught up with Macron over fate of his environment minister

    By
    François de Rugy, right, with President Emmanuel Macron  and Prime Minister Édoaurd Philippe, December 10th 2018. © Reuters François de Rugy, right, with President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Édoaurd Philippe, December 10th 2018. © Reuters

    When the affair over environment minister François de Rugy's use of public money first broke, President Emmanuel Macron was determined to hold firm and keep his minister in government. He did not want to “give an inch” to Mediapart he was reported as saying, and initially insisted that unless and until a criminal investigation was opened his minister should stay. But in the end, because of the impact the story was having among the public, and despite the fact that there was little real prospect of legal proceedings being started, President Macron bowed to political reality – and de Rugy left the government. Ellen Salvi reports.