• The Hollande presidency – why it isn't working

    One year on, and the Hollande presidency is widely regarded as having almost completely failed. Right through the corridors of power the same question is being asked: why isn't it working? In a bid to find the answer, Mediapart provides a guided tour of each of the separate institutions that makes up the socialist administration which took office on 15th May 2012. Lénaïg Bredoux and Mathieu Magnaudeix report.

  • The moment of truth for France


    France's Fifth Republic is reeling after the impact of the Cahuzac scandal. As François Hollande becomes isolated and shuts himself away inside an out-of-date presidential system that has always been fatal for the Left, the Right has been underlining its drift towards extremism, calling for a 'new 1958'. In other words, a coup d'état. Mediapart's Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel says it is now up to the people to produce the boldness that the country's leaders lack; to force a much-needed and democratic refounding of the Republic.

  • Hollande's 'Dijon syndrome': the telling reasons behind the French president’s style of government


    A year ago on 6th May 2012 François Hollande won the French presidential election and took office nine days later. Having won the election partly because of his 'Mr Normal' image, the president’s method of governing the country has since attracted heavy criticism from all quarters, including from inside his own party. To mark the anniversary of Hollande's victory Stéphane Alliès analyses the powerful influences that have shaped the president’s approach to power and finds that they can be traced back to the day he was voted in as Socialist Party boss at Dijon a decade ago.

  • The grim picture of France's widening poverty gap


    While the number of people living in poverty in France rises, and the standard of living for the vast majority of the population has either fallen or stagnated, a minority of the richest income earners have become better off, according to the latest study of ‘Household income and wealth’ published this week by the French national institute of statistics and economic studies, INSEE. Martine Orange analyses the grim figures.

  • President Hollande's bold bid to clean up French politics


    President François Hollande has announced tough new measures to help 'clean up' public life in France following the Cahuzac affair. There will be a new body to oversee politicians' financial assets, more staff to tackle tax fraud and a promised war on international tax havens. However, as Lénaïg Bredoux reports, the proposals have been met not just with predictable disapproval from the opposition, but with dismay from some sections of his own Socialist Party too.

  • Fighting against the organised crime of tax evasion


    The latest twists in the Cahuzac affair show that money, when it becomes an end in itself, is like crime in its desire to escape the law. Here Mediapart republishes an article by Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel in which he sets out how tax evasion has become a colossal and institutionalised business at the centre of the economy. Fighting it has never been more urgent, he argues, yet little effort - if any - is being made to prevent it or to sanction those who are bleeding society of vital resources.

  • Urgently wanted: new political leaders to rebuild Mali

    Amadou Bocar Teguete, de la Commission des droits de l’homme. © (T.C.) Amadou Bocar Teguete, de la Commission des droits de l’homme. © (T.C.)

    As Mali begins its slow process of reconstruction, the country's political elites are already preparing for a presidential election in July. Western observers say this election is an essential step in Mali's attempts to find stability. But, as Thomas Cantaloube reports from the capital Bamako, those same observers also fear that the elections will come too soon for the new and younger breed of emerging politicians that the country so desperately needs. And that the old self-serving elites may find themselves back in power.

  • The disgraced French budget minister, the connivance, the secrets that remain


    While Jérôme Cahuzac has admitted to holding secret foreign bank accounts, after four months of vehement denials, there remain many unanswered questions. Just how many foreign accounts did he hold and where? How many other people, and who, were helped in tax avoidance by Cahuzac's personal financial advisors? Why did the tax authorities refuse to investigate Cahuzac? Fabrice Arfi reports.

  • France: a government in disarray


    The Socialist Party candidate was eliminated in the first round of a parliamentary by-election, the president is at historic lows in the opinion polls and government is weak. At the same time President Hollande is confusing his message and his priorities. All this adds up, says Mediapart editor François Bonnet, to a looming major crisis between the government and its voters on the Left.

  • Making the French state 'exemplary': President Hollande's modest first steps

    By and

    When he was a candidate for the presidency, François Hollande promised to create a French system of government that would be beyond reproach. Earlier this week the president took his first steps to achieve that with the announcement of four laws to change the French Constitution. Yet there has been as much attention on the measures left out of the reforms as on what has been included. For example, there is no end to the president's immunity from prosecution while in office. Lénaïg Bredoux and Michel Deléan explain that the president has only backed those laws he is sure will get passed.