Analysis

  • French ministers begin open attacks on British EU veto

    French ministers begin open slamming of Britain's use of its veto at an EU summit on Friday, ahead of David Cameron's much-awaited parliamentary speech.
  • The facts of the pact that panics the French nuclear lobby

    By

    After tortuous negotiations, France's Green party last weekend finally ratified an electoral pact drawn up with the Socialist Party which centres on a steep reduction in nuclear power production and the development of renewable energy sources. The agreement, which has triggered alarm bells in the French nuclear industry, seals an alliance between both parties for the legislative elections that will immediately follow next year's presidential poll. Jade Lindgaard examines the facts and figures behind the programme to reduce nuclear energy production, and reports on the last-minute political high drama that came close to leaving it stillborn.

  • Why the IMF holds the key to solving the eurozone crisis

    By
     © EU. © EU.

    Few have heard of the International Monetary Fund's substitution account. The mechanism, proposed 40 years ago, never saw the light of day and yet, argues Philippe Ries, this is an instrument that would have offered, here and now, a way out of the eurozone debt crisis.

  • In search of the lost global warming debate

    By
     © Greenpeace © Greenpeace

    The political fallout from Fukushima and the deepening financial crisis appear to have eclipsed concern about climate change, relegating greenhouse gas emissions to a dangerous back burner. Bucking the trend are two books just published in France that put carbon and climate issues back into the sun. One argues against our "carbocentric" age and its blinkered technocratic take on the depletion of natural resources at the expense of social equality, while the other likens fossil fuels to 'energy slaves', abused and depleted with disastrous future consequences. Jade Lindgaard reviews two conflicting, compelling and ultimately complimentary works.

  • Takieddine Documents: Mediapart targeted by death threats

    By
    In a series of exclusive reports that began in July, Mediapart has revealed the long-standing close links between France-based businessman and arms dealer Ziad Takieddine and the inner circle of advisers and aides surrounding Nicolas Sarkozy, before and after he became French president. Now a Mediapart journalist has made an official complaint after receiving death threats linked to the stories. Here Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel discloses the nature of the threats and explains why Mediapart has decided to lodge the complaint with the legal authorities.
  • Now a judge points finger at Sarkozy in Bettencourt affair

    By

    The Bettencourt affair began as a sordid family quarrel about money and abuse of influence over L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, and grew into a political scandal involving Europe's richest woman and the funding of President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party. Now the judge who was kicked off the legal investigation speaks out in a new book, saying witnesses were too frightened to talk on the record. She also says a witness claimed to have seen Sarkozy take money personally. Bettencourt's former accountant also talks of intimidation and manipulation of her evidence. Mediapart editor François Bonnet reviews this latest explosive development in a scandal that is still rocking the French president.

  • Leading by example? How the IMF shot itself in the foot - again

    By

    The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund in June appointed former French finance minister Christine Lagarde as its Managing Director in full knowledge of the legal procedure concerning her and which this week led to the opening of an investigation into her suspected involvement in 'aiding and abetting falsification' and 'misappropriation of public funds'. At a moment of grave international economic turmoil, the IMF, still reeling from the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair, finds itself further weakened. Philippe Riès returns to the background of Lagarde's appointment and interviews Ted Truman, senior fellow with the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics and a former assistant secretary of the US Treasury for International Affairs, about the consequences of Lagarde's predicament for the IMF.

  • 'Torture made in USA', and the imbroglio of Guantánamo Bay

    By
    Le général Sanchez (vidéo dans l'article) Le général Sanchez (vidéo dans l'article)

    ‘Torture made in USA', an award-winning French-produced documentary on the systematic practice of torture by the US in operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, has just been released in France on DVD. First presented online by Mediapart, it contains exclusive interviews with high-ranking US officials and notably General Ricardo Sanchez (photo), former commander of the coalition ground forces in Iraq, who "unequivocally" confirms the use of torture. Along with a presentation of the documentary, Thomas Cantaloube analyses here the legal black hole created by a key element of this policy, the camp at Guantánamo Bay, and why US President Barack Obama has failed his pledge to close it.

  • Blowing the whistle on a sick game

    By

    No French authority, and notably no court of law, could allow a selection process among citizens based on their foreign origins, their skin colour or the religion they practice. That is key to understanding the importance of Mediapart's exclusive revelations of how the country's football chiefs hatched secret plans for a discriminatory selection of young players. Mediapart Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel argues here why this sorry affair, the demonstration of an alarming loss of values, offers a wakeup call for French society.

  • French local elections to test strength of far-right

    By
    Local elections in France this weekend will provide an instructive test of the strength of parties ahead of next year's presidential elections. The focus will be on the far-right Front National, which opinion polls suggest has recently gained a significant increase in support, and which hopes to maul President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling UMP conservative right party in a number of regions. Stéphan Alliès details what the elections are about, and what's at stake for the parties involved.