Chronicles

  • The mad week that was: from the 'Butler tapes' to Omar Raddad

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    Last week, journalists from Mediapart and weekly news magazine Le Point stood trial on ‘invasion of privacy’ charges for having published secretly-recorded conversations that revealed corruption and profiteering by the entourage of L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. The prosecution has demanded they receive symbolic fines, and a verdict will be delivered in January. Meanwhile, the tax administration demanded the online press make backpayments for VAT rates that no longer apply. The week was capped by developments in a long-running murder case where the possible proof of a shameful miscarriage of justice remains buried by inertia. Hubert Huertas pulls on a common thread linking all three events.

  • Raymond Barre, professor-turned-French PM and inventor of 'competitive deflation'

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     © DR. © DR.

    Raymond Barre served as conservative prime minister of France between 1976 and 1981 during the first episode of an economic crisis whose repercussions are far from over. Little known outside of France, the late Barre was an economics professor who became a politician almost by accident, a statesman who was better at wielding power than winning it. Historian Christiane Rimbaud has recently published a biography of the man who was the first to liberalise France's highly administered, regulated and planned post-war economy. Her book is reviewed here by Mediapart economics writer Philippe Riès, himself once a student of Barre’s, and who argues that the conservative was a much more nuanced political figure than he is often depicted.

     

  • A child in a suitcase: behind the X-ray

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    Mediapart’s resident singer and songwriter La Parisienne Libérée regularly contributes a critical review of current affairs in music, images and text. Here she returns to the story of Adou Ouattara, an eight-year-old Ivorian boy who was discovered on May 7th hidden in a suitcase carried by a Moroccan woman crossing the border into Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta. Adou was found after the baggage was X-rayed, and the disturbing image of the scan was later published around the world. La Parisienne Libérée takes up the story from there.

  • A 'Nuclear SOS', from La Parisienne Libérée

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    Dear Neighbours, remember that clouds have no border... Dear Neighbours, remember that clouds have no border...

    Mediapart’s resident singer and songwriter La Parisienne Libérée, who regularly commentates current affairs in music and images, says France’s European neighbours should be concerned about the potential dangers of the country’s 58 nuclear reactors. Earlier this week, the oldest French nuclear plant, at Fessenheim close to the border with Germany, was shut down after a pipe from an engine room condenser was discovered to be leaking. It was the latest in a series of recurrent incidents and safety alerts over recent years at Fessenheim and several other plants across the country, including two on the Channel coast. La Parisienne Libérée composed a ‘Nuclear SOS’, written and sung in English, to remind countries surrounding France that nuclear clouds “have no borders”, made all the more pertinent by the events at Fessenheim this week.

  • Mediapart celebrates five years online

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    This month, Mediapart celebrates its fifth anniversary, with thanks to its readership of 60,000 subscribers. Here, its editor, François Bonnet, sets out the importance of developing the support for an independent press, as represented by Mediapart, at a time of historic crises in the media and society as a whole. By breaking loose from the reigning conformity and timidity demonstrated by most of the media, Mediapart, with its priority on investigative journalism and insightful feature articles, vows to continue its mission of exposing injustice, corruption and the constant threats to democratic values, and to reinvigorate public debate of the key issues shaping our world.