Interviews

  • France Télécom staff suicides trial: a landmark for corporate culture?

    By
    Former France Télécom boss Didider Lombard (left) with his successor, current Orange CEO Stéphane Richard. © Charles Platiau/Reuters Former France Télécom boss Didider Lombard (left) with his successor, current Orange CEO Stéphane Richard. © Charles Platiau/Reuters

    The trial in Paris on charges of moral harassment of the former CEO of France Télécom and six other senior executives of the company, who are accused of causing a wave of staff suicides amid a brutal corporate restructuring plan, ended on Thursday. While the verdicts will only finally be announced in December, the prosecution has demanded that the defendants be handed maximum sentences, which include jail terms of between eight months and one year. Mediapart turned to Rachel Saada, a French lawyer specialised in labour law cases and who notably represented the families of Renault staff who took their lives in a wave of suicides at the carmaking group between 2006-2007, for her analysis of the trial, and its implications for corporate culture in France. 

  • Interview: UN investigator details evidence in Khashoggi murder, calls for probe into Saudi ruler

    By
    A scene at a homage to Jamal Khashoggi held outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, October 25th 2018. © Reuters A scene at a homage to Jamal Khashoggi held outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, October 25th 2018. © Reuters

    In a 100-page report published last week on her investigation into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnès Callamard, concluded that “Mr Khashoggi has been the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution, an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights law”, and recommended that Saudi Arabia’s ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, should be investigated for his responsibility in the crime. In this interview with Mediapart, she details her investigation and its findings, and and calls on states to take a "serious" stand on press freedom.

  • 'Algeria doesn't allow its youth to look to the future'

    By
    A protest in Paris against a fifth term of office for Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. © Rachida El Azzouzi A protest in Paris against a fifth term of office for Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. © Rachida El Azzouzi

    Franco-Algerian economist El Mouhoub Mouhoud has talked to Mediapart about the economic and social origins of the current Algerian revolt. He criticises the inertia of the regime under President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, which has put off structural reform and driven the country into an economic and social dead end. Rachida El Azzouzi reports.

  • The 'new' and 'old' anti-Semitism blighting France

    By
    Nonna Mayer during a 'Mediapart Live' debate in 2017. © Mediapart Nonna Mayer during a 'Mediapart Live' debate in 2017. © Mediapart

    Several rallies denouncing anti-Semitism in France were held on Tuesday evening in Paris, in reaction to a recent spate of anti-Semitic acts across the country, the latest of which was the desecration overnight Monday of tombstones in a Jewish cemetery near the eastern city of Strasbourg. Meanwhile, official figures show a 74 percent year-on year rise in anti-Semitic acts recorded by police in France in 2018. Mediapart asked Nonna Mayer, a specialist in anti-Semitism and emeritus research director with France’s national scientific research centre, the CNRS, for her insight into the growth of anti-Semitic acts recorded in the country, her analysis of the different motives behind the anti-Semitism, and her views on how best to respond to the problem.

  • Football Leaks: lawyer reveals Rui Pinto is whistleblower “John”

    By Rafael Buschmann, Christoph Winterbach Et Michael Wulzinger (Der Spiegel)
    Paris-based lawyer William Bourdon. © Reuters Paris-based lawyer William Bourdon. © Reuters

    William Bourdon, the lawyer representing Rui Pinto, who was arrested last week in Hungary at the demand of the Portuguese authorities, has confirmed that his client is “John”, the alias given to the key source behind the Football Leaks revelations that have rocked the world of professional football. The more than 70 million Football Leaks documents were the starting point for two series of investigations published by Mediapart and its partners in the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) media consortium, and which have revealed widespread corruption and fraud in the shadows of the “beautiful game”. In this in-depth interview with the EIC, Bourdon offers further detail about Pinto’s actions, and dismisses his presentation by the Portuguese media “simply as a hacker, whereas he is a significant whistleblower”.

  • Dear Mr President: when letters to François Hollande announced France's current social unrest

    By
    A photomontage sent to François Hollande: "Here lies my salary, born at the beginning of the month and already dead on the 10th." © DR A photomontage sent to François Hollande: "Here lies my salary, born at the beginning of the month and already dead on the 10th." © DR

    During his 2012-2017 term in office, France’s socialist president François Hollande received a total of about one million letters and emails from members of the public, several thousands of which have been studied by political sciences lecturers Michel Offerlé and Julien Fretel. In this interview, Michel Offerlé explains that while the correspondence contained a large number of individual demands for help, complaints over financial difficulties and taxes, and insults about the head of state’s disconnection with the people, they in part collectively represent the social group that has erupted into the ‘yellow vest’ protest movement over falling standards of living which is shaking the current presidency of Emmanuel Macron.

  • Yellow vest protests: citizens and politicians battle for control of political agenda

    By
    A yellow vest protest in Paris, December 15th 2018, calling for citizens initiative referendums. © Reuters A yellow vest protest in Paris, December 15th 2018, calling for citizens initiative referendums. © Reuters

    One of the key demands made by the 'yellow vest', or 'gilet jaune', protestors in France is for the holding of what are called citizens initiative referendums. How exactly should such a demand be interpreted? In an interview with Mediapart academic Julien O'Miel, a specialist in participative democracy, sees it as a desire by citizens to take control of the political agenda. Pauline Graulle reports.

  • Gomorrah author Roberto Saviano on why ‘Italy is collapsing’

    By
    Threatened but not silenced: Roberto Saviano. © C. Hélie Threatened but not silenced: Roberto Saviano. © C. Hélie

    Italian journalist, author and essayist Roberto Saviano is best known outside of his country for his 2006 book Gomorrah, a detailed investigation exposing the activities of the Neapolitan mafia. It earned him worldwide acclaim, both for his journalism and his considerable courage, while the Camorra crime syndicate placed a price on his head. He has lived under permanent police protection ever since. But Saviano, 38, has also become a thorn in the side of Italy’s far-right interior minister (and deputy prime minister), Matteo Salvini, whose xenophobic, anti-migrant policies he regularly denounces – which alarmingly prompted Salvini to threaten to remove Saviano’s police protection. In this interview with Mediapart, Saviano details his appraisal of the Italian political scene and of Salvini, and slams European Union policies on immigration which he says has fuelled the rise to power of extremists.

  • Economist Joseph Stiglitz: 'Europe is on the brink'

    By
    Joseph Stiglitz in Mexico, June 2017. © Reuters Joseph Stiglitz in Mexico, June 2017. © Reuters

    In an interview with Mediapart the celebrated Nobel Prize winner for economics, Joseph Stiglitz, says he is worried about the continuing pursuit of austerity policies in the Eurozone. The economist say he is concerned, too, about President Donald Trump's policies and the explosion in inequality since the financial crisis of 2008. More than ever, he tells Mediapart, there is a need for wages to rise, for better regulation of the financial world and for a war on huge “monopolies”. Mathieu Magnaudeix reports.

     

  • Hindu nationalism and why 'being a philosopher in India can get you killed'

    By

    India’s ruling nationalist Hindu party, the BJP, swept to power in 2014 after a landslide victory in parliamentary elections – the first time a single party had won an outright majority in the Indian parliament in 30 years, propelling Hindu hardliner Narendra Modi as prime minister of the world’s largest democracy. Joseph Confavreux turned to two young Indian philosophers, Shaj Mohan and Divya Dwivedi, for their analysis of what they call the “invention” of Hinduism, and why they argue that “being a philosopher in India can get you killed”.