Interviews

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

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    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'

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    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'

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    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”.

  • Mediapart and BFM-TV interview Emmanuel Macron

    After almost one year in office, French President Emmanuel Macron gave a live interview on Sunday evening with Mediapart’s cofounder and publishing editor Edwy Plenel and Jean-Jacques Bourdin of French rolling news channel BFM-TV. The wide-ranging two-hour interview, the French president’s first public appearance since France joined the US and Britain in missile strikes this weekend against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, was streamed live on Mediapart (with studio debates from Mediapart before and after the interview) and can be replayed here (click on screen, in French only). Together with the video in French of the full interview, arguably the first uncompromising quizzing of a French head of state, follow the highlights in English here (click on headline for article page).

  • Gaddafi interpreter details Sarkozy's meetings with Libyan dictator

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    Moftah Missouri, standing behind Mummar Gaddafi during a meeeting with Nicolas Sarkozy. © DR Moftah Missouri, standing behind Mummar Gaddafi during a meeeting with Nicolas Sarkozy. © DR

    In a lengthy interview with Mediapart earlier this month in Tunisia, where he now lives in exile, Moftah Missouri, who served for 15 years as the personal advisor and interpreter of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, details his first-hand knowledge of Nicolas Sarkozy’s confidential dealings with the Gaddafi regime, before and after he became president. Sarkozy was last month placed under formal investigation in a French judicial probe into Gaddafi’s suspected secret funding of his 2007 election campaign, and Missouri, who told Mediapart the Libyan leader confirmed to him in person the illicit financing, says he is willing to testify before the French magistrates.     

  • The 'message' behind Macron's loan of the Bayeux Tapestry to Britain

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    A section of the Bayeux Tapestry depicting Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, wielding a club and encouraging the troops of William, Duke of Normandy during the Battle of Hastings. A section of the Bayeux Tapestry depicting Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, wielding a club and encouraging the troops of William, Duke of Normandy during the Battle of Hastings.

    During Emmanuel Macron’s first official visit to Britain last Thursday, when Brexit, defence cooperation and immigration policies topped the agenda, the French president also announced the loan to Britain of the famous Bayeux Tapestry, the nearly 70-metre long, 11th-century embroidered cloth of images and commentary that recounts the 1066 Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror. Amid the many interpretations of Macron’s move, from simple goodwill gesture to tongue-in-cheek reminder of Britain’s continental roots, Joseph Confavreux turned to French university lecturer in mediaeval history Julien Théry for his analysis.

  • Why public areas remain a place of torment for Moroccan women

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    Tangiers in Morocco. © Rachida El Azzouzi Tangiers in Morocco. © Rachida El Azzouzi

    In the summer of 2017 two videos showing sexual assaults on women in Morocco, one in Tangiers, the other in Casablanca, caused outrage in the North African country. Yet though the government has for years been promising a law to protect women, progress has been slow. Academic Safaa Monqid explains to Rachida El Azzouzi how women are still excluded from public areas in Morocco and the Arab world in general.

  • French digital affairs body implodes amid racism allegations

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    Hicham Kochman. Hicham Kochman.

    The recently appointed president and nearly all of the members of France’s independent advisory commission on digital affairs, the CNNum, resigned this week in protest at the government’s move to exclude from the body outspoken feminist and anti-racist activist Rokhaya Diallo. She and another newly chosen CNNum advisor, start-up entrepreneur and rapper Hicham Kochman, also known as Axiom, were the target of a political campaign that has reignited the debate over the extent of institutional racism in France, and the stigmatisation of racial minorities in the country. In an interview with Mediapart, Kochman speaks of his despair that “if you are Black or Arab, if you come from certain neighbourhoods, however competent you might be you have no chance of succeeding”.

  • Brexit repeal bill turns back 'on a system of laws that influenced and became the fabric' of UK society

    By Hélaine Lefrançois

    The British parliament was on Thursday presented with the bill of law that aims to transfer European Union (EU) law into British law at the moment of the country’s exit from the EU in two years time. The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, more widely known as the “repeal bill”, is necessary to avoid a black hole in legislation on the day after Britain leaves the union, but will allow the British parliament to subsequently remove any number of the EU laws adopted into national legislation. For an explanation of the complexity of the task, Mediapart’s UK correspondent Hélaine Lefrançois spoke to lawyer Robert Bell, specialised in EU and British competition laws with the London law firm Bryan Cave who says that, beyond the proposed legislation, “I just do not see how Brexit can be negotiated in two years”.

  • Tiananmen protester warns of global threat from China's 'money-based' system

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    Dissident Wang Dan. © Reuters Dissident Wang Dan. © Reuters

    Wang Dan was one of the student leaders in the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing in 1989 and was later jailed twice before going into exile. He recently visited Paris to give a series of lectures on the continuing impact of the movement and spoke to Mediapart about his involvement in the protests and his reading of the situation today in China and its role in the world. Gilles Taine reports.