• France's dying Fifth Republic reduced to a human interest story

    By Edwy Plenel
    François Fillon's presidential campaign has descended into a grim farce. François Fillon's presidential campaign has descended into a grim farce.

    The French Republic is in its death throes, having been taken hostage by a maniac – François Fillon - who is riding roughshod over the legal system, insulting the press, scorning his own elected representatives and calling on divisive factions for help. Having destroyed political parties, corrupted Parliament and having undermined voting itself, the Fifth Republic is now reaching the climax of its democracy-destroying operation. It is time to get rid of it, writes Mediapart's editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel, before it is too late.

  • 'Tortellini pact' goes cold as Manuel Valls launches bid for presidency

    By François Bonnet
    Matteo Renzi (l) and Manuel Valls in September 2014. Matteo Renzi (l) and Manuel Valls in September 2014.

    Manuel Valls on Monday announced he was resigning as French prime minister in order to run to become the socialist candidate in next year’s presidential elections. On the same day, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation following his heavy defeat in a referendum on his proposed constitutional reforms. In 2014, the two men trumpeted their shared vision of “modernising” the European Left. Mediapart editor François Bonnet argues why the fall of Renzi should sound alarm bells for Valls.

  • Donald Trump's victory, a 'political 9/11'

    By François Bonnet

    Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections largely caught political experts, commentators, opinion poll agencies and the media by surprise. But, argues Mediapart editor François Bonnet in this op-ed article, Trump’s accession to the White House is a "political 9/11" and the most spectacular manifestation of a worldwide cycle that has seen the inexorable rise of strongman leaders, warmongering, nationalism and xenophobia, together with the arrival of extremists at the heart of the ideological landscape.

  • Eyes wide shut to corruption in France

    By Fabrice Arfi

    The trial of the former budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac for tax fraud and money laundering opened in Paris on Monday, the same day that it was revealed that French prosecutors want former president Nicolas Sarkozy to stand trial for “illegal financing” of his 2012 election campaign. Mediapart investigative reporter Fabrice Arfi says that such high-profile cases give us an insight into the ethics of public life in France. He argues that rather than simply looking the other way, the country needs to own up to the shameful nature of the situation.

  • The political emptiness of French economy minister Emmanuel Macron

    By François Bonnet

    French economy minister Emmanuel Macron on Friday handed veteran far-right politician Philippe de Villiers a public return to legitimacy, paying visit to the latter's money-spinning theme park and praising him as a"cultural entrepreneur". Amid the high-profile visit, the socialist government minister also proclaimed that "I am not socialist". Ahead of an expected bid for the presidency in elections due next May, Macron now regularly stars as the cover story for French weekly Paris-Match, in what appears almost a mirror image of the magazine's coverage dedicated last year to Nicolas Sarkozy. Here, Mediapart editor François Bonnet argues that Macron's political manoeuvring is nothing but an empty vase, and made possible only by the weakness of a used-up government approaching its final bow.

  • After Nice, how the French Right fell headfirst into a terrorist trap

    By Hubert Huertas

    Since the Bastille Day massacre in Nice last week, in which 84 people died, never has the French mainstream Right employed so much energy into mimicking its far-right rival, the Front National, writes Mediapart political correspondent Hubert Huertas, who argues that the attack in Nice is in the process of fragilising French democracy, which is exactly what the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility, hopes for.

  • The duty to protest

    By Edwy Plenel

    Last week the French authorities banned a planned march in Paris by trade unions opposed to labour law reforms, before eventually backing down partially and allowing a more limited demonstration. Here Mediapart's editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel argues that demonstrating is a constitutional right and that, by banning the march that the trade unions wanted, the government violated the fundamental law that guarantees all our freedoms. It is, he writes, our duty to resist this unlawful act in order to defend our common ideal: democracy.

  • Why local airport referendum matters for all of France

    By Jade Lindgaard
    Voting in the airport referendum in western France. © Yann Levy Voting in the airport referendum in western France. © Yann Levy

    While all of Europe, including France, has been focussed on the shock result of the Brexit vote, a more local referendum campaign has been taking place in western France. On Sunday June 26th nearly a million voters in the Loire-Atlantique département or county were asked for their verdict on plans for a new airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes near Nantes. The referendum itself, whose outcome the government says it will respect and which has been criticised for its many shortcomings, was won by suporters of the scheme. But Mediapart's environment correspondent Jade Lindgaard argues that the issues at stake go beyond the local airport project: and that they affect everyone in France and beyond.

  • Brexit, a welcome catastrophe

    By François Bonnet
    A London taxi driver celebrates the Brexit victory. © Reuters A London taxi driver celebrates the Brexit victory. © Reuters

    The British 'no' vote in the referendum on the European Union marks the victory of the extreme right, represented by the repugnant Nigel Farage and his UKIP party. In that sense it is a tragedy. But this 'no' vote also signs the death warrant of a European Union that has turned away from its citizens. Now the whole European project needs to be rebuilt and Mediapart's editor François Bonnet wonders whether that isn't good news...

  • The French government’s intolerable snub to democracy

    By Edwy Plenel

    Democracy belongs to neither the Left nor the Right, and when it is flouted by governments of either political side every democrat worthy of the name must simply say “no”, argues Mediapart editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel following the socialist government’s decision to force through parliament, without a vote, its controversial labour law reforms which, he writes in this op-ed, represent a social regression for every employee in France.