Opinions

  • French presidentialism and the impoverishment of democracy

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    Emmanuel Macron at the G5 Sahel summit in Mauritania, June 30th 2020. © Ludovic Marin/Pool/AFP Emmanuel Macron at the G5 Sahel summit in Mauritania, June 30th 2020. © Ludovic Marin/Pool/AFP

    President Emmanuel Macron on Friday replaced Édouard Philippe as his prime minister with the appointment of a senior civil servant, Jean Castex. It is yet another example of the excesses of the all-powerful presidential system in France, writes Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel in this op-ed article, whereby a demonetized president can, alone, change a government for his own political convenience. In an intelligent and adult democracy, he argues, such changes would come about through the debate and collective choices of a parliamentary majority.

  • Racism is suffocating us

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    This week has been marked by numerous demonstrations, both in the US and across the globe, in protest at police violence following the killing of George Floyd, the 46-year-old Afro-American who was suffocated to death by an officer in Minneapolis. In this op-ed article, Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel argues why, when the police is gangrened by racism, it is because the powers in place, a ruling class and its elites, hold a silent hate of democracy, the people and equality – and that this applies as much to France as it does to the United States.

  • How virus crisis is changing the face - and politics - of French society

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    People in Bordeaux, south-west France, applauding health sector workers from their balconies on May 6th 2020. © AFP/Hans Lucas People in Bordeaux, south-west France, applauding health sector workers from their balconies on May 6th 2020. © AFP/Hans Lucas

    The ongoing Coronavirus health crisis facing France is leading to unprecedented political change. Large sections of society are on the march: taking charge of their own professions themselves and setting up numerous support structures and initiatives. And as François Bonnet argues in this op-ed article, this sudden land grab of some very political arenas by new groups has left society's traditional  institutions and political forces flat-footed.

  • Sanofi vaccine row: a patent betrayal of the common good

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    Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson. © ERIC PIERMONT / AFP Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson. © ERIC PIERMONT / AFP

    The chief executive of French pharma giant Sanofi sparked outrage this week when he declared that the US would be first in line for a vaccine his group was developing against the Covid-19 virus. In this op-ed article, Martine Orange argues the move by Sanofi reveals the immoral reality of the pharma business which, instead of serving the common good, has embarked on a profit-seeking commercial war over the coronavirus.

  • The coronavirus crisis and the 'dethroning' of Emmanuel Macron

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    French President Emmanuel Macron during a televised address on April 13th 2020. © Hans Lucas via AFP French President Emmanuel Macron during a televised address on April 13th 2020. © Hans Lucas via AFP

    In face of the Covid-19 virus crisis, French President Emmanuel Macron has failed in his mission, presiding over disorder, a sore lack of means to fight the epidemic and a ‘communications’ campaign of lies, argues Mediapart publishing editor and co-founder Edwy Plenel. In this op-ed article, he urges the dismissal of an antiquated presidential system and the establishment of a truly democratic republic in France.

  • Why social solidarity is a defence against the virus epidemic

    By Jedediah Britton-Purdy (Jacobin)

    The Covid-19 coronavirus is now spreading in the US, where if you have wealth or a salary, and enough space at home, you might be able to pull off the absurd trick of isolating yourself for a few months, writes Columbia Law School professor and essayist Jedediah Britton-Purdy, but for half the population with no savings, living paycheck to paycheck, which has to hustle every day to find work, this is simply impossible.

  • In support of Julian Assange and in defence of journalism

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    Protests in London in support of Julian Assange. © Jérome Hourdeaux Protests in London in support of Julian Assange. © Jérome Hourdeaux

    Journalism itself is on trial in the proceedings against Julian Assange that opened in London on Monday February 24th 2020 and in which the United States is seeking to extradite him from Great Britain over charges that include espionage. The founder of WikiLeaks is not a spy but an activist working on behalf of a fundamental right: the right to know everything that is in the public interest. That is why we are supporting him, writes Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel in this opinion article.

  • Why an international investigation into Haiti aid scandal is urgent

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    A camp for Haitians made homeless by the 2010 quake. © Reuters A camp for Haitians made homeless by the 2010 quake. © Reuters

    This week marked ten years since a devastating earthquake hit the impoverished Caribbean state of Haiti, when up to 300,000 people were killed and 1.5 million others were left homeless. The ensuing reconstruction programme drew billions of dollars in aid, but also led to massive corruption. Mediapart co-founder and former editor François Bonnet, who has regularly reported on the tragedy in Haiti, details the fiasco and argues here why a thorough investigation into the gigantic scams must be led under the auspices of the UN, and those found responsible must be prosecuted. Nothing less can restore confidence in international institutions – beginning with the UN itself.

  • Fighting an overblown presidency

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    The feminist march during the Paris demonstartions on January 9th 2020. © Noemie Coissac / Hans Lucas The feminist march during the Paris demonstartions on January 9th 2020. © Noemie Coissac / Hans Lucas

    Emmanuel Macron said it himself: he did not want a “normal presidency”. Nor has it been so: since his election in 2017, the number of serious social conflicts has shown the dangers of the exercise of power when there are no limits, argues Mediapart co-founder François Bonnet. The planned public protests on Saturday January 11th against the presidency's pension reform plans could be a turning point, he says.

  • The coming war

    By
    Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron. © Reuters Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron. © Reuters

    Carried out on the orders of Donald Trump, the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, a top Iranian military commander, is one step further towards the abyss of war. Though the future is never written in advance, how can one avoid the thought that the America government has put the world in peril by behaving as a rogue state, trampling on international law, asks Mediapart's publishing editor Edwy Plenel. France, he argues, would do itself great honour by saying so loudly and clearly.