Opinions

  • How Macron became the far-right's useful idiot

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    Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen at the Élysée, November 21st 2017. © Photo Denis Allard / REA Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen at the Élysée, November 21st 2017. © Photo Denis Allard / REA

    By playing at being the sorcerer's apprentice and pitching himself as the only acceptable option between the radical Left and the far-right, Emmanuel Macron has allowed Rassemblement National to become a major force within the National Assembly, argues Ellen Salvi in this opinion article. Rather than fighting against the racist and xenophobic ideas of Marine Le Pen's party, she writes, he ended up giving them a helping hand out of sheer political cynicism. Following Sunday's legislative elections the far-right party will have 89 MPs in the new National Assembly.

  • Why we should back the leftwing NUPES alliance against this divisive presidency

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    The NUPES convention at Aubervilliers in the northern suburbs of Paris, May 7th 2022. © Photo Sébastien Calvet / Mediapart The NUPES convention at Aubervilliers in the northern suburbs of Paris, May 7th 2022. © Photo Sébastien Calvet / Mediapart

    In the decisive second round of voting in France's legislative elections this Sunday June 19th, a vote for the NUPES alliance of the Left and environmentalists is both ethically essential and a political necessity, argues Mediapart's publishing editor Edwy Plenel in this opinion article. To vote in this way, he writes, is to reject the duplicity of a divisive presidency and to embrace political change via a parliamentary route.

  • Why the 'Macronista' attack on France's leftwing alliance is cynical and antidemocratic

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    The election night gathering of Macron's Ensemble movement in Paris, June 12th 2022. © Photo Ludovic Marin / AFP The election night gathering of Macron's Ensemble movement in Paris, June 12th 2022. © Photo Ludovic Marin / AFP

    In next Sunday's decisive second round in France's legislative elections there will be nearly sixty constituencies where candidates from the broad left alliance known as NUPES will be in a head-to-head contest with far-right candidates. Yet rather than telling its voters to back the leftwing candidates against the far-right Rassemblement National, senior figures in Emmanuel Macron's ruling party have labelled both those on the right and many on the left as extremists. And they say they will advise their voters whom to back on a case by case basis. Mediapart's Ellen Salvi argues in this opinion article that this cynical approach amounts to bad faith on the part of the president's political movement. She says it goes against both political principles and political history – and also flies in the face of everything that the president claimed to be defending in his recent presidential campaign.

  • Champions League final chaos: France picks up the trophy for incompetence

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    A police officer charges a supporter at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis on Saturday May 28th. © Photo Maryam El Hamouchi / AFP A police officer charges a supporter at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis on Saturday May 28th. © Photo Maryam El Hamouchi / AFP

    The showcase event of European football, the final of the Champions League, was marred by numerous incidents at the Stade de France in the northern suburbs of Paris on Saturday night. Hundreds of Liverpool fans were 'kettled', blocked at the entrance to the stadium, and then tear or pepper gassed by police officers before the club's match with Real Madrid. As Ilyes Ramdani writes in this opinion article, this failure comes on the back of years spent by the French public authorities pursuing a repressive, incompetent and often violent approach to maintaining order at public events.

  • France's new education minister Pap Ndiaye already facing storm of racism

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    Pap Ndiaye, the new education minister, taking over at the ministry, May 20th 2022. © Photo Emmanuel Dunand / AFP Pap Ndiaye, the new education minister, taking over at the ministry, May 20th 2022. © Photo Emmanuel Dunand / AFP

    The appointment of black historian Pap Ndiaye as education minister in Emmanuel Macron's new government has quickly brought to the surface the structural racism of French society and its political class. In this opinion article, Mediapart's Ilyes Ramdani argues that the reaction of the government to this tide of racism, and above all the response of President Emmanuel Macron himself, will set the tone for his new presidential term.

  • Why Élysée's bid to portray new French premier as leftwing is all smoke and mirrors

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    Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée, May 16th 2022. © Photo Ludovic Marin / AFP Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée, May 16th 2022. © Photo Ludovic Marin / AFP

    As far as his party and some commentators are concerned, Emmanuel Macron sent a “signal to the Left” this week by appointing Élisabeth Borne as France's new prime minister. It is a sleight of hand that would be laughable if it did not also highlight how the head of state is continuing his attempts to deconstruct the French political arena, argues Mediapart political reporter Ellen Salvi in this opinion article.

  • The vital opportunity of a united French Left

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    Labour Day marchers in Paris with flags for a ‘Union populaire’, May 1st 2022. © Photo Thomas Coex / AFP Labour Day marchers in Paris with flags for a ‘Union populaire’, May 1st 2022. © Photo Thomas Coex / AFP

    Following a divided, and for some, catastrophic, showing in the presidential elections in April, the principal parties that make up the French Left have this week agreed an electoral alliance ahead of parliamentary elections to be held in June. In this opinion article, Mediapart's publishing editor Edwy Plenel hails the pact as a vital opportunity, as welcome as it was unexpected, to counterbalance the enormous political power of the re-elected president.

  • Voting against Le Pen: a painful necessity to ward off the horror of the far-right

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    The demonstration against the far-right in Paris, April 16th 2022. © Photo Ana Ferrer / Mediapart The demonstration against the far-right in Paris, April 16th 2022. © Photo Ana Ferrer / Mediapart

    The far-right has never been so close to power. And given that it is the worst enemy of equality, rights and freedom, voting against its candidate on Sunday April 24th is the only anti-fascist option in the French presidential election, writes Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel in this op-ed article. But, he says, it will be a painful act, because the other name on the ballot paper is that of the person who is chiefly responsible for this catastrophe: Emmanuel Macron.

  • The appalling greed of French companies over Russia

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    Dozens of people protested against at Gdansk in Poland against French company Leroy-Merlin on March 22nd 2022. © Michal Fludra / NurPhoto via AFP Dozens of people protested against at Gdansk in Poland against French company Leroy-Merlin on March 22nd 2022. © Michal Fludra / NurPhoto via AFP

    On Wednesday Match 23rd the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky called on French companies to quit their involvement with Russia, but without much success. This can largely can be put down to the greed of the business world. But as Mediapart co-founder Laurent Mauduit argues in this op-ed article, the lack of solidarity by businesses can also be explained by the French government's ambiguous stance on the issue.

  • Why we need a new spirit of internationalism to counter Russian imperialism

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    Vladimir Poutine on May 9th 2019 during a wreath-laying ceremony in Moscow. © Photo Yuri Kadobnov / AFP Vladimir Poutine on May 9th 2019 during a wreath-laying ceremony in Moscow. © Photo Yuri Kadobnov / AFP

    The invasion of Ukraine is now forcing the world to face up to the unprecedented threat posed by Russian imperialism. In this op-ed article, Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel argues that what is needed is a surge of international solidarity to defend and help the Ukrainian people who are resisting that aggression.