Opinions

  • The indecent pay of France's top executives

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    Bernard Charlès (right), boss of Dassault Systèmes, France's top-earning executive in 2019 with 24.7 million euros. © Bertrand Guay/AFP Bernard Charlès (right), boss of Dassault Systèmes, France's top-earning executive in 2019 with 24.7 million euros. © Bertrand Guay/AFP

    The latest annual report by investors’ advisory agency Proxinvest on the remunerations paid to the chief executives of France’s 120 most traded stock exchange companies reveals a staggering increase in payments in 2019. In this op-ed article, Mediapart economy and finance correspondent Laurent Mauduit details the figures and argues why they represent a serious injustice when millions of French households face an economic crisis that threatens to plunge them into poverty.  

  • The disgraceful events of the Place de la République

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    Place de la République in central Paris on Monday evening, moments before the police charge. © Jerome Gilles / NurPhoto via AFP Place de la République in central Paris on Monday evening, moments before the police charge. © Jerome Gilles / NurPhoto via AFP

    On Monday evening in central Paris, migrants and journalists were physically abused by police engaged in a brutal, manu militari evacuation of a makeshift camp set up on the Place de la République. The police violence was exposed in images circulating on social media and which would be banned if draft legislation currently before parliament is approved. In this joint op-ed article, Mediapart co-editor in chief Carine Fouteau and social affairs editor Mathilde Mathieu argue that the overnight events are a representation of the liberticidal drift of President Emmanuel Macron’s administration, and may prove to be a political turning point.

  • Why it is our turn to warn that democracy dies in darkness

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    Police arrest photographer Hannah Nelson during a Paris protest against the “Global security” bill on November 17th. © © Jérôme Gilles / NurPhoto via AFP Police arrest photographer Hannah Nelson during a Paris protest against the “Global security” bill on November 17th. © © Jérôme Gilles / NurPhoto via AFP

    Draft legislation which includes handing increased powers to police and expanding the remit of surveillance operations is now being debated in the French parliament following its first passage through the lower house on Friday. One of the articles of the “Global security” bill will severely restrict the taking and dissemination of images of on-duty police officers. Mediapart staff joined journalists’ unions and rights groups on Saturday in a demonstration in Paris against the bill. Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel argues here that what is at stake in the proposed legislation is of exceptional gravity. If it is adopted, he writes, “the lights of democratic vigilance over actions of the state will be extinguished”.

  • The four key lessons for France from the US election

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    Going, going.....Donald Trump at the White House on October 30th 2020. © AFP Going, going.....Donald Trump at the White House on October 30th 2020. © AFP

    Though Joe Biden won a knife-edge victory in the United States presidential election the Democrats suffered heavy defeats in other electoral contests. Mediapart's co-founder François Bonnet argues that despite his defeat the huge voter turnout for Donald Trump serves as a reminder that the extreme populist right can only be beaten by alternative political projects that focus on citizens and concrete actions on the ground. Here he outlines four lessons from the US elections for European countries - and in particular France.

  • Questions over curious intervention of French state as luxury firm LVMH breaks deal with Tiffany

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    LVMH boss Bernard Arnault and Emmanuel Macron in June 2017. © Martin BUREAU / AFP LVMH boss Bernard Arnault and Emmanuel Macron in June 2017. © Martin BUREAU / AFP

    France's foreign minister has written an extraordinary letter that provides 'cover' for the French luxury goods group LVMH to pull out of an expensive deal to buy famous American jewellery firm Tiffany it no longer wanted to complete. That letter came after LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault reportedly asked foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian for help. The affair is now likely to lead to a long and bitter legal battle, one that could even end up with the French state facing claims for compensation from disgruntled shareholders. Mediapart's Martine Orange argues in this op-ed article that no French government has ever gone out on such a limb to support a private company.

  • Why France's new interior minister must go

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    Newly appointed French interior minister Gérald Darmanin. © NurPhoto via AFP Newly appointed French interior minister Gérald Darmanin. © NurPhoto via AFP

    In a French government reshuffle earlier this month, former junior budget minister Gérald Darmanin, under investigation over rape allegations, was given the senior post of interior minister. Darmanin, 37, a loyal ally of former president Nicolas Sarkozy who has been sent for future trial on separate counts of corruption and illegal election campaign spending, has since caused widespread outrage with his comments on the issue of police violence and racial and religious tensions. In this op-ed article, Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel argues why not only Darmanin’s appointment should never have taken place, but why he should now be dismissed in the name of the morality required of public office.

  • 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.