Opinions

  • How France's shameful deportations help Ramzan Kadyrov's brutal Chechen regime

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    Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov. © (grozny-tv) Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov. © (grozny-tv)

    In recent months France's interior minister Gérald Darmanin has ordered the expulsion of around a dozen Chechens from the country. This does not just trample over fundamental rights of asylum and the country's commitments under European treaties, says Mediapart's co-founder François Bonnet in this op-ed article. He argues it also means that France is effectively collaborating with Chechen's notorious leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a man accused of overseeing the murder and torture of his opponents.

  • The catastrophe now upon us

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    Emmanuel Macron on a walkabout in Valence, south-east France, after he was slapped by a man in the neighbouring town of Tain L'Hermitage, June 8th 2021. © Nicolas Guyonnet / Hans Lucas via AFP Emmanuel Macron on a walkabout in Valence, south-east France, after he was slapped by a man in the neighbouring town of Tain L'Hermitage, June 8th 2021. © Nicolas Guyonnet / Hans Lucas via AFP

    After he was slapped earlier this week in a town in south-east France by a man shouting a medieval royalist battle cry, President Emmanuel Macron described the assault as an “incident” that should be “relativised”, and that “all is well”. On the contrary, writes Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel in this opinion article, all is going badly, and the slap illustrates the far-right violence that has been set loose by the cynicism and irresponsibility of the Macron presidency.

  • How French police are laying down the law to the Republic

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    Interior minister Gérald Darmanin meets police officers at Lille on May 14th 2021. © Célia Consolini/Hans Lucas via AFP Interior minister Gérald Darmanin meets police officers at Lille on May 14th 2021. © Célia Consolini/Hans Lucas via AFP

    The French Republic should not be subject to the demands of the police. Yet this democratic principle is under challenge from the demonstration held by police officers on Wednesday, May 19th. Organisers of the protest in front of the National Assembly in Paris, which was supported by members of the current government, the far right and the two historic parties of the Left, are demanding minimum sentences for anyone found guilty of attacks on police officers. This undermines one of the key principles of the French Republic, that the police force is there to serve all citizens, and not to seek law changes in its own interest or the interests of the government of the day, argue Mediapart's publishing editor Edwy Plenel and political correspondent Ellen Salvi in this op-ed article.

  • Because ‘our time has come'

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    Participants in the first ‘International congress of black writers and artists’, held in Paris in 1956. © © Présence Africaine Participants in the first ‘International congress of black writers and artists’, held in Paris in 1956. © © Présence Africaine

    A fiery debate has erupted in France over the holding of meetings on issues of discrimination to which are admitted only those who are affected by such prejudice. In this opinion article, Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel says the furore over such gatherings is but the latest offensive against the self-organisation of those who are dominated in society, whether that be because of their appearance, religion, gender or social condition.

  • 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.