Opinions

  • 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

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    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.

  • The Paris-Dakar car rally gets lost in the sands of Saudi propaganda

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    Preparations for the Paris-Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia on January 2nd 2020. © REUTERS Preparations for the Paris-Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia on January 2nd 2020. © REUTERS

    The Paris-Dakar Rally, often now known simply as the Dakar Rally or Dakar, has been held most years since 1979, and this rally through desert sands is one of the most high-profile motor sports events on the planet. The 2020 rally, which began on Sunday January 5th, is taking place for the first time in Saudi Arabia. Mediapart's Middle East correspondent René Backmann argues in this opinion article that underneath the media din and razzmatazz, the event is nothing more than a PR exercise by the Saudi regime to persuade people to forget its despotic, fundamentalist and brutal nature, as well as the scale of its crimes.

  • France's shameful silence over Khashoggi murder trial verdicts

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    The trial in Saudi Arabia of 11 men accused of murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi in November 2018 ended on December 23rd with the death sentence pronounced against five of the defendants. “These verdicts are the antithesis of justice: the hit men are sentenced to death, potentially permanently silencing key witnesses, but the apparent masterminds walk free,” said UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnès Callamard. In this opinion article, Mediapart Middle East specialist René Backmann denounces the lack of reaction to the verdicts from France, which the very same day loaded three armed vessels, the first in a deal for 39, onto a freighter bound for Saudi Arabia.

  • How Macron (re)opened the door to Islamophobia

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    President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday warned against a stigmatisation of the Muslim population in France and the shortcut of associating the Islamic religion with terrorism, as was illustrated in a string of recent events that have caused outrage and heated debate across the country. It was a tardy reaction by Macron who, Mediapart co-editor Carine Fouteau writes in this op-ed, has left the door open to precisely the problem he now identifies. It is his responsibility to strengthen the barriers against hatred, alongside the fight against terrorism.

  • France's frail and fragile democracy

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    Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump during the G7 at Biarritz, south-west France, August 25th 2019. © Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump during the G7 at Biarritz, south-west France, August 25th 2019. © Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

    The reaction to Donald Trump's behaviour and the attempts at impeachment highlights the vitality of democratic culture in the United States when faced with executive abuse of power. In contrast, argues Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel, France is served by a low-intensity democracy that has been undermined by the country's system of presidential monarchy.

  • Why new 'anti-White racism' ideology is the legacy of ignoring France's colonial question

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    The notion of 'anti-White racism' is an ideological construct aimed at downplaying the systemic, social and cultural racism endured by black people and people of North African origin in France. Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel says that its emergence in public debate is a sign of how France has failed to face up to the issue of colonialism, to both its long past and its persistence today.

  • This shameful Europe

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    The newly appointed European Commission, whose members take up their posts on November 1st, is to include a vice-president responsible for migration and home affairs with the title of “Protecting our European Way of Life”. Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel argues here that this semantic choice is a shameful concession to the continent’s far-right, whereby issues of identity have overturned social demands.

  • This 'hotel republic' gravy train that dishonours France

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    François de Rugy leaving the environment ministry on July 17th 2019 following his resignation. © Reuters François de Rugy leaving the environment ministry on July 17th 2019 following his resignation. © Reuters

    Mediapart’s revelations earlier this month of the use of public funds by French environment minister François de Rugy for his dinner parties and decorations of his grace and favour apartment led to his resignation last week. Amid accusations from some complacent quarters of a media ‘witch-hunt’, Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel sets the record straight here: the means, the residences, the funds and the personnel of France’s institutions, he writes, do not belong to those elected representatives and members of government who are momentarily at the service of the state. By revealing the persistent lack of probity, Mediapart’s investigations are firmly in the public interest.