Hungary took over the rolling six-month presidency of the European Union on January 1st. On the same day, its government introduced a new law severely restricting the freedom of the Hungarian media. This scandalous law of censorship is an outrageous attack on fundamental human rights and contravenes the very founding principles of the European Treaty, says Mediapart Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel. If the EU takes no action against Hungary, it will have betrayed its very reasons for being and, in the process, give a green light to the politics of authoritarianism now sweeping the continent.
WikiLeaks has opened a worldwide battle over the future of freedom of information with its release of US diplomatic cables. Mediapart's Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel argues here that it pitches the fundamental right of the public to access information against the stranglehold on information hitherto exercised by governing powers and establishments. At stake is whether the alliance of economic interests and national powers-that-be can snuff out the future of democratic ideals spurred by the tools of the digital age; and the result concerns everyone of us.
No control: President Nicolas Sarkozy. © Reuters
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has re-appointed François Fillon as prime minister, and the long-awaited ministerial reshuffle has happened. The president hopes it will turn a political page on a volatile social crisis and the scandals rocking his presidency. But, argues Mediapart's Laurent Mauduit, the stage-managed media rumours surrounding the future government and an abscence of political debate before its composition speak volumes about the president's attachment to democracy as well as the extent of a crisis within his own political camp.
While the French government argues that a national recovery is now underway, Laurent Mauduit details here how a closer study of the economic statistics in fact reveals a country of deepening social divides and rising frustrations.