Reports

  • French Catholic Church begins open battle with Hollande over same-sex marriage law

    The French Catholic Church this week organized the reading of a prayer in churches across the country against President François Hollande’s plans to legalize same-sex marriages and to grant child adoption rights to gay couples. The ‘Prayer for France’ was read by priests and parishioners during the traditional yearly Assumption Day Mass on August 15th, directed at politicians "so that their sense of the common good will overcome special demands". While the move outraged gay rights groups and set the Church on a collision course with government, it also divided some congregations - nowhere more so than those in the Marais ‘gay quarter’ of Paris, where Mathilde Mathieu and Michaël Hajdenberg spoke to parishioners and priests.   

  • 'Hollande has done nothing – the factory is closing and he hasn't met us'

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    A l'entrée de l'usine. © (dr) A l'entrée de l'usine. © (dr)

    It is the first big social test of President François Hollande's new government. The giant French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroën has announced it is shedding 8,000 jobs, including the closure of a plant at Aulnay-sous-Bois on the outskirts of Paris. Unions have described the news as a “declaration of war”and workers have pledged to fight the factory closure all the way. President Hollande has said the cuts are “unacceptable” and told Peugeot to re-negotiate with employees. But the new government has itself come under fire from workers and unions for not putting enough pressure on the car manufacturer. Mediapart's Rachida El Azzouzi and Ellen Salvi went to Aulnay to meet the workforce.

  • The massacre of Europe's ancient olive groves

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    They are now about to end their lives amusing the nouveau rich beside swimming pools and on golf courses. The unluckiest will be replanted as zoo-like curiosities in ornamental gardens in northern Europe, even Russia, where the cold and lack of light will turn them sterile. At the current rate of uprooting, these majestic and viable olive trees, many hundreds of years old, some even a thousand years old, will have entirely disappeared from southern Portugal and Spain in the space of a generation. Philippe Riès reports on an ecological and cultural disaster caused by the perverse effects of European Union agricultural policies.

  • François Hollande is elected French president

     © Thomas Haley © Thomas Haley

    Socialist Party candidate François Hollande has won the French presidential elections. Official results announced by the interior ministry at 1 a.m. Monday gave Hollande a 51.67% share of the vote in mainland France, but excluding the results from French expatriate votes. Hollande’s victory over incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, credited with 48.33%, is the first time a socialist has been elected president since François Mitterrand won a second term of office in 1988 and ends 17 years of uninterrupted conservative occupancy of the post. Hollande, 57, will now formally enter office mid-May, when he will appoint a prime minister to form a caretaker government until parliamentary elections are held in June. “I have confidence in France, I know it well, I know we are capable of straightening ourselves up," Hollande said in a victory speech on Sunday evening. “It is this French dream that I will make it my job to accomplish." Sarkozy, meanwhile, said he accepted "full responsibility" for his defeat and announced he was quitting front-line politics. "My place can no longer be the same" he said, "another era is underway".

  • French elections in images: Marine Le Pen hi-jacks Joan's charger for 'proud and strong' France

    Pour voir le portfolio, cliquer sur l'image @ Thomas Haley Pour voir le portfolio, cliquer sur l'image @ Thomas Haley

    Far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen led party supporters on their now traditional May 1st “patriotic” rally, beginning with a wreath-laying ceremony at the statue of Joan of Arc in central Paris, and ending with a gathering at the nearby Place de L’Opéra square where Le Pen delivered a speech before a flag-waving crowd, many with T-shirts and banners proclaiming ‘French proud and strong’. American Paris-based photographer Thomas Haley was there to capture the atmosphere for Mediapart.  

  • French elections in images: Sarkozy's 'real labour' Mayday call

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    Vidéo de Patrick Artinian dans l'article Vidéo de Patrick Artinian dans l'article

    Photographer Patrick Artinian is following the French presidential election campaign trail for Mediapart, with a series of photo and video reportages of the candidates, their supporters, meetings and the milestone events. Here he captures the atmosphere at Nicolas Sarkozy’s counter-May Day rally in Paris on May 1st, when the incumbent presidential election candidate, forecast by opinion surveys to be trounced by Socialist Party rival François Hollande in the final play-off on Sunday, called on his supporters to turn out en masse in support of “real labour”. The notion, he said, describes he "who gets up very early every morning and goes to bed late at night, who doesn't ask for congratulations, nor medals, nothing.”     

  • French elections in images: May Day crowds give Sarkozy his marching orders

    Pour voir le portfolio, cliquer sur l'image © Thomas Haley Pour voir le portfolio, cliquer sur l'image © Thomas Haley

    The traditional May Day marches across France to celebrate International Workers’ Day brought out 750,000 people nationwide, according to the country’s principal trades union, the CGT. The largest rally was held in Paris, where the union claimed 250,000 turned out – 48,000 according to the police. While the real figure most certainly lies somewhere between, observers agreed that it was a larger number than showed up in 2011, encouraged at least in part by the clement weather and the final stage of the Left hopes will be a victorious presidential election campaign. American Paris-based photographer Thomas Haley, who has been following the French presidential election campaign with a series of picture reports for Mediapart, joined the festive crowds marching through the capital.

  • French elections in images: Hollande ends first-round campaign in Mitterrand's steps

    Pour voir le portfolio, cliquer sur l'image @ Thomas Haley Pour voir le portfolio, cliquer sur l'image @ Thomas Haley

    American Paris-based photographer Thomas Haley is following the French presidential election campaign with a series of reportages published on Mediapart. On Friday he joined Socialist Party candidate François Hollande as his caravan swept east to the Ardennes on his last day of campaigning before the crucial first round on Sunday.

  • French elections in images: hoarse Hollande targets first round turnout

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    Vidéo accessible dans l'article. Vidéo accessible dans l'article.

    Photographer Patrick Artinian is following the French presidential election campaign trail for Mediapart, with a series of photo and video reportages of the candidates, their supporters, meetings and the milestone events. This weekend, in the Paris suburb of Vincennes, he mingled with supporters of Socialist Party candidate François Hollande as he held his final major meeting before polling begins in the first of the two-round elections on Sunday April 22nd, just as Nicolas Sarkozy held his own rally in central Paris. It was a crucial media clash between the two main rivals, both eager to display their capability of mobilising supporters en masse. While Sarkozy’s so-called “silent majority” jumped and clapped in blue, white and red at the Place de la Concorde, a demonstrably more black and white crowd, what Hollande calls his “popular majority”, cheered and danced to Caribbean music before the Château de Vincennes.

  • French elections in images: Sarkozy's last stand, where the guillotine once stood

    Portfolio dans l'article © Thomas Haley Portfolio dans l'article © Thomas Haley

    American Paris-based photographer Thomas Haley has been following the French presidential election campaign with a series of reports posted on his Mediapart blog. This weekend he followed the crowds that turned out for incumbent candidate Nicolas Sarkozy as he held his last make-or-break rally in central Paris, ten kilometres away from a mass open air meeting by his main rival, Socialist Party candidate François Hollande.