Reports

  • Arbitration award to French tycoon was 'scandalous', Lagarde trial told

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    A former top French civil servant told the judges in the trial of IMF boss Christine Lagarde how he had tried to meet the then-economy minister to stop her from agreeing to an arbitration process that eventually cost French taxpayers 403 million euros. Ex-Treasury official Bruno Bézard said not only was holding the arbitration in the first place a blunder, it had been a mistake not to have appealed against its 2008 ruling in favour of tycoon Bernard Tapie. Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan says it was a tough day in court for Lagarde, who denies negligence in signing off on the arbitration process while a member of President Nicolas Sarkozy's government.

  • 'I was not negligent' claims IMF's Lagarde as trial opens

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    The managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, has appeared before a special court in Paris charged with negligence over her handling of a controversial arbitration process that paid out millions of euros of French taxpayers' money. Addressing a court reserved for government ministers, the former French economy minister denied wrongdoing but suggested she herself may have been “exploited” by others in relation to the 403 million euro award made to French tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008. Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan reports.

  • 'Hollande and Valls have broken the Left'

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    Mediapart was present at a public meeting at Nanterre, west of Paris, to discuss the forthcoming presidential election when the news broke that President François Hollande would not be standing for re-election in that contest. Many of those present in the hall were supporters of the Left who had voted for Hollande at the 2012 election. Some were quick to voice their dismay at his presidency's record, while the majority expressed general indifference and the meeting quickly resumed. As Mathieu Magnaudeix reports, it was a sign of just how irrelevant the president had already become to many ordinary voters.

  • A sleepy French village torn apart by a centre for migrants

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    The Château de Pergaud, near Allex, where migrants will be offered temporary shelter. © L. Geslin The Château de Pergaud, near Allex, where migrants will be offered temporary shelter. © L. Geslin

    The usually tranquil village of Allex, in the Drôme Valley region of south-east France, has become agitated over the imminent opening of a reception centre for migrants. Villagers’ opposition to the centre, which will house about 50 individuals, has prompted the mayor to announce a referendum on the issue. Laurent Geslin reports from this small village of 2,500 inhabitants where, as France’s 2017 presidential election campaign draws closer, local conservative and far-right parties have jumped upon the opportunity to stoke the fires of prejudice and resentment.

  • 'Cold fury' mounts over racist attacks on Chinese population in Paris suburbs

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    Tributes at the scene of the assault on Chaolin Zhang in Aubervilliers. © AD Tributes at the scene of the assault on Chaolin Zhang in Aubervilliers. © AD

    The death earlier this month of a Chinese man after he was assaulted in the Paris suburb of Aubervilliers has sparked furious protests from the local Chinese and South-East Asian populations, which are increasingly the target of gratuitous violence and robberies by gangs of youths fof other ethnic origins. The authorities and the media have largely ignored the racist attacks against the Chinese community, which has now begun to set up its own self-defence groups. Aurélie Delmas reports from Aubervilliers where the mayor warns of a powder-keg situation.

  • The challenges of EU mission to train Palestinian police

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    French CRS officers training Palestinian police. © Chloé Demoulin French CRS officers training Palestinian police. © Chloé Demoulin

    For the past ten years, a European Union-funded mission in the West Bank is training the Palestinian police in modern policing methods. With police instructors from EU member states, the EUPOL COPPS mission is aimed at building an effective police force ahead of the possible creation of a Palestinian state. But the challenges are vast, and the programme’s future is uncertain. Mediapart correspondent Chloé Demoulin reports from the West Bank mission, beginning with the unusual scene of a lesson by French riot police on how to disperse a peaceful sit-in.

  • Bastille Day massacre stokes Nice's bitter divisions

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    July 18th: tributes to the Bastille Day attack on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. © Reuters July 18th: tributes to the Bastille Day attack on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. © Reuters

    The Bastille Day attack in Nice, when a Tunisian immigrant from the city drove a truck into crowds walking the seafront Promenade des Anglais, killing 84 people, has heightened the already prevalent racial and social tensions in the Riviera capital. Ellen Salvi reports from Nice, where local politicians have long fuelled the fires of division that threaten to engulf the city.

  • At least 80 people feared dead in Nice Bastille Day attack

    Bodies of victims on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. © Reuters Bodies of victims on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. © Reuters

    French officials say at least 80 people  died after a heavy truck drove into crowds attending a traditional Bastille Day fireworks celebration in the Riviera city of Nice at around 10.30 p.m. local time. The driver of the truck, who was reportedly later shot dead by police, then began firing shots into the crowd according to several media reports. Local media said the driver was a 31-year-old Nice resident of joint French-Tunisian nationality. French President François Hollande announced in the early hours of Friday that the state of emergency powers introduced after the November 13th terrorist attacks in Paris last year, and due to end later this month, will be extended for a further three months. Graham Tearse reports.

  • Blockades are a 'weapon to make people aware' say French labour law protesters

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    The protest against the labour law reforms held in Montpellier on May 26th, 2016. © T.A The protest against the labour law reforms held in Montpellier on May 26th, 2016. © T.A

    Amid blockades of oil depots and strikes in a number of key sectors in France, opponents against planned labour law reforms in France took to the streets again on Thursday May 26th. Mediapart spoke to people taking part in a march in the city of Montpellier, in the south of France, to find out why they are protesting. The demonstrators say they fully back the strikes and blockades which they see as their equivalent of article 49-3 of the French Constitution which is being used to force the deeply-controversial reforms through Parliament. Timothée Aldebert reports.

  • French businessman tells court he gave Benjamin Netanyahu one million euros

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    Arnaud Mimran and Benjamin Netanyahu at Monaco in 2003. © DR Arnaud Mimran and Benjamin Netanyahu at Monaco in 2003. © DR

    Arnaud Mimran, a French businessman on trial in Paris for his alleged role in a massive carbon trading VAT scam, has confirmed his financial links with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Under cross-examination on Thursday May 19th, Mimran, who is also under investigation in a separate case of kidnapping and sequestration, said he had given Netanyahu one million euros. Mediapart understands the payment dates back to 2001. The Israeli premier has denied he received such a sum. Michel Deléan reports.