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.

  • The French mayor back in court for halting evictions of the poor

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    Almost a third of the 60,000 population of Vénissieux, close to France’s second-largest city Lyon, in south-east France, live under the poverty line. Every year, its mayor, Michèle Picard, signs municipal decrees to prevent the ordered evictions of dozens of families from their homes, and the cutting off of water and energy supplies to hundreds of others. The decrees are just as regularly challenged in court by the local state authorities of the prefecture, which habitually find favour from the presiding magistrates. This week Picard was back in court to defend her case, just as a new series of evictions get underway. Michaël Hajdenberg reports.

  • The true lives of those hidden behind France's jobless figures

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    Roselyne et Pascal © MG/MP Roselyne et Pascal © MG/MP

    Massaging unemployment figures has become a preoccupation for France’s socialist government, as the rising numbers of jobless threaten to put the final nail in President François Hollande’s political coffin ahead of presidential elections next year. The figures are presented in three categories, A, B and C, ranging from those without any professional activity – the official unemployed - to those who have partial jobs. But there are few differences between either section, all facing a desperate daily search for a proper job and liveable income, as illustrated in these four interviews by Mathilde Goanec.

  • A night with Nuit Debout, France's novel protest movement

    Since March 31st, an increasing series of nocturnal sit-ins have taken over town and city centres around France. Called Nuit Debout, (roughly meaning ‘Standing Up Night’), they are gatherings of people of all ages who are dismayed by the political scene in France. They hold debates, spontaneous discussions, break out in song, swap books, eat together and hold occasional demonstrations. There is no official aim, and there are no official leaders, and no-one knows where it will all end. The movement began on the Place de la République in central Paris, in the aftermath of a demonstration against the government’s proposed labour law reform. Christophe Gueugneau and Michaël Hajdenberg joined the sit-in there this weekend.

  • France's other green protest: against Center Parcs

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    The home of protesters who are trying to stop a Center Parcs holiday centre from being built. The home of protesters who are trying to stop a Center Parcs holiday centre from being built.

    The protesters who have occupied the proposed site for a new airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes near Nantes in west France have grabbed media attention in recent years. Less well-known are the environmental activists who have set up a similar camp in an ancient forest on the other side of the country in a bid to stop the development of a new Center Parcs holiday centre. As Jade Lindgaard reports, unlike their anti-airport counterparts, the protesters opposing the Center Parcs project are from being universally popular with locals.

  • Protesting French farmers turn on their own leaders

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    A farm slogan in Brittany proposing a solution to the 'milk war'. © DR A farm slogan in Brittany proposing a solution to the 'milk war'. © DR

    Despite the French government's attempt to calm the situation, angry farmers are continuing to protest over the prices they are receiving for their produce. On Sunday evening a group of farmers even went to the home of agriculture minister Stéphane Le Foll to demand action. But as Mediapart's Karl Laske found when he visited Finistère in Brittany in the west of France, farmers are not only angry with politicians – but with their own union leaders and local cooperatives too.

  • Judges to rule on legality of Sarkozy 'corruption' probe

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    Last week France's top appeal court heard an appeal by former president Nicolas Sarkozy against the validly of an official investigation into him for alleged “corruption” and “influence peddling”. He faces claims he tried to induce a senior magistrate to hand over confidential legal information. A great deal hinges on the judges' verdict, which is due on March 22nd, 2016. For as Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan reports, if the appeal fails it is likely Sarkozy, who hopes to be the French Right's candidate at the 2017 presidential election, will be forced to stand trial over the allegations.

  • Socialists fear options after regional rout in SE France

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    Election billboards in Nice. © ES Election billboards in Nice. © ES

    France’s far-right Front National (FN) party is hoping to take control of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in nationwide regional elections played out today and next Sunday. The council of this south-east corner of France has been run for 17 years by the Socialist Party, which is now predicted to receive a drubbing. The main predicament facing the socialists after the first round is whether or not to withdraw their list of candidates for the benefit of the hard-right conservative candidate to defeat the FN. But, as Ellen Salvi reports from Nice, even collective political suicide may not be enough to stop the increasingly popular far-right.

  • France’s regional elections made volatile by Paris attacks

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    Nieulle-sur-Seudre. © Mathieu Magnaudeix Nieulle-sur-Seudre. © Mathieu Magnaudeix

    Next Sunday France goes to the polls to elect the members of the councils ruling the country’s new administrative regions, and which will be an important test of the popularity of the far-right Front National party tipped to draw strongly increased support. The two-round elections for the 13 new super-regions, created in a reform earlier this year from 22 previous regions, are overshadowed by the immense shock felt across France after the terrorist massacres in Paris last month. Mathieu Magnaudeix travelled before and after the attacks to the new Aquitaine-Poitou-Charentes-Limousin region in south-west France where, bucking the trend, the Socialist Party was confident of victory. On his return visit last weekend, he found that optimism had completely disappeared in the aftermath of the attacks.