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.

  • Afraid, the young people of Paris refuse to bow to terror

    Les étudiants de la Sorbonne (Paris-V) observent une minute de silence, le lundi 16 novembre. © Reuters Les étudiants de la Sorbonne (Paris-V) observent une minute de silence, le lundi 16 novembre. © Reuters

    The shootings and bombings in Paris on the evening of Friday November 13th targeted people – mainly young people – who had simply gone out to enjoy themselves. Two days after the killings Mediapart talked to pupils and students from the Paris region as they went back to school or university. Many spoke of their fear of being “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and are still struggling to make sense of the carnage. But they insist they are determined to carry on living their lives to the full. Mathilde Goanec, Dan Israel, Amélie Poinssot and Ellen Salvi report.

  • Paris terror attacks: death toll rises to 129, IS claims responsibility, arrests in Belgium

     © Reuters © Reuters

    At least 129 people died in the series of terrorist attacks in and around Paris on Friday evening, for which a statement purportedly from the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility. Late on Saturday the Paris public prosecutor said 352 people were known to have been wounded, of whom 99 were in a serious condition. He added that police believe the terrorists were divided into three teams. Three men were arrested Saturday in Belgium in connection with the attacks. President François Hollande has ordered three days of national mourning. Mediapart reports on the precise chronology of the Friday attacks and the latest information to emerge on Saturday.