Reports

  • 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.

  • What Calais residents really think about the migrant crisis

    By Haydée Sabéran
    Une boutique dans la « New Jungle », le 16 octobre 2015 © Philippe Wojazer / Reuters Une boutique dans la « New Jungle », le 16 octobre 2015 © Philippe Wojazer / Reuters

    In just a year the number of migrants living in the so-called 'New Jungle' camp at Calais in north-east France waiting to get to the UK has doubled to around 6,000. The migrant question has now become a key issue in December's regional elections, with the head of the far-right Front National, Marine Le Pen, standing for the region that includes Calais. But what do the town's residents think about the migrants and their plight? As Haydée Sabéran found out, it is a complex picture.

  • Defining the troubled notion of secularism in France

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    Jean-Louis Bianco is head of France’s Secularism Monitoring Centre, a public body that advises public institutions, local authorities and the private sector, among others, on the country’s laws on secularity and their application. Amid an increasingly tense political debate over multiculturalism in France, the legislation has rarely been so fiercely championed - but also brought into question. To address the misunderstandings by both camps, Bianco travels France each week to discuss the principle and the detail of the law with various sections of the population. Mathieu Magnaudeix followed him on one such trip to a small town in north-east France.

  • France's 'alternative' farmers point to a new rural model

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    Pierre-Yves Floch, dans sa porcherie bio © JS Pierre-Yves Floch, dans sa porcherie bio © JS

    French farmers last week blocked Paris with more than 1,500 tractors in the latest of a series of protests at the dire financial difficulties many now find themselves in, which they blame on ever-lower prices paid for their produce, taxes and social charges, and industry standards that are strangling them in red tape. But a growing number of smallholdings in France are successfully bucking the trend, proving that there is an economically viable alternative to the failed model of conventional farming and mass production sold on the cheap - in the form of quality produce sold directly to local outlets. Julien Sartre reports from Brittany.