France

Political lessons of the French elections

By Alex Lantier, 23 June 2017

The election of Emmanuel Macron is the outcome of the reactionary policies of the organizations in the so-called French left that broke with Trotskyism.

France's new pro-Macron legislature: the ruling class in office

By Francis Dubois, 21 June 2017

Despite claims that President Emmanuel Macron's party is renovating French politics, his party is a haven for business owners and France's old political establishment.

France’s new pro-Macron legislature: The ruling class in office

By Francis Dubois, 20 June 2017

Despite claims that President Emmanuel Macron is renovating French politics, his party is a haven for business owners and France’s old political establishment.

Record abstention overshadows Macron victory in French legislative election

By Alex Lantier, 19 June 2017

The Socialist Party, which has dominated what passed for the French “left” since its founding in 1971, suffered a historic collapse.

François Ruffin runs populist campaign in Amiens for France’s legislative election

By Antoine Lerougetel, 17 June 2017

Ruffin, a successful independent filmmaker, makes clear that he will not build a movement in the working class in the de-industrialized regions of northern France.

On the eve of the second round of the French legislative elections

By Alex Lantier, 17 June 2017

The elections taking place tomorrow will undoubtedly mark a historic collapse of French democracy and of what has passed for the “left” in France for nearly a half century.

Divisions erupt in neo-fascist National Front during French legislative election

By Francis Dubois, 16 June 2017

The FN’s position on the European Union and the euro has emerged as the main point of conflict.

In Paris talks with British prime minister May

French President Macron holds out prospect of canceling Brexit

By Alex Lantier, 15 June 2017

A bitter struggle over influence and alliances is unfolding between the imperialist powers, amid growing hostility to Washington on the part of Paris and Berlin.

French legislative elections expose Mélenchon’s political bankruptcy

By Alex Lantier, 14 June 2017

Mass abstention and the anticipated electoral victory of President Macron’s party is the masses’ unanswerable verdict on Mélenchon’s electoral maneuvers.

Mass abstention overshadows Macron victory in French legislative elections

By Alex Lantier, 12 June 2017

Fully 51.2 percent of voters abstained in Sunday’s French legislative elections —the first time since the end of World War II that only a minority of registered voters participated.

With permanent state of emergency, Macron plans authoritarian rule in France

By Kumaran Ira, 9 June 2017

Press reports yesterday confirmed that the government of newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron intends to pass a law making the state of emergency permanent.

New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA) election meeting in Paris: The dead end of the pseudo-left

By Alex Lantier, 9 June 2017

Despite the war crisis and growing social anger among workers, NPA leader Alain Krivine insisted that internationalist opposition to capitalism would find no popular support.

Sections of Paris on lockdown after attack on policeman

By our reporter, 7 June 2017

President Emmanuel Macron’s government seized on an assault in which one policeman was lightly wounded to call for extending France’s state of emergency.

Macron’s En Marche set to win large majority in French legislative elections

By Alex Lantier, 6 June 2017

The newly-elected president intends for the assembly, controlled by his party, to serve as a rubber stamp for unprecedented attacks on social and democratic rights.

In French legislative elections, Mélenchon moves closer to Macron

By Kumaran Ira, 2 June 2017

The perspective for opposition to President Emmanuel Macron’s agenda offered by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the Unsubmissive France movement, is collapsing.

Green Party mayor demolishes refugee camp in Grenoble, France

By Athiyan Silva, 1 June 2017

More than one hundred CRS police rounded up and forcibly expelled refugees from the Valmy Refugee camp in southeast France.

French media hail Macron’s moves away from US anti-Russian policies

By Alex Lantier, 31 May 2017

French and German newspapers pointed to a “European moment,” in which continental Europe led by Germany and France would unite against the United States and Britain.

In meeting with Putin, Macron distances France from Washington’s anti-Russia policy

By Alex Lantier, 30 May 2017

While advancing an aggressive imperialist intervention in the Syrian and Ukrainian crises, Macron signaled a broad shift in France’s foreign policy.

Gasoline and chemical truck drivers strike in France

By Francis Dubois, 30 May 2017

The unions are insisting that this strike should be limited to action in one industry and are seeking to avoid any serious interruption of industry and transport.

After Manchester attack, France prolongs state of emergency

By Francis Dubois, 25 May 2017

A week after taking office, French President Emmanuel Macron’s government announced that it would prolong the country’s state of emergency to November and seek a law to make it permanent.

Macron prepares enabling act to slash contracts, labor rights in France

By Alex Lantier, 23 May 2017

The newly-elected president is preparing a historic assault on jobs, wages, and labor legislation to be rammed through by presidential decree in the face of public opposition.

Visiting Mali, French President Macron appeals for army’s support

By Francis Dubois, 22 May 2017

Macron hailed the army at a military base in Gao, and confirmed its magnified role via the Socialist Party’s state of emergency laws.

Informant Claude Hermant implicates French state in Charlie Hebdo attacks

By Anthony Torres, 22 May 2017

The case shatters the official narrative that terror attacks in France, Belgium and Germany since 2015 have been the work of isolated Islamists.

French media, political parties hush up PS government’s coup plan

By Alex Lantier, 20 May 2017

Thursday’s edition of L’Obs magazine revealed that the outgoing Socialist Party government planned a coup d’état if National Front candidate Marine Le Pen had won the May 7 presidential elections.

French government prepared coup if Le Pen won presidential election

By Alex Lantier, 19 May 2017

According to L'Obs the plan aimed not to keep Le Pen out of office, but to crush anti-fascist protests, impose martial law, and force Le Pen to work with a social democratic government.

Macron names government to implement social counterrevolution in France

By Francis Dubois, 18 May 2017

Edouard Philippe, named to the post of prime minister May 15 by newly elected President Emmanuel Macron, presented his cabinet yesterday afternoon.

Macron delays announcement of French ministerial cabinet

By Alex Lantier, 17 May 2017

The cabinet is to be announced Wednesday, with a delay of 24 hours, after verification of future ministers’ tax status and potential conflicts of interest.

Mélenchon repeats offer to serve as the prime minister of France under Macron

By Kumaran Ira, 17 May 2017

At a convention to launch a campaign for the upcoming legislative elections, Mélenchon asserted that his Unsubmissive France movement will be able to “govern the country.”

French President Macron names right-wing PM, meets Merkel to plan austerity and war

By Alex Lantier, 16 May 2017

Macron’s friendly meeting with Merkel shows that his election as president is part of a social counterrevolution being waged across Europe.

French auto parts workers at GM&S threaten to blow up plant to block closure

By Anthony Torres, 16 May 2017

The only way forward is a broad mobilization of workers to defend jobs at GM&S in a break with the union bureaucracies and in opposition to newly elected President Emmanuel Macron.

Emmanuel Macron inaugurated as president of France

By Alex Lantier, 15 May 2017

In a display of militarism and reaction, the newly elected president pledged to rekindle France’s “spirit of conquest” by expanding the military and waging a full-scale offensive against workers’ living standards.

German enthusiasm for Macron begins to wane

By Peter Schwarz, 15 May 2017

Enthusiasm for Emmanuel Macron has not lasted long in Germany. His calls for more financial leeway from the European Union are meeting fierce opposition in German government and business circles.

French President-elect Macron’s legislative slate: Social reaction bares its teeth

By Alex Lantier, 12 May 2017

Over six in 10 voters have said that they do not want Macron to obtain a majority in the National Assembly, due to his warmongering and anti-working class policies.

Guardian journalist Paul Mason calls for a “left” alliance with “free market elite”

By Robert Stevens, 12 May 2017

Mason claims that the former Rothschild banker Emmanuel Macron has given “French democracy, Europeanism and globalism another chance.”

Mélenchon-Communist Party alliance for French legislative elections collapses

By Alex Lantier, 11 May 2017

The two main forces that together supported Mélenchon’s presidential bid will run as opponents in the legislative elections next month.

What way forward in the struggle against Macron?

By Alex Lantier, 9 May 2017

Macron’s actions have rapidly exposed the fraudulent claims of his media and political supporters that he would defend democracy and block the rise of neo-fascism.

Macron wins French presidency

By Alex Lantier, 8 May 2017

Over four million people cast blank or spoiled ballots to express their hostility to both candidates presented by the French political establishment.

On the eve of the French presidential election

By Alex Lantier, 6 May 2017

Class conflict of revolutionary dimensions is being prepared in France as social anger builds against both presidential candidates.

NPA tacitly backs the French ruling elite’s campaign for Macron vote

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 6 May 2017

Ahead of Sunday’s presidential run-off election, the New Anti-capitalist Party is working to subordinate workers and youth to the candidate of austerity and war, Emmanuel Macron.

Ahead of May 7 runoff, French right-wing Les Républicains on verge of split

By Kumaran Ira, 5 May 2017

Bitter divisions are erupting within Les Républicains over whether to endorse presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron against neo-fascist Marine Le Pen.

French election debate: Macron, Le Pen promote militarism, attacks on immigrants

By Alex Lantier and Johannes Stern, 4 May 2017

Over the course of 150 minutes, the fascist Le Pen and the ex-banker Macron alternated between insulting each other and braying for militarism and state repression.

French warship joins US-UK-Japanese fleet threatening North Korea

By Athiyan Silva, 4 May 2017

Behind the backs of the French people, the Socialist Party government and presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron are joining the US-led war drive against North Korea.

Paris youth speak to WSWS: “I don’t want to vote for the right just because I’m afraid of Le Pen”

By our reporters, 4 May 2017

The comments of two young Parisians express growing opposition to both On the March candidate Emanuel Macron and National Front candidate Marine Le Pen.

Why Emmanuel Macron is no lesser evil compared to Marine Le Pen

By Johannes Stern, 4 May 2017

These remarks were delivered by Johannes Stern, a leading member of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, the German section of the ICFI, at the first public meeting of the Parti de l’égalité socialiste on May Day in Paris.

In online poll, Mélenchon supporters reject both candidates in French runoff election

By Alex Lantier, 3 May 2017

Unsubmissive France leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon is seeking to entrap opposition to both presidential candidates in the straitjacket of an alliance with Emmanuel Macron.

PES public meeting in Paris calls for active boycott of French elections

By our reporters, 3 May 2017

The Parti de l'égalité socialiste's meeting, attended by over 60 people, was the first public event of a French section of the International Committee of the Fourth International since 1971.

May Day in France: Trade union calls to support Macron fall flat

By Francis Dubois, 2 May 2017

Workers and youth throughout France sense that the calls to “block” Le Pen from the political establishment are barely disguised appeals to vote for the former banker Macron.

Parti de l'égalité socialiste holds first public meeting on May Day in Paris

By our reporters, 2 May 2017

The first public meeting of the PES, the French section of the ICFI, since its founding last year attracted an audience of more than 60 workers and students from across France.

May Day 2017

The perspective for the working class in the French presidential election

By Alex Lantier, 2 May 2017

The PES' campaign for an active boycott of the election is the revolutionary alternative to the impotent parliamentary maneuvers proposed by Mélenchon.

French right splits as sections back neo-fascist Le Pen

By Kumaran Ira, 1 May 2017

As the French two-party political system collapses, the National Front is developing overt ties with more traditional sections of the French right.

Mélenchon refuses to take a position in French presidential runoff

By Alex Lantier, 29 April 2017

Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s declaration that he will participate in the May 7 vote but keep secret for whom he votes is an admission that he has no independent political line.

French youth protest Le Pen-Macron second round in presidential elections

By Alex Lantier, 28 April 2017

The critical issue facing youth protesting the elections is to turn to the working class, in defiance of the media’s reactionary pro-Macron propaganda.

British ruling elite regard Macron victory in France as a “mixed blessing”

By Julie Hyland, 27 April 2017

Britain’s right-wing media are concerned that Macron will be unable to enforce his agenda under conditions of widespread political alienation and hostility to the ruling elite.

No to Macron and Le Pen! For an active boycott of the French election!

By Political Committee of the Parti de l'égalité socialiste, 27 April 2017

The arguments put forward to try to blackmail the French people into voting for Macron, the preferred candidate of finance capital, against the neo-fascist Le Pen are a combination of sophistries and lies.

Hollande invites Le Pen, Macron to funeral of slain Champs-Élysées officer

By Alex Lantier, 26 April 2017

After Macron and Le Pen advanced to the second round, the French president's gesture was intended to delegitimize opposition to Le Pen's neo-fascist National Front.

What lies behind the German elite’s celebration of Macron?

By Johannes Stern, 26 April 2017

All the major parties have hailed the results of the first round of the French presidential election.

French ruling elite rallies around Macron

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 25 April 2017

Despite claims that Emmanuel Macron represents a “democratic” alternative to the fascistic Marine Le Pen, the former banker seeks to extend France's anti-democratic state of emergency, impose drastic austerity and re-establish the draft.

Macron and neo-fascist Le Pen advance to run-off in French presidential elections

By Alex Lantier, 24 April 2017

As France’s traditional two-party system collapses, neo-fascist candidate Marine Le Pen has emerged as a contender for state power.

France’s election at gunpoint

By Alex Lantier, 22 April 2017

As tens of millions of voters prepare to go to the polls Sunday, an intervention by elements in the French state machine is underway to swing the elections to the right.

Sections of Paris on lockdown after pre-election shooting

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 21 April 2017

The day before Thursday's attack, French authorities said they planned to put 50,000 troops in the streets on Election Day, effectively holding the election at gunpoint.

NPA candidate Philippe Poutou holds pro-war campaign meeting in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 21 April 2017

On Wednesday night, the New Anti-capitalist Party held the final campaign meeting of its presidential candidate, Philippe Poutou, in the north suburbs of Paris.

France announces major military deployment on presidential election day

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 20 April 2017

After the arrest of two suspected Islamic State sympathizers, authorities plan to deploy 50,000 soldiers and policemen on Sunday for the first round of presidential elections.

No to war and nationalism! Build the PES!

Parti de l’égalité socialiste statement on the French presidential election

19 April 2017

Growing demands for peace and an end to austerity herald decisive class struggles, for which the working class urgently needs a new revolutionary leadership.

Fire hits Grande-Synthe refugee camp in France

By Stéphane Hugues, 14 April 2017

French officials are seizing on the fire to justify rapidly shutting down a camp they have publicly been calling to dismantle for months.

Mélenchon gains in French presidential polls after Trump’s strike on Syria

By Alex Lantier, 11 April 2017

Mélenchon is seeking to speak to a growing left-wing and anti-war sentiment in the French population, but he will only disappoint the hopes he is awakening.

French NPA candidate Philippe Poutou defends Trump’s bombing of Syria

By Alex Lantier, 11 April 2017

The NPA is defending the war, shamelessly denouncing any opposition to the reckless US military escalation as support for mass murder by the Syrian regime.

France: Libération makes “humanitarian” case for imperialist war in Syria

By Anthony Torres, 8 April 2017

The French “left” daily published front-page pictures of gassed Syrian children in an odious attempt to stampede public opinion into accepting an imperialist intervention in Syria.

French presidential candidates feign opposition in 11-party debate

By Alex Lantier, 6 April 2017

The fractious debate between all 11 French presidential candidates reflected the fear of growing social opposition by the French ruling class.

A reply to a reader’s comment on a WSWS article on Jean-Luc Mélenchon

By Alex Lantier, 5 April 2017

The WSWS evaluation of Mélenchon as a pro-war, nationalist politician whose call for restoring the draft underscores the growing danger of war is correct.

Thousands protest police murder of Liu Shaoyo in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 4 April 2017

French intelligence has launched a reactionary media campaign, insinuating that protesters are agents of Beijing or of the Chinese mafia.

French presidential candidate Mélenchon calls for bringing back the draft

By Kumaran Ira, 3 April 2017

Mélenchon, an ally of Greece’s Syriza government, is carrying out a campaign to support policies of war and police-state rule.

French police murder Chinese immigrant Liu Shaoyo in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 29 March 2017

According to Liu’s family, police battered down the door of his apartment and immediately shot him in cold blood.

Growing divisions, war threats loom over EU summit in Rome

By Alex Lantier, 27 March 2017

The European Union is responding to Britain’s exit by seeking to convert itself into an aggressive military bloc rivaling the United States.

French presidential debate: Political establishment shifts far to the right

By Alex Lantier, 22 March 2017

On Monday night, 9.8 million people watched a three-hour television debate between the five leading candidates in the French presidential elections.

Presidential front-runner Macron pledges to bring back the draft in France

By Alex Lantier, 21 March 2017

Macron’s statement is a warning for the population of France and the world of the advanced state of planning for wider wars.

French police fire tear gas at protesters amid clampdown over Orly airport shooting

By our reporters, 20 March 2017

Social tensions are rising in the run-up to the April-May elections, amid a relentlessly right-wing, law-and-order atmosphere whipped up by all factions of the ruling elite.

Fillon survives challenge as French right’s presidential candidate

By Alex Lantier and Stéphane Hugues, 10 March 2017

Growing sections of Fillon’s own Les Républicains party fear that the candidate will be unable to defeat neo-fascist Marine Le Pen in this year’s presidential election.

French air traffic controllers strike against work restructuring

By Anthony Torres, 10 March 2017

Amidst growing opposition among workers, the trade unions are calling strikes against contracts that the unions themselves have already signed.

Warning of neo-fascist victory in France, Hollande promotes EU militarism

By Alex Lantier, 7 March 2017

The danger of an FN victory in the French elections is the product of the reactionary social and war policy pursued by the EU, and by Hollande in France.

In northern France, Calais mayor bans distribution of meals to migrants

By Antoine Lerougetel, 7 March 2017

Extreme right-wing positions that would have been identified with the neo-fascist National Front in another era have become commonplace in French bourgeois politics.

Fillon to continue his French presidential bid despite indictment

By Alex Lantier, 3 March 2017

It is not the French political elite’s undeniable corruption, but deep geo-strategic conflicts among the NATO powers, that are driving the scandal around Fillon.

Protests spread against sexual assault by French police at Aulnay-sous-Bois

By Anthony Torres, 28 February 2017

The protests point to the gulf between popular sentiment and the field of presidential candidates, all of whom support stepped-up powers and staffing levels for police.

Far-right Front National surges in French presidential election polls

By Kumaran Ira and Alex Lantier, 25 February 2017

The neo-fascist party’s emergence as a contender for power points to the deep crisis of bourgeois rule in France and across Europe.

Left Front, Socialist Party pursue alliance in French presidential elections

By Anthony Torres, 21 February 2017

With the Socialist Party deeply unpopular under President François Hollande, the Left Front is seeking an alliance with it without daring to endorse its policies.

French neo-fascists present anti-EU, anti-immigrant program in 2017 elections

By Alice Laurençon, 18 February 2017

The National Front opponents in the French ruling elite are increasingly anxious about the growing possibility of an FN victory in the presidential elections.

French authorities step up financial probe of conservative presidential candidate François Fillon

By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 17 February 2017

A vicious faction fight has erupted inside the French ruling elite, after Fillon proposed to reorient French and European foreign policy towards Russia.

2017 French elections: Why is the NPA criticizing the Left Front’s populism?

By Kumaran Ira, 16 February 2017

Jean-Luc Mélenchon's repudiation of the working class as a political force exposes the entire nationalist, pseudo-left milieu to which the New Anti-capitalist Party belongs.

Munich Security Conference chairman advocates European rearmament

By Peter Schwarz, 16 February 2017

Wolfgang Ischinger, the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, proposed defending the “Western order of values” by means of a massive increase in military spending.

French police mobilize against protests by youth in Aulnay

By Anthony Torres, 14 February 2017

The Socialist Party deployed large numbers of police under the state of emergency against youth protesting a sexual assault by police in a poor suburb of Paris.

Conservative Fillon campaign faces collapse in French presidential elections

By Alex Lantier, 14 February 2017

The wife of François Fillon, the right wing Les Républicains’ candidate, received about €900,000 at no-show government jobs.

German Left Party leader demands tougher deportation policy

By Johannes Stern, 11 February 2017

In an interview with the conservative daily Die Welt, Left Party founder Oscar Lafontaine spoke out in favour of a stricter deportation policy.

Flamanville nuclear plant explosion exposes crisis in French nuclear industry

By Anthony Torres, 10 February 2017

Thursday morning an explosion in the machine shop of the Flamanville nuclear plant started a fire that was only brought under control after midday.

French ex-president Sarkozy indicted over 2012 campaign finances

By Stéphane Hugues, 10 February 2017

The indictment of Sarkozy is part of the escalating wave of scandals and legal infighting engulfing his party in the 2017 French presidential campaign.

Macron advocates austerity, law-and-order and militarism in French elections

By Kumaran Ira, 8 February 2017

Calling himself “neither left nor right,” Macron is running a presidential campaign proposing deep austerity to restore French business competitiveness.

French presidential elections too close to call after weekend campaign launch

By Alex Lantier, 7 February 2017

After a weekend in which several leading candidates gave major speeches to launch their campaign, there is enormous uncertainty over the French presidential election.

Riots erupt after youth sexually assaulted by French police at Aulnay

By Kumaran Ira, 7 February 2017

Four police officers have been charged with assaulting an innocent 22-year-old in a working-class suburb of Paris.

Corruption allegations undermine French presidential candidate François Fillon

By Alice Laurençon, 4 February 2017

While demanding that the working class endure draconian austerity measures, the ruling elite is able to procure hundreds of thousands of euros of public funds for their own benefit.

Trump’s nationalist threats and the response of the European ruling class

By Alex Lantier, 2 February 2017

In response to Trump’s protectionist threats against Europe and criticisms of the euro, Germany and its closest allies are preparing a major military and police buildup.

Germany, France criticize Trump’s immigration ban

By Alex Lantier, 31 January 2017

Official criticisms of Trump aim to shield the European Union from rising anger at the persecution of migrants, and assert European imperialist interests against Washington.

Benoît Hamon wins Socialist Party presidential primary in France

By Alice Laurençon, 30 January 2017

With broad sections of the PS moving to endorse right-wing banker Emmanuel Macron, the party is threatened with political collapse after Hamon’s victory.