France

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.

Corruption allegations hit conservative French presidential candidate Fillon

By Alex Lantier, 28 January 2017

Charges that François Fillon’s wife received €600,000 for jobs where she did no work, which were made just after Fillon called for closer ties to Moscow, could end his campaign.

Hamon presents pro-war, law-and-order program in French elections

By Anthony Torres, 27 January 2017

Popular opposition to President Hollande’s policies of war, austerity, and police state rule cannot find any expression through PS “rebel” candidate Benoît Hamon.

French presidential candidate François Fillon calls for alliance with Germany against US

By Alice Laurençon, 25 January 2017

The purpose of Fillon’s meetings in Berlin was to prepare a policy of countering, with military power if necessary, hostile moves from Washington.

Allegations of manipulation in French Socialist Party’s presidential primary

By Alex Lantier, 24 January 2017

The apparent manipulation of the voter turnout by Socialist Party officials highlighted sharp conflicts in the PS as it faces disaster in the 2017 elections.

French prime minister beaten into second place in Socialist Party presidential primary

By Alex Lantier, 23 January 2017

French President François Hollande’s government suffered another humiliating setback last night in the presidential primary of his Socialist Party.

Socialist Party officials back banker Macron in French presidential elections

By Alice Laurençon, 23 January 2017

Forty-six PS officials in the Lyon region signed a manifesto on January 17 calling for a boycott of the presidential primaries of their own party.

Paris conference pleads with Trump to continue Middle East “peace process”

By Jean Shaoul, 17 January 2017

The Paris meeting demonstrates the futility of seeking a way forward for for the Palestinian people through a filthy deal between the Palestinian bourgeoisie, the Israeli government and the reactionary Arab states.

PS candidates signal continuity with French President Hollande’s policies

By Alex Lantier, 14 January 2017

Despite fears of a Socialist Party electoral collapse, not a single candidate forthrightly criticized Hollande or called for a shift in policy in the interests of working people.

French defence minister whips up hysteria over Russian hacking of elections

By Anthony Torres, 13 January 2017

Despite anti-Russian hysteria in the media, no concrete evidence has been produced to show that Moscow hacked election results either in the United States or France.

President Hollande gives French army, intelligence “green light to kill”

By Kumaran Ira, 11 January 2017

According to recent investigative reports, the Socialist Party has massively stepped up the French state’s extrajudicial murder program, assassinating at least 40 people.

US politicians, intelligence move to cut French neo-fascists’ ties to Russia

By Alex Lantier, 7 January 2017

Conflicts between US intelligence, Donald Trump and France’s National Front point to geopolitical tensions underlying anti-Russian hysteria in America and Europe.

French army chief demands large defence budget increases

By Anthony Torres, 31 December 2016

Pierre de Villiers, the chief of staff of the French armed forces, is calling for an increase in military spending to 2 percent of France’s gross domestic product.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde let off scot-free after negligence conviction

By Alex Lantier, 20 December 2016

As French finance minister in 2008, Lagarde failed to do due diligence to oppose calls for a €400 million state payoff to corporate raider Bernard Tapie.

New French Prime Minister Cazeneuve prolongs state of emergency

By Alex Lantier, 15 December 2016

Basic democratic rights will continue to be suspended in France until July 2017, after next year’s presidential elections in May 2017.

François Hollande declines to run for re-election as French president

By Kumaran Ira, 7 December 2016

This is the first time since the creation of the office of the French presidency in 1958 that a first-term incumbent has chosen not to run for re-election.

Fillon presidential bid in France exposes bankruptcy of NPA backing of Hollande

By Alice Laurençon, 29 November 2016

Responsibility for the rise of Fillon and the far right lies above all with organizations like the NPA, which have blocked opposition to the PS from the left.

France: Fillon wins presidential primary of right-wing parties

By Alex Lantier, 28 November 2016

Fillon’s victory as the candidate of The Republicans signifies a sharp shift to the right toward intensified austerity, nationalism and militarism.

French right’s presidential primary highlights shift far to the right

By Alex Lantier and Alice Laurençon, 25 November 2016

François Fillon and Alain Juppé, who will run Sunday in the second round of the French right’s presidential primary, held one last debate on Thursday night.

Former economy minister Macron announces French presidential election bid

By Anthony Torres, 23 November 2016

The election bid points to the advanced state of disintegration of François Hollande’s government and of the Socialist Party, which is anticipating a debacle in the elections.

France’s Jean-Pierre Chevènement hails US President-elect Trump

By Kumaran Ira, 22 November 2016

The former leader of the Republican and Citizen Movement is trying to assemble a political coalition, including the neo-fascist National Front, to pursue nationalist policies.

French crackdown on “youth delinquency” in New Caledonia

By John Braddock, 22 November 2016

Armed clashes between Kanak youth and police in the small French Pacific territory point to explosive social tensions.

Fillon, Juppé win first round of French right’s presidential primary

By Alice Laurençon, 21 November 2016

The media presented the Les Républicains primary as determining the candidate who will most likely run against Marine Le Pen of the neo-fascist National Front in the second round of the presidential elections next year.

Build the Socialist Equality Party (France)!

15 November 2016

This statement was adopted as the historical and political basis for the founding of the Parti de l’égalité socialiste, the French section of the ICFI.

The International Committee of the Fourth International founds its French section

By our reporter, 15 November 2016

The International Committee of the Fourth International has recognized the Parti de l'égalité socialiste as its French section.

French prime minister calls for extension of state of emergency

By Alex Lantier, 14 November 2016

Coming just after Donald Trump’s election as US president, the announcement points to the accelerating collapse of democratic forms of rule on both sides of the Atlantic.

French government creates illegal database on over 60 million citizens

By Anthony Torres, 14 November 2016

By setting up a single database monitoring the entire French population, the Socialist Party government is arming the state with vast repressive powers.

After Calais camp closure

French neo-fascists step up calls for attacks on refugees

By Francis Dubois, 11 November 2016

Those calling for the persecution of refugees enjoy the more or less open support of the French political establishment.

Shock in Europe over Trump’s election victory

By Peter Schwarz, 10 November 2016

Europe’s ruling elites fear that the election of Trump will not only destabilise the United States, but also the rest of the world.

France’s New Anti-Capitalist Party covers up its support for Libya war

By Kumaran Ira, 10 November 2016

As the Libyan catastrophe produced by the 2011 NATO war exposes the NPA’s bankruptcy, it is trying to bury its own record of supporting imperialist war.

French police launch demolition of “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais

By Kumaran Ira and Alex Lantier, 25 October 2016

The Socialist Party government’s hailing of the police assault on the camp as a “humanitarian” operation designed to protect refugees is an odious political lie.

French presidential election 2017

Right-wing candidates’ debate advocates austerity, police-state measures

By Kumaran Ira, 24 October 2016

The French political establishment is unanimous that anti-Muslim hatred and police-state forms of rule are to become permanent features of political life.

Divisions grow at EU summit over trans-Atlantic trade, war drive against Russia

By Alex Lantier, 22 October 2016

The European Union is incapable not only of reaching agreement on policy, but of hiding the increasingly embittered tensions among its member states.

Police stage right-wing, law and order protest in France

By Francis Dubois, 22 October 2016

The Socialist Party government has cultivated the police as its main social base, and police are now aggressively advancing demands for more resources and powers.

France creates National Guard targeting the working class

By Anthony Torres, 17 October 2016

Adopting a neo-fascist proposal to create a National Guard, the Socialist Party is preparing for large-scale military operations inside France itself.

Tensions rise between Poland and France after failed arms deal

By Clara Weiss, 17 October 2016

Relations between France and Poland have worsened substantially after the Polish government pulled out of an arms deal with Airbus that had been planned for years.

French President Hollande cancels Paris meeting with Russian President Putin

By Anthony Torres, 13 October 2016

The cancellation of the Russian President’s visit to France is part of a dangerous explosion of military tensions between NATO and Russia over Syria.

Britain and France prepare military escalation in Syria

By Robert Stevens, 12 October 2016

The British parliament met in an emergency three-hour session Tuesday to accuse Russia of war crimes in Syria.

France calls for its own “pivot to Asia” amid US war drive against China

By Kumaran Ira, 10 October 2016

French imperialism is laying out an aggressive military strategy in the Asia-Pacific as Washington intensifies its war drive against China.

France’s sale of Rafale jets to India stokes Indo-Pakistani war tensions

By Senthooran Ravee, 5 October 2016

The Rafale deal is one of India’s largest-ever arms purchases

Britain attacks plans for European military union at Bratislava summit

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 28 September 2016

British officials see German and French plans to militarise the European Union as an intolerable threat to the NATO alliance and Europe's relations with the United States.

French right-wing candidate Alain Juppé warns of rising anti-Muslim hysteria

By Kumaran Ira, 26 September 2016

Juppé’s party played a major role in stoking anti-Muslim sentiment, and his statement that it has placed France on the verge of “civil war” is a damning self-indictment.

Germany and France press ahead with a European military union

By Johannes Stern, 23 September 2016

A joint paper by the German and French defence ministers calls for the development of an independent European military and great power policy.

Neo-fascist Marine Le Pen launches 2017 French presidential election bid

By Kumaran Ira, 22 September 2016

Le Pen's emergence as a contender for power, amid a state of emergency imposed by the Socialist Party, points to the accelerating collapse of French democracy.

Hundreds of thousands march in new protest against French labour law

By V. Gnana and Stéphane Hugues, 16 September 2016

Deep popular opposition remains to the law, even after trade unions halted the protests over the summer holidays.

Germany, France propose EU military alliance before post-Brexit summit

By Alex Lantier, 13 September 2016

In response to Brexit, Berlin and Paris aim to transform the EU into a military alliance capable of waging major wars abroad and large-scale repression at home.

French unions join far-right movement against refugees in Calais

By Anthony Torres, 12 September 2016

The CGT is inciting nationalist hatred to divide the workers and disorient their opposition to the wars and social cuts of the French government, which it helped elect.

Greek PM Tsipras promotes nationalism, austerity at Southern European conference

By Alex Lantier, 9 September 2016

Amid protests against its austerity policies in Greece, Syriza is boosting the EU and trying to divert social anger along nationalist lines, inciting anti-German sentiment.

Left Front promotes French regime-change operation in oil-rich Gabon

By Stéphane Hugues, 7 September 2016

Mélenchon joined a demonstration that implicitly called for a military intervention by France, the former colonial power, to topple incumbent President Ali Bongo.

France pushes for regime change after contested elections in Gabon

By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 2 September 2016

Well before investigations of the election returns have begun, Paris is demanding that incumbent President Ali Bongo immediately hand over power.

France demands end to trade talks with US amid rising US-EU tensions

By V. Gnana and Alex Lantier, 31 August 2016

As France demanded an end to talks on the TTIP trade deal, the EU said it would levy a €13 billion fine on Apple, a move the US Treasury said could damage US-EU ties.

Sarkozy launches French presidential bid based on anti-Muslim hysteria

By Kumaran Ira, 29 August 2016

The former French president called for returning to universal military service and imposing measures that would turn France’s Muslim population into second-class citizens.

French woman arrested, fined for wearing Muslim headscarf on Cannes beach

By Anthony Torres, 29 August 2016

In an unprecedented attack on freedom of religion and on France’s Muslim community, local police are moving to effectively criminalize the wearing of Muslim headscarves.

Divisions rise inside EU at summit between Germany, France and Italy

By Alex Lantier, 23 August 2016

Amid the escalating crisis unleashed by the Brexit vote, the remaining major EU powers barely succeeded in papering over the divisions between them.

After brawl in town of Sisco, France launches campaign to ban burkini

By Kumaran Ira, 18 August 2016

Seizing on an ethnic brawl, the French political establishment is hysterically accusing Muslim women wearing burkinis of promoting terrorism.

Adama Traoré’s autopsy undermines French police’s account of his death

By Kumaran Ira, 2 August 2016

Police banned a peaceful rally protesting the death in police custoday of 24-year-old Adama Traoré after a new autopsy contradicted initial police accounts.

Two ISIS supporters shot dead after slaying a priest in France

By Kumaran Ira, 27 July 2016

The two attackers were summarily executed by elite police units as they left a church, where they had slit the throat of an 86-year-old priest.

Three French soldiers killed during secret military operations in Libya

By Anthony Torres, 27 July 2016

The incident underscores the illegal character of the ongoing military operations in Libya, which are being carried out behind the backs of the French people.

French president, British prime minister meet to discuss Brexit crisis

By Alex Lantier, 23 July 2016

Hollande shifted towards a more accommodating position, giving Britain more time to negotiate the exit and reaffirming Britain’s role as a key military ally of France.