France

Naming new French prime minister, Macron coordinates austerity with unions

By Alex Lantier, 4 July 2020

Jean Castex is being brought in to coordinate with the unions the draconian austerity policies that Macron and the banks will impose amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

French unions collaborate with employers to impose mass layoffs as COVID-19 crisis deepens

By Will Morrow, 4 July 2020

As an international wave of layoffs and plant closures comes in France, the trade unions are working closely with the Macron government and employers to suppress workers’ opposition to this assault.

Inhuman Resources: In French Netflix series, an unemployed man takes extreme measures

By Joanne Laurier, 3 July 2020

The French Netflix miniseries concerns the plight of a middle-aged, middle class man who seeks to redress his long-term unemployment through extreme measures.

Merkel, Macron promote EU militarism amid growing conflicts with Washington

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 30 June 2020

The leaders of Germany and France called for stepped-up military spending and austerity to ensure Europe’s ability to wage war independently from Washington.

WHO warns of “very significant” coronavirus resurgence in Europe

By Will Morrow, 27 June 2020

The resurgence is driven by governments’ reopening policy, whose aim is the full resumption of corporate profit-making, regardless of the threat to workers.

France backs Egypt’s threat to intervene against Turkey in Libyan war

By Alex Lantier, 24 June 2020

Even as COVID-19 threatens millions in Africa, the NATO powers risk escalating their nine-year carve-up of Libya into a major regional or even global conflict.

Global outrage over violent police arrest of 50-year-old French nurse Farida

By Will Morrow, 20 June 2020

The response of the French ruling class to health care workers’ demands for increased resources to combat the pandemic in decent and safe conditions is naked repression.

Air France-KLM prepares to slash at least 6,000 jobs

By Anthony Torres, 20 June 2020

After receiving a €7 billion public bailout, the French-Dutch airline is preparing to slash between 6,000 and 10,000 jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financier of 1994 Rwandan genocide Félicien Kabuga arrested in Paris

By Jacques Valentin, 20 June 2020

Kabuga, who financed and helped equip the genocidal Interahamwe militias, had been located by police in 2007 but was still living quietly in the Paris suburbs.

Top French general announces preparations for “state against state” wars

By Will Morrow, 19 June 2020

Drawing an analogy to the coronavirus pandemic, Burkhard stated that the eruption of a major war “is missing only the patient zero of the epidemic war.”

Macron unleashes riot police against French health care protests

By Will Morrow, 17 June 2020

The Macron administration organized a violent assault on health care workers who just weeks earlier were self-servingly hailed for their sacrifice during the pandemic.

French state hands €15 billion bailout to Airbus and Air France

By Kumaran Ira, 17 June 2020

While aerospace firms are receiving massive financial support from the state, they are preparing restructuring plans to slash jobs, wages and benefits.

Macron announces mass bankruptcies and layoffs as coronavirus restrictions are ended

By Alex Lantier, 16 June 2020

With Macron’s brief televised address, the ruling class is declaring an international class war against workers.

Tens of thousands protest in Paris against police killings of George Floyd and Adama Traoré

By Will Morrow, 15 June 2020

Tens of thousands filled the Place de la République in central Paris on Saturday afternoon to protest police violence and demand justice for the killings.

French daily Le Figaro reports that Macron considering early resignation

By Alex Lantier, 13 June 2020

The coronavirus pandemic and the international protests against the police murders of George Floyd and Adama Traoré have profoundly destabilized the government.

Protests erupt in France against police violence and Trump’s coup d’état

By Alex Lantier, 5 June 2020

After the anti-constitutional threats by Trump to deploy the military against protests in the United States, 20,000 people demonstrated in Paris on Tuesday.

German and French trade unions back Merkel and Macron’s recovery programme

By Peter Schwarz, 30 May 2020

Trade union support for the recovery programme is a signal to Paris and Berlin that they can rely on the unflinching support on the unions in combating rivals on the global market and implementing attacks on the working class.

After French bailout, Renault-Nissan announces global jobs massacre

By Alex Lantier, 26 May 2020

Four plants in France, three in Spain and tens of thousands of jobs worldwide are targeted amid a savage restructuring of the global auto industry.

Reopened schools close across France as coronavirus found among students and staff

By Will Morrow, 26 May 2020

Two weeks after the reopening of schools began in France, more than 70 schools have been forced to close as coronavirus cases have been found among students and teachers.

Merkel and Macron’s European bailout: €500 billion for trade war and austerity

By Peter Schwarz, 22 May 2020

Merkel and Macron see the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to strengthen their countries’ position in the world market and reorganise the European economy in the interests of the major corporations.

Spike in Kawasaki-like disease linked to coronavirus in France and Italy, one child dies

By Will Morrow, 18 May 2020

This is a damning indictment of capitalist governments internationally which are reopening schools and asserting that the virus does not harm children.

COVID-19: Mélenchon offers national unity with France’s banks

By Anthony Torres and Alexandre Lantier, 14 May 2020

Mélenchon hails the Sacred Union between the far-right and social democracy in World War I as a model to keep social cohesion despite mass COVID-19 deaths.

For collective strike action against the end of the COVID-19 lockdown!

By the National Committee of the Socialist Equality Party (France), 11 May 2020

The mass opposition of workers against the return to work in France and internationally, which threatens millions of lives, must be politically mobilized.

Macron government ending coronavirus lockdown beginning this Monday

By Alex Lantier, 9 May 2020

The government’s reckless decision, in line with similar measures underway across Europe and the US, puts countless lives at risk.

French Senate votes to give officials legal indemnity over coronavirus infections

By Jacques Valentin, 9 May 2020

The provisions cover the entire period since the state declared a national health emergency in March, and apply to elected representatives, ministers, civil servants and employers.

French unions complicit in Macron’s May 11 return-to-work policy

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 6 May 2020

The CGT is refusing to call any strike action as Macron is pushing workers back into their workplaces next Monday.

Euro zone economy contracts at record pace

By Nick Beams, 2 May 2020

The European Central Bank has taken the same road as the US Fed, committing itself to pump still more money across the board into the financial markets.

Prime Minister Philippe announces premature end of the lockdown in France

By Alexandre Lantier and Anthony Torres, 30 April 2020

The decision puts hundreds of thousands of lives at risk that have been saved by the insistence of the working class on measures to contain the disease.

Police in Seine-Saint-Denis suburbs of Paris prepare for food riots

By Anthony Torres, 27 April 2020

Hundreds of thousands of people in working class suburbs risk falling ill in frontline jobs, or going hungry while sheltering at home without any state support.

Macron government uses more lies to push May 11 return to work

By Will Morrow, 25 April 2020

The government is downplaying the disastrous impact that an end to confinement will have on the spread of COVID-19.

Unrest spreads in France in response to police brutality

By Will Morrow, 23 April 2020

While sparked by the latest act of wanton police violence, the riots are more fundamentally driven by popular anger over social inequality and the right-wing policies of the Macron administration.

Amazon shuts down French distribution centers after court requires protection of employees from coronavirus

By Will Morrow, 22 April 2020

The closure is a naked act of economic blackmail, using Amazon’s control over logistics infrastructure to sabotage the distribution of essential goods.

Europe’s pandemic death toll passes 100,000

By Robert Stevens, 20 April 2020

The five major states in Europe—Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK—account for around 85,000 of the 100,000 plus deaths.

French prime minister outlines end to quarantine as coronavirus deaths reach almost 20,000

By Will Morrow, 20 April 2020

Neither Philippe nor Health Minister Véran provided any rational scientific or medical basis, during this health crisis, for the reopening of the economy planned on May 11.

Over 1,000 sailors on French carrier Charles de Gaulle sick with COVID-19

By Anthony Torres, 20 April 2020

The French Navy refused to allow the ship’s commanding officer to stop its mission while the coronavirus spread like wildfire among the crew.

France summons Chinese ambassador after embassy criticizes “herd immunity” policy

By Alex Lantier, 16 April 2020

Paris called in Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye on Monday to criticize his embassy’s statements that European countries abandoned “their citizens to face the viral onslaught.”

French President Macron announces a premature end to quarantine in the interests of the financial elite

By Alex Lantier, 16 April 2020

Emmanuel Macron delivered a televised address to the French public on Monday night to defend his government’s disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The global elite seek their pandemic retreats

By Paul Bond, 15 April 2020

The rapacious quest for pandemic hideouts by the super-rich starkly demonstrates the waste of societal resources under capitalism.

COVID-19 deaths surpass 76,000 in Europe as Spanish government sends millions back to work

By Robert Stevens, 13 April 2020

More than 30 National Health Service workers are reported to have died as the UK’s death toll rises above 10,000.

European governments plot return to work in midst of pandemic

By Thomas Scripps, 11 April 2020

As plans were being hatched over how to impose a return to work, over 4,000 new pandemic deaths were reported in Europe on Friday, bringing the total for the continent to over 70,000.

As Europe’s COVID-19 death toll nears 50,000, British PM Johnson admitted to hospital

By Robert Stevens, 6 April 2020

There is mounting evidence that fatalities are much higher when deaths outside hospitals are factored in.

French state covered up mass COVID-19 deaths in retirement homes

By Jacques Valentin, 6 April 2020

Over the weekend, the reported daily COVID-19 toll in France nearly tripled from earlier levels as deaths of the elderly were finally reported.

Unemployment surges in Europe amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Alex Lantier, 4 April 2020

The catastrophe now unfolding in Europe is rooted not in the biological properties of the coronavirus, but in the political bankruptcy of European capitalism.

Pandemic death toll in Europe rises to 19,000 as savaged health care systems are overwhelmed

By Thomas Scripps and Alice Summers, 28 March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is preying on Europe’s 500 million-plus population whose health care services have been decimated by years of government austerity and private sector looting.

Coronavirus in Europe: Overworked hospitals become death traps

By Gregor Link, 28 March 2020

The criminal inactivity of European governments has led to a murderous and vicious circle of overwork, infection and work absences in hospitals throughout the continent.

COVID-19 pandemic: Doctors sue French government for criminal negligence

By Anthony Torres and Jacques Valentin, 27 March 2020

Lawyers representing hundreds of health-care professionals are filing a suit charging Prime Minister Édouard Philippe and other top officials with criminal negligence.

Death toll over 12,000 in Europe as coronavirus infections escalate

By Thomas Scripps, 25 March 2020

WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom insisted it was still possible to “change the trajectory,” but warned that governments were failing to devote the necessary resources to the crisis.

Over 620 deaths in Italy on Friday as coronavirus fatalities surge in Europe

By Robert Stevens, 21 March 2020

Italy, Spain, Belgium and the UK all recorded their largest single-day death tolls in the global coronavirus pandemic on Friday.

Going into lockdown, Europe overtakes China as coronavirus epicenter

By Alex Lantier, 18 March 2020

Europe is set to soon have more coronavirus cases than China and already has seen more deaths: 3,401 people have died in Europe, and 3,226 have died in China.

Army enters Paris as Macron announces coronavirus lockdown in France

By Alex Lantier and Jacques Valentin, 17 March 2020

The total number of SARS-Covid-2 cases in France grew by 1,210 yesterday to 6,663, with 148 deaths.

Spain deploys army to impose coronavirus lockdown

By Alejandro López, 17 March 2020

Spain has registered more than 9,191 infections, becoming the second country after Italy with most new infections.

The response of the ruling elite to the coronavirus pandemic: Malign neglect

By Alex Lantier and Andre Damon, 14 March 2020

Governments around the world are making a deliberate decision to minimize their response to the pandemic, threatening the lives of millions of people.

Patients denied care as Macron announces coronavirus lockdown in France

By Alex Lantier, 13 March 2020

French health authorities have already announced that they will try to deny testing and care to many of those they suspect to be infected with the coronavirus.

French female lawyers publish open letter defending filmmaker Roman Polanski and the presumption of innocence

By Will Morrow, 13 March 2020

In its defense of democratic rights, the letter is an indictment not only of the anti-Polanski witch-hunt, but the entire #MeToo campaign that began in the US two years ago.

Voters set to punish Macron’s party in French municipal elections

By Anthony Torres, 7 March 2020

What dominates is the trend towards the disintegration of the former electoral bases of mayors, as well as neo-fascist Marine Le Pen’s attempt to benefit from the anger against Macron.

Macron to ram through French pension cuts without vote in parliament

By Alex Lantier, 6 March 2020

At a time when the coronavirus pandemic is ravaging Europe, Macron wants to impose, without parliamentary debate or vote, a reform that will impoverish the population.

Roman Polanski gets César for best director for J’Accuse, in repudiation of #MeToo

By Alex Lantier, 29 February 2020

The French Film Academy openly defied demands from the #MeToo movement and President Emmanuel Macron’s government not to give Polanski an award.

European legal team will seek asylum for Julian Assange in France

By Alex Lantier, 22 February 2020

Members of imprisoned WikiLeaks journalist Julian Assange’s legal team, together with Assange’s father John Shipton, held a press conference on Thursday in Paris.

EU agrees to new military mission against Libya

By Peter Schwarz, 21 February 2020

The foreign ministers of all 27 EU countries agreed on a new military mission in Libya on Monday.

Renault announces “no taboos” cuts as planned layoffs in auto industry exceed 100,000

By Tom Hall, 17 February 2020

The phrasing of Renault CEO Clotilde Delbos’ statement recalls the incendiary speech last month by Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, who pledged to slaughter “sacred cows” as the company pursued tens of thousands of layoffs.

#MeToo collaborates with fascistic forces to block showing of Polanski’s film J’Accuse

By Alex Lantier, 15 February 2020

Allied with the reactionary Macron government, #MeToo demands the censorship of Polanski’s brilliant account of the anti-Semitic frame-up of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, which was a seminal event in modern French history.

War tensions mount between NATO powers over Libya, Mediterranean

By Alex Lantier, 31 January 2020

The Berlin conference has set the stage not for peace, but only for stepped-up imperialist interventions to divide up the profits to be extracted from Libya and the entire region.

Oppose French unions’ attempts to strangle the struggle against Macron!

By Alex Lantier, 29 January 2020

Opposing union sabotage of strikes against Macron requires building committees of action, independent of the unions, and a revolutionary leadership in the working class.

“We hope this protest will inspire others”

French “yellow vests” protest for Assange outside Belmarsh prison in London

By Alex Lantier, 25 January 2020

The protests point to the deeply-rooted opposition among workers internationally to US and European governments’ relentless campaign to destroy Assange.

Strikers march across France as Macron moves to impose pension cuts

By Alex Lantier, 25 January 2020

A poll this week found 61 percent opposition to the cuts, and that 82 percent of Frenchmen believe they are worse off since Macron took office in 2017.

Europe dispatches naval flotilla to threaten Iran, Syria

By Anthony Torres, 22 January 2020

A French aircraft carrier and European naval flotillas will patrol strategic Middle East waters that are critical to the global oil trade.

Paris transport workers vote to end unlimited strike against Macron

By Alex Lantier, 20 January 2020

President Emmanuel Macron has been able to rely on his close collaboration with the trade unions, which helped him formulate and negotiate his pension cuts.

Police assault “yellow vests” after Macron forced to flee crowd in Paris theater

By Alex Lantier, 20 January 2020

Macron’s ignominious flight from the Bouffes du nord theater underscores that he cannot show his face in public anywhere without provoking serious protests.

Hundreds of thousands protest pension cuts in France

By Alex Lantier, 17 January 2020

Support for the strike and opposition to Macron continue to grow even after the government made a few minor, insincere changes to its proposed cuts.

Assange’s French legal advisor Juan Branco: “We’ve experienced a strong shift that we now need to nurture”

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 January 2020

In comments to the WSWS this week, Branco stated: “Citizens have their mass and geniuses like Julian Assange on their side—private interests have their economical power, cynicism and capacity to corrupt on theirs.”

Malians protest to demand departure of French occupation troops

By Alex Lantier, 16 January 2020

Anger is exploding against the carnage produced by the French war in Mali and against official lies that France is waging a global war on terror.

The Suleimani assassination, imperialist strategy and the crisis of the Iranian regime

By Keith Jones, 16 January 2020

The killing of the military leader, widely viewed as second only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei in Iran’s power structure, constitutes a dramatic escalation of the Trump administration’s campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran.

European powers move toward scrapping nuclear accord with Iran

By Alex Lantier, 15 January 2020

Berlin, London and Paris, emboldened by Tehran’s weak response to the US murder of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, are escalating attacks against Iran.

French strikers march as Prime Minister Philippe offers cosmetic changes to pension cuts

By Alex Lantier and Anthony Torres, 13 January 2020

Hundreds of thousands of strikers and “yellow vests” marched against French President Emmanuel Macron’s pension cuts Saturday.

Millions march in France as strikes against Macron pension cut spread

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 10 January 2020

Refinery, port and airline workers joined the strike as hundreds of thousands of workers and youth marched against austerity, militarism and police repression.

After Suleimani murder, New Anti-capitalist Party backs US war on Iran

By Alex Lantier, 9 January 2020

The NPA advances the lie that Iran, a former colonial country, is in fact an imperialist power attacking Washington and slanders Suleimani personally as a mass murderer.

In New Year’s address, French President Macron pledges to impose austerity despite mass strike

By Alex Lantier, 4 January 2020

In his perfunctory eighteen-minute speech Tuesday night, Macron made clear he intends to impose his pension cuts in the face of mass protests and strikes by the working class.

Wider war over Libya looms as France, Egypt denounce Turkish intervention

By Alex Lantier, 3 January 2020

Less than a decade after the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya, the resulting civil war in that country threatens to escalate into an all-out regional conflict involving the major powers.

Amiens railworkers vote to continue strike against French President Macron

By Antoine Lerougetel, 28 December 2019

Workers, students, teachers and “yellow vest” protesters came to support the strike, which has lasted since December 5 and shut down rail transport across France.

“We’re sending a message: there will be no holiday truce”

Strikers call to step up class struggle against French President Macron

By Alex Lantier, 27 December 2019

The ongoing mass transit and public sector strike which is paralyzing much of transport in France to protest Macron’s pension cuts entered its fourth week today.

Germany: Daimler workers support the strike wave in France

By K. Nesan, 27 December 2019

Discussions with German workers give a sense of the growing opposition to the hackneyed and hollow promises of the company union.

French strikers oppose “Christmas truce” called by Macron and trade unions

By V. Gnana and Alex Lantier, 24 December 2019

The rail and energy strike is not weakening, and strikers are increasingly demanding to organize their own strike independently of union bosses who negotiate with the state.

French unions work to end strike as government maintains pension cuts

By Anthony Torres, 21 December 2019

The unions are now calling for an end to strike action or using negotiations scheduled for January as a pretext to weaken workers’ resolve and betray the strike.

From Cavaignac to Villiers: The class struggle in France and the lessons of history

By Alex Lantier, 20 December 2019

This week General Pierre de Villiers called for more “firmness” in repressing the weeks-long mass strike against President Emmanuel Macron’s austerity agenda.

French unions meet prime minister to sell out mass strike to defend pensions

By Alex Lantier and Johannes Stern, 19 December 2019

While strikers are calling for an end to talks with the government, the unions are seeking a rotten compromise they can use to justify selling out the strike.

Millions march against French pension cuts amid public sector strike

By our reporters, 18 December 2019

Some 1.8 million strikers, youth and retirees marched in opposition to President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to impose steep pension cuts.

Build independent committees of action to bring down the Macron government in France!

By Alex Lantier, 17 December 2019

The strike movement in France is part of a global upsurge of the class struggle that has led to mass strikes and protests on every continent.

French strikers protest prime minister’s pledge to impose pension cuts

By Anthony Torres, 14 December 2019

Anger is mounting among workers after Edouard Philippe stressed he would push through his regressive program despite widespread strike action and popular opposition.

Recording reveals pseudo-left La France Insoumise collusion with Macron in 2016

By Francis Dubois, 14 December 2019

The manoeuvres of LFI deputy François Ruffin with the former banker and future president have recently been exposed.

French prime minister vows to impose pension cuts despite growing strikes

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 12 December 2019

In his speech, Edouard Philippe vowed to impose a pension cut opposed by two thirds of the population.

Mass marches and strikes against Macron’s pension cuts continue across France

By Alex Lantier, 11 December 2019

Rail, mass transit and broader sections of the French public sector continued strikes begun on December 5 in an emerging trial of strength between the workers and Macron.

Protest marches called this week as French public sector strike continues

By Alex Lantier, 9 December 2019

Strikes are set to continue today, as hundreds of thousands of French public sector workers protest President Emmanuel Macron’s pension cuts and austerity policies.

The way forward for the mass strike in France

By Alex Lantier, 7 December 2019

The working class faces a fight to bring down the Macron government, drawing into struggle ever broader layers of workers and youth in France and internationally.

1.5 million march amid mass strike in France against austerity and inequality

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 6 December 2019

Tens of thousands of rail, government, and education workers went on strike against plans by French President Emanuel Macron to slash pensions.

French public sector strikers call to free Julian Assange

By Alex Lantier and V. Gnana, 6 December 2019

Strikers denounced the imprisonment of the Australian journalist under appalling conditions in Britain, for having revealed imperialist war crimes in Iraq.

NATO summit dominated by growing inter-state conflicts

By Alex Lantier, 5 December 2019

Explosive conflicts over trade and military policy between Washington and its main European allies erupted this week at the NATO summit in London.

French public sector strike: Build independent committees of action for political struggle against Macron

By Anthony Torres, 5 December 2019

The December 5 strike is part of a vast international resurgence of class struggle in opposition to social inequality and military-police repression.

Trump denounces Macron’s criticisms of NATO at London summit

By Alex Lantier, 4 December 2019

Bitter conflicts between the United States and the major European powers erupted into the open yesterday, at the start of the two-day NATO summit in London.

Trump escalates global trade war

By Nick Beams, 4 December 2019

Responding to a question in London on whether there was a deadline for a trade deal with China, Trump said: “I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal.”

Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables: French youth in revolt

By David Walsh, 4 December 2019

Ly’s work, with its strengths and weaknesses, is an honest effort to confront the wretched reality prevailing in the working-class suburbs (banlieues) surrounding Paris.