France

Euro elections: left is still floundering

Author

Michael Elms

In the 23-26 May 2019 elections to the European parliament, social-democratic parties and left-of-the-left parties floundered in the face of rising nationalism.

The mainstream social-democratic group in the European Parliament lost 45 seats; the left-of-the-left grouping lost 13. The mantle of “left” opposition to the rising right seems to have gone to the Greens and Liberal Democrats, who gained 19 and 42 seats respectively across the continent. At the time of writing, it seems likely that the European Parliament will remain dominated by parties of the mainstream right.

Macron, Salvini, and the left

Author

Joan Trevor

On 7 February, France recalled its ambassador from Italy, the first time this had happened since Italy’s fascist leader Benito Mussolini declared war in 1940. The recall was the latest act in a growing row between French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s coalition government, formed of the populist Five Star Movement and the far-right National League.

The Yellow Vests: potentials and dangers

Author

Michael Elms

The Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) movement, now fourteen weeks old, drew thousands of protestors onto the streets of France on 16 February. Although the latest demonstrations fell short of the estimated 50,000 who came out the week before, the movement shows little sign of stopping.

Right danger in Gilets Jaunes

Author

Michael Elms

On Saturday 12 January, an estimated 84,000 people joined “Act IX”, the latest round of Gilets Jaunes demonstrations around France. Down from 300,000 back in November, but up from 50,000 on 5 January.

Two communiqués from the Gilets Jaunes

Author

Lille regional assembly of the Gilets Jaunes

Call to trade unions adopted by the Lille regional assembly of the Gilets Jaunes

(One participant estimated 350 Gilets Jaunes present, but another eyewitness called that figure "exaggerated")
Communiqué from the Gilets Jaunes of Hauts de France region to trade union organisations

Two months of “Gilets Jaunes”

Author

Michael Elms

On Saturday 5 January, an estimated 50,000 demonstrators came onto the streets of France to take part in “Act VIII”, the eighth national protest of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) movement. In Paris, a bloc of working¬class women in yellow jackets came to the fore and broke police encirclements. The movement has shrunk since “Act I” on 17 November 2018, which saw an estimated 300,000 on the streets, but it has defied predictions that it would die off during the Christmas¬New Year break.

Macron's "Yellow Jackets" speech: a French socialist's analysis

Author

Olivier Delbeke

Olivier Delbeke of the French socialist blog Arguments pour la Lutte Sociale has written an analysis of Macron's 10 December televised address, in which he tried to calm down the Yellow Jackets protests by making threats and throwing crumbs.

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