Do some French people see what's going on? Yellow Vest Protests


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday for the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris, which this year honoured European military cooperation.

European leaders join Macron for Bastille Day parade (Video)
European troops attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris, France, July 14, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
After riding down the iconic Champs Elysees boulevard in a military vehicle escorted by motorcycles and a cavalry procession, Macron joined leaders also including Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa for the parade, which began with a display of tech innovations.

The attractions included drones, miniature autonomous vehicles, soldiers armed with anti-drone guns, and what looked like a “flying soldier” - a man swishing in the air on a flyboard, drawing cheers from the leaders and spectators.

Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, one of the key events of the French Revolution. The day has become a national holiday in France.

Some 4,300 soldiers, around 200 vehicles and more than 100 aircraft, some from other European countries, are taking part in the parade that was opened by Spanish troops.

Slideshow (18 Images)
European leaders join Macron for Bastille Day parade

France to create space command within air force: Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks at the residence of French Defense Minister on the eve of Bastille Day in Paris, France, July 13, 2019. Kamil Zihnioglu/Pool via REUTERS

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks at the residence of French Defense Minister on the eve of Bastille Day in Paris, France, July 13, 2019. Kamil Zihnioglu/Pool via REUTERS

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday he had approved the creation of a space command within the French air force to improve the country's defense capabilities.

Addressing military personnel a day before the Bastille Day parade, Macron said the new military doctrine setting up a space command would strengthen protection of French satellites. He said the investment involved had yet to determined.

"To give substance to this doctrine and ensure the development and reinforcement of our space capabilities, a space command will be created next September in the Air Force", Macron said, adding that it would later become the Space and Air Force.

The French military spending program for 2019-2025 has earmarked 3.6 billion euros ($4.06 billion) for investments and renewal of French satellites.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) aims to recognize space as a domain 0f warfare this year, four senior diplomats told Reuters in June.


FOTCM Member
This picture that you put angelburst29 is very good, it tell us a lot of things about to be ready for war. For me. And this picture reminds me this one in Berlin, 1939...
I don't know... For me it looks quite similar to other countries where military parades are very common. Russia and China, for example. It looks more like they are trying to "catch up", or doing their best to look like they have strong defenses not to be seen as less than others.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I agree with you Chu, all parades are very similar but what I found similar with the one with Berlin is about the decoration, the flags on the street specially. But you are right, anyway. :-[


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Very patriotic and considerate "of the French Police" to demonstrate their military training on Bastille Day and show that Macron is in full control?

French police fire tear gas as protests follow Bastille Day parade
French Gendarmes remove fences next to a burning portable toilet during clashes with protesters on the Champs Elysees avenue after the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris, France, July 14, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

French Gendarmes remove fences next to a burning portable toilet during clashes with protesters on the Champs Elysees avenue after the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris, France, July 14, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

French police fired tear gas to disperse protesters from Paris's Champs Elysees avenue on Sunday, a few hours after President Emmanuel Macron had reviewed the traditional Bastille Day military parade alongside other European leaders.

Ransacked in 'yellow vest' riot, chic Fouquet's eatery reopens in Paris
Employees bring flowers to the Fouquet's restaurant on the eve of its reopening on the Champs Elysees, almost 4 months after it was ranksacked by a yellow vests protest in Paris, France, July 13, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

France's famed Le Fouquet's brasserie on the Champs Elysees avenue reopened on Saturday, four months after the chic eatery was ransacked by rioters during a yellow vest protest that turned violent with several shops on the avenue destroyed.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
More reports on Bastille Day celebrations:

French bulldogs celebrate Bastille Day in Moscow (Photos)

French bulldogs celebrate Bastille Day in Moscow

The French Bulldog Parade was held as part of the 5th France Day Festival in Moscow. The annual festivities marked Bastille Day, one of the biggest days on the French national calendar. The event was organized by the Embassy of France in Moscow, CCI France Russie, and L'Institut Francais Russie with the support of the Moscow Government Department of Culture. TASS collected bright images.

Macron Showcases Euro Military Prowess at Paris Parade
Macron Showcases Euro Military Prowess at Paris Parade - Other Media news - Tasnim News Agency
Macron Showcases Euro Military Prowess at Paris Parade
Key EU leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, joined Macron to watch the annual parade down the Champs Elysees that marks the July 14, 1789 storming of the Bastille fortress in Paris in the French Revolution.

Over 4,000 members of the armed force were to make the ceremonial march to the Place de la Concorde, as fighter jets roared overhead.

Standing in an open-top command car alongside France’s chief of staff General Francois Lecointre, Macron inspected the waiting forces and waved to the crowds.

But in a reminder of the domestic troubles the president has faced in the last months, he met jeers and whistles from supporters of the “yellow vest” movement who have staged weekly protests against the government.

Yellow Vest Marchers Return to Streets of Paris in 35th Week (+Video)
Yellow Vest Marchers Return to Streets of Paris in 35th Week (+Video) - World news - Tasnim News Agency
Yellow Vest Marchers Return to Streets of Paris in 35th Week (+Video)
Social media footages show people gathering for another huge rally in the French capital.

282 Held over Unrest in France after Algeria Football Win (+Video)
282 Held over Unrest in France after Algeria Football Win (+Video) - Other Media news - Tasnim News Agency
282 Held over Unrest in France after Algeria Football Win (+Video)
Riotous celebrations erupted across the country after Algeria beat Nigeria 2-1 in the semi-final. The arrests were made nationwide on Sunday evening, the ministry said, AFP reported.

Out of those arrested, 249 people were placed in custody, it added.

When Algeria defeated Ivory Coast to reach the semi-finals on Thursday, fans went on the rampage in central Paris, looting shops.

On the same day in the southern city of Montpellier, an Algerian football supporter celebrating his team’s win lost control of his car while travelling at high speed and ran over a family, killing a woman and seriously injuring her baby.

Paris and Marseille are home to large minority communities of Algerian origin. Football celebrations, with supporters brandishing large national flags, have on occasion been a source of tensions.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Translated from Dutch by Microsoft
Jaja and you coast this man Macron who, with his order troops, is struggling with human rights in the worst form, and then there is also such a lachebekkie who has no difficulty with this!

I've notice a significant change of attitude with displays of the yellow colors. The media has added a change with the description of the movements.

I now display reflective yellow ankle petite (used by cyclist for road safety), in the middle of my dash board, big as day.

But of course the reactions are mixed (not to promote a reaction, but of recognition), with more eye rolling, and lackadaisical attitudes.

Some where along the line's of French TV, they planted the lie's of confusion. I can only speak of what I see on alternative media, something has changed but, the fever for change still grows strong, and but is silent on MSM. Especially in the USA.

I also feel the need to go, and witness this part of history in person and see for myself first hand.

But it's very much a Catch 22 situation, and at best, precariously dangerous. ALORS, I will have to wait and see, as timing is imperative.

Want to take a ride?

This guy they was called Vichy by different commenters on Sundays run in Paris.

Translated from French by Microsoft
Macron booed as he climbed the Champs-Elysees. The chants of the Yellow Jackets ring out everywhere, leading to arbitrary arrests by the police. The authoritarian and illiberal drift of the macroist regime is more than ever in the sight and knowledge of all. The king is naked.

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The Living Force
FOTCM Member
July 15, 2019 by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog
I’m not a huge Pink Floyd fan, but everyone else in the West apparently is – the album The Dark Side of the Moon spent 33 years (1,716 weeks) on the top-sellers charts.

A lot of their early stuff is just noise, but they have enough of a blues foundation to get both really heavy and pretty funky often enough for such a fundamentally depressing band: half their musical output is actually about ex-leader Syd Barrett, who took so much acid he went insane. His flatmates repeatedly dosed his daily coffee with acid without warning him, proving that hippies can be even worse than the CIA. Barrett is the obvious inspiration for the album and movie The Wall, which primarily illustrates Barrett’s horrible existence of hopping from one negative acid-flashback to the next for his entire life. Ever-political Pink Floyd surprisingly turned Barrett’s character into a fascist leader (the character in The Wall was never a rock star, we finally discover at the end), rather kicking poor Barrett when he was already down in a never-ending bad trip.

Conversely, I am huge fan of the Yellow vests, but it seems that very few Western reporters are.

I was watching the excellent concert movie Pink Floyd: Live in Pompeii recently – free, and in director’s cut format, thanks to Russia here. Really a lost treasure: progressive Pink Floyd, playing among the ruined psychedelic/pantheistic murals of Pompeii, interspersed with the usual Floydian universe-wide sense of space, history and humanity. It’s one of the great cinematic achievements of rock ’n roll.

Floyd guitarist David Gilmour was recently in the news, providing us with the latest example of the Quantitative Easing-created asset bubble in luxury goods: $21 million for his guitar collection and $4 million for one guitar – both broke the all-time records. Give Gilmour credit: it went to charity, which is very in keeping with Floyd’s genuine political consciousness.

Bassist Roger Waters is beloved for being seemingly the greatest Palestinian supporter in not just rock ‘n roll but in all of Western music. His political hipness is unparalleled – after all, he hates teachers, bogus authority, questioning why he has to eat his meat before he eats his pudding, etc.

That’s why it’s little wonder he said something in the movie which resonates beautifully in 2019:

“People are saying constantly saying, ‘Rock’s dying.’ Every 6 months somebody says it – with enormous conviction! It’s not going to happen.”

We can easily rephrase Waters when describing Western Mainstream Media coverage of the repression of France’s Yellow Vest movement:

“People are saying constantly saying, ‘Rock’s dying. The Yellow Vests are dying.’ Every 6 months Every day somebody says it – with enormous conviction! It’s not going to happen.”

From the very beginning Western Mainstream Media news reporters have said with enormous conviction that the Yellow Vests are a dying movement – it’s not going to happen.

I’ve had to cover them from beginning, so I can absolutely testify that this premature postmortem was the case. Just for fun I English Googled “Yellow Vests dwindling numbers”, and I’m still waiting for the final count to be added up; I French Googled “gilets jaunes à bout de souffle (out of breath, as that’s the preferred cliché in French)” and they have apparently been panting since early December.

It’s incredible how incredibly uncool Western reporters are – they want to kill something good, which is democratically supported by the majority, but for who knows what reasons?

Their square minds cannot bend around the Yellow Vests love for both country, kin and fellow Yellow Vest braves; they cannot hang with the feeling, and thus they already know that there ain’t no room for them in the Yellow Vest part of town; they have no cosmic notions – even though the cosmos is an absolutely real and tangible thing which scientists are learning more about every day – beyond daily economic tallies.

The coverage of the Yellow Vests has been absolutely, incredibly and shamelessly dominated by a tactic reserved for covering quarterly economic growth: are total numbers up or down? And because there are thousands of Yellow Vest political prisoners which have resulted from nearly eight months of guaranteed police brutality – which is the most sustained, most brutal and most hypocritical police violence in the world’s 21st century history – their turnout numbers have indeed decreased.

On Act 32, when we officially crossed into 7 months – only 1,000 people were in Paris and 40,000 nationwide. This is not nothing – this is being comfortably numb after all the media, police and judicial onslaughts. Forty thousand nationwide on a regular basis is – in the French context, which is a context that contains a lot of regular demonstrations – by far the most vibrant political movement in the country and in recent history.

Like the annoying reporter/director in Live in Pompeii asking if rock is dead, the Yellow Vests are not dead despite all the false claims and begging that we believe that it is. The Yellow Vests are new, groundbreaking and unstoppable, just as rock ‘n roll was.

I visited Iran to enjoy the end of Ramadan: there was a rock and roll band playing in public at a food festival downtown Tehran the night before the Eid morning celebrations. I didn’t hear any Floyd from them, but they did do a lot of rather aimless, endless noodling – must have been Grateful Dead fans.

The Western Mainstream Media can’t imagine that Iran, too, has gone electric, and they also can’t imagine that Yellow Vests are still going strong despite all the repression; they can’t imagine that rock isn’t dead in 2019, just like it wasn’t in 1972 when Live in Pompeii was made.

Back on the night before Eid: the solo, traditionally-dressed, bearded Sufi singer/daft drummer rocked a song hard for 10+ minutes straight… even though I’m sure that 1,200 years ago unhip court-reporters said with great conviction, “The ghazals are dead!”. It was amusing to see him on his smartphone and drinking bottled water while taking a break between songs – technology changes, but the song remains the same.

In 1974 The New York Times, declared Live at Pompeii to be dead on arrival: “Since its principals possess neither interesting personalities nor captivating philosophies, it is fortunate that the bulk of the film is given over to their music. It is unfortunate that their music, which ranges from traditional rock to sci-fi, fails the test one of the group sets for it—moving the listener—despite the array of electronic equipment marshaled in its behalf.’Pink Floyd’ may be for Pink Floyd fans. It may be for rock fans. But it’s not for movie fans.”

Hilariously bad journalism in every declaration, despite the critic’s great conviction.

They wrote that in 1974 – it’s amazing how they were way, way behind the trends: it’s not like rock and roll was a new thing back then, yet that listener wasn’t “moved”; that was written 6 months after The Dark Side of the Moon was released, which would go on to be bought by everyone, and their kids, too – it is estimated that 1 in 4 British households owns a copy of the album, and 1 in 14 people in the USA. Similarly, 50% of France still supports or sympathies with the Yellow Vests, according to the last poll on the subject (from nearly 3 months ago, amazingly.)

Such “top” reporters and critics also feel that individual Yellow Vests do not have “interesting personalities nor captivating philosophies”… mainly because Mainstream Media reporters are totally uncool, cynical snobs who have no idea what the hell they are talking about most of the time.

The reality about reporting on the Yellow Vests is that they only get Mainstream Media attention when they use civil disobedience and violence, but that’s an important subject for another article.

A final snippet of movie dialogue which shows just how deep Floyd’s leftism is – Waters didn’t become so pro-Palestinian by mere chance:

“There’s a danger that we could all be slaves to our equipment, and in the past we have been. But what we’re trying to do is sort it all out. So that we’re out. But I agree that it worries me sometimes – that we have this much equipment. And you can hide behind it.”

Yellow Vests definitely aren’t hiding behind anything – that’s pretty rock ’n roll. Why don’t Western journalists think that’s cool?

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
French energy minister stays on despite lobster scandal
FILE PHOTO: French Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Francois de Rugy takes part in a news conference after the first Council for Environmental Defence at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France May 23, 2019. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS

France's environment minister is prepared to reimburse any undue expense from lavish lobster-and-wine dinners he hosted when parliament speaker, his boss said on Thursday, ratifying Francois de Rugy's position despite widespread public disgust.
Chastised French minister: I hate caviar and suffer a lobster intolerance
FILE PHOTO: French Ecology Minister Francois de Rugy and his wife, Severine Servat arrive for the 34th annual dinner of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF - Conseil Representatif des Institutions juives de France) on February 20, 2019, at the Louvre Carrousel in Paris. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS

FILE PHOTO: French Ecology Minister Francois de Rugy and his wife, Severine Servat arrive for the 34th annual dinner of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF - Conseil Representatif des Institutions juives de France) on February 20, 2019, at the Louvre Carrousel in Paris. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS - France's widely lampooned environment Minister denied having a taste for "the High Life" and said on Friday, he would not resign over accusations he squandered taxpayer money, in a scandal that risks upsetting the government’s reform drive.

Investigative website Mediapart reported Francois De Rugy and his wife, a gossip magazine journalist, hosted lavish dinners, mostly for friends, at his official residence in Paris while he was speaker of Parliament from June 2017-October 2018.

The episode has reinforced perceptions of an "out-of-touch government"
at a time President Emmanuel Macron, shaken by the “yellow vest” revolt over inequality, is already fighting a “president of the rich” tag for his pro-business policies.

Mediapart published images of plump lobsters and 500 euro ($562) grand cru wines at one dinner hosted by De Rugy, sparking indignation and calls for him to quit.

De Rugy, visibly angry and chocking with emotion, told BFM TV he still had Macron’s support. He acknowledged hosting the luxury meals but said that was normal for the National Assembly’s speaker. He denied any wrongdoing, describing himself as a frugal man who would make sure the lights were turned off after late-night Parliament sessions.:violin::rotfl:

The number two in France’s government said he was no connoisseur of fine wines and had never paid more than 30 euros for a bottle of wine in his life. “I cannot tell you which wines were served,” he said.

Social Housing
In an article headlined "De Rugy's life at the Chateau", Mediapart ran a picture of his wife Severine with a 500 euro 2004 Mouton-Rothschild.

Asked repeatedly whether friends or family attended the dinners, De Rugy declined to give details. He said the events had been “working dinners around a theme” and that he had lowered reception costs at parliament by 13%.

A drawn-out media scandal over De Rugy’s lifestyle would limit his ability to push through reforms such as the restructuring of state-owned utility EDF and new taxes on carbon emissions from cars, trucks and airplanes.

On Thursday, Mediapart also said taxpayers paid 63,000 euros ($71,000) for the renovation of De Rugy's government-provided apartment and that he rented - rent capped housing in his home town Nantes under a scheme aimed at making housing affordable.

De Rugy published the rental contract for the 48 m2 flat on his Facebook page and said the 596 euro per month rent was the market rate. He said he was not aware the flat was being rented under the “Loi Scellier” which gives landlords tax breaks in exchange for capped rent levels.

"I have absolutely no reason to resign", De Rugy said. "I'm furious with all these lies", he continued, adding he was the victim of a campaign to denigrate his character.

On Thursday, De Rugy fired his chief of staff Nicole Klein after Mediapart revealed that she had kept a social housing flat in Paris for several years despite not living there.

Macron and his centrist government last month launched “Act II” of a reform drive that was derailed by months of sometimes-violent anti-government protests against his liberal economic policies and perceived arrogant manner.

The De Rugy saga risks bringing renewed distraction if it drags on for long.

French environment minister quits over spending criticism
FILE PHOTO: French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Francois de Rugy attends the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris, France, September 18, 2018.   REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

French Environment Minister Francois de Rugy resigned on Tuesday following reports by an investigative website about his high spending on private dinners and renovations to his ministry residence.

In a posting on his Facebook page, De Rugy said he handed his resignation to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe because the “effort required to fight the accusations” meant that he could no longer carry out his ministerial duties “peacefully”.

“I would like to thank the president of the Republic and the prime minister for the trust they have shown in me,” De Rugy wrote, adding that he had filed a criminal complaint against investigate website Mediapart over its reporting.

De Rugy, 45, was appointed in September 2018 to succeed Nicolas Hulot, an environmental campaigner who had also resigned because he did not feel President Emmanuel Macron was sufficiently committed to his ecology program.

The controversy over De Rugy has reinforced criticism of Macron's government as being out of touch with ordinary people and elitist, with the French government still having to deal with "yellow vest" protests which marred the traditional Bastille Day parade on Sunday.

De Rugy is the fourth minister to step down since Macron took office in 2017.

Mediapart - Site d'information français d'actualités ... Translate this page
Mediapart est le site d'information indépendant lancé en mars 2008 autour d'Edwy Plenel avec une équipe éditoriale de plus de 35 journalistes. Le site Mediapart est ouvert aux contributions de ...
#mediapart hashtag on Twitter

How pioneering Mediapart has set the French news agenda
How pioneering Mediapart has set the French news agenda

Back-dated Fri 16 Mar 2018 - In its 10 years, the website funded wholly by reader subscription has made waves and money investigating some of France’s most powerful figures.

Muammar Gaddafi greeting Nicolas Sarkozy in Tripoli, Libya, in July 2007. One of Mediapart’s investigations has claimed the Libyan leader gave €50m to Sarkozy’s election campaign.
Muammar Gaddafi greeting Nicolas Sarkozy in Tripoli, Libya, in July 2007. One of Mediapart’s investigations has claimed the Libyan leader gave €50m to Sarkozy’s election campaign. Photograph: Sipa Press/REX/Shutterstock

It began with a handful of journalists disillusioned with the state of the country’s established media, a hefty bank loan and an even larger injection of optimism.

Ten years on, the French investigative website Mediapart has become a thorn in the side of politicians, public figures and those with something to hide.

In the past decade, the site, which claims no particular political affiliation, has led the news agenda, breaking some of France’s biggest scandals involving politicians across the ideological spectrum.

Its investigative teams dig with a dog-with-a-bone tenacity for as long as it takes, and if, in the beginning, its high-profile targets were tempted to deny its accusations and denigrate its journalists, most think twice these days before shooting the Mediapart messenger.

The website also makes money. Lots of it, despite having no advertising, no public subsidies and no wealthy patrons, being entirely financed by reader subscriptions (currently €110 a year, €50 for students, pensioners and the unemployed or those on low incomes).

“Mediapart is unique,” says Edwy Plenel, Mediapart’s editorial director and co-founder. He points to a poster on the wall of the website’s conference room. The slogan reads: “Mediapart: only our readers can buy us.”

When it started in 2008, the website had 25 staff. It now has 80, including a US correspondent, an English-language site, a free “Club” that runs parallel to the main site with blogs and commentaries and is branching out into live video blogs and television.

“When we started, we had no idea where it was going or if it would succeed. It cost us all money but this was a condition of our success. I took out a loan because we felt it was essential to pay decent salaries for three years,” Plenel told the Anglo-American Press Association.

“We told people who came to work for us that we couldn’t guarantee a job for life but we could guarantee them an adventure and correct pay for at least three years. Within two and a half years we had broken even.”

Today, the loans have been paid off and Mediapart has €6.5m in the bank. Last year’s turnover was €13m, with a net profit of €2.4m. It has 140,000 subscribers and 2-3m unique visitors a month.

Plenel says financial independence is key to a free and independent press. “If a newspaper is owned by an industrialist, then you can have the best quality team you want but you won’t be able to touch the interests of that industrialist. This affects what you do and means you have a tendency to abstain from being audacious,” he says.

“We know the best guarantee of our independence is financial success. Journalists must have access to capital to safeguard their independence.”

He adds: “Not having advertising, not having public subsidies means we are totally independent and we can control and guarantee that independence.”

Looking back on the last decade as Mediapart prepares to celebrate its 10th birthday this weekend, there is one affair that marked a turning point for the website.

In December 2012, Mediapart accusing the newly appointed Socialist budget minister, Jérôme Cahuzac, whose job was to stamp out tax fraud, of having had a non-declared bank account in Switzerland. Cahuzac counter-accused Mediapart of “serious, defamatory lies” and took to the floor of the Assemblée Nationale telling French MPs: “I have never had an account in Switzerland or anywhere else abroad.”

Mediapart kept digging and publishing as Cahuzac kept denying. In March 2013, he resigned from the government to clear his name, still accusing Mediapart of defamation.

A month later Cahuzac admitted the accusations and was charged with tax fraud. It took until December 2016 for the case to go to court and he was given a three-year jail sentence, upheld by an appeal court last month.

For Fabrice Arfi, the journalist who led the Cahuzac investigation and was accused of lies, slander and the worst of journalism, it was a relief tinged with the realisation it could have gone either way, despite the evidence and documentation his team had gathered.

"What was disturbing was how the lies became accepted as the truth and the truth was considered lies", Arfi said afterwards.

Another headline-grabbing investigation resulted in claims – vigorously denied – that the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi had financed Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign to the tune of €50m, which is still under investigation.

Mediapart also obtained secret tapes made by the butler of the late L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt suggesting high-level corruption and that France’s richest woman was being despoiled of her wealth by members of her entourage, some of whom were later convicted.

“Before Mediapart was created there was a lack of investigative journalism and a lot of what I call passive journalism. It’s useful in the media ecosystem to have a journal that investigates and is independent. It gives courage to the whole profession,” Plenel says.

Plenel added: “Our work is constantly under attack from political and economic powers who don’t want us to challenge their influence. Not only is the truth in danger, but freedom of truth is in danger and that’s why we have to keep promoting independent journalism and defending the right of the public to know.

“It’s about journalism being at the service of people and the public good. At Mediapart we’ve conquered the first hurdle – we’ve succeeded. Now it’s about continuing the work.”
Edwy Plenel
Edwy Plenel: "Not only is the truth in danger, but freedom of truth is in danger". Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Image
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