In France, freedom of expression is on the decline…


For many years, freedom of expression in France has been under strain, but it seems that under the current leadership, we are shifting from the derivative of an autocratic society to a style of society whose name I prefer not to mention. In fact, these few sentences, if I still lived in France, I could neither publish them nor make myself heard on any media platform, where self-censorship has become the hallmark of all national editorial teams over the decades. More broadly, this phenomenon is European; a political choice of all the classical parties dating back to the Maastricht agreements, which a large number of people did not want and which were imposed by the political parties of the time, the Socialist Party and the right, which now have practically the same political views. The right has long since shifted towards far-right ideas.

Faced with the current political vacuum, which leaves little doubt about the arrival of the right and the far right in the European elections, national media are restructuring themselves to become fully compatible with these new lords, and many comedians and journalists are being sidelined. It took the sidelining of two comedians from France Inter for the editorial team, already very compatible with the authoritarian power in place, to speak out and defend the last comedian troubled by the management.

It must be said that in France, given the disastrous economic context for years, most people are willing to endure the worst sarcasms to keep their jobs, and the atmosphere in the country, which if you look at the images of the Olympics, seems to exude joy under a delirious police presence, as the current government fears any visible social disruption broadcast by hundreds of televisions around the world, which is no different from the rest of the year. Instead of politically addressing the growing social anger, the government uses its police force to quell demands and uses Article 49.3 on every occasion to avoid any form of debate.

Many independent journalists have taken the path of exile for years, aware or subjected to all forms of pressure. It is not uncommon, in fact, to see journalists summoned by the police in an attempt to disclose their sources, which shows how little regard the current government has for democracy.

At a time when many tourists want to visit France for the Olympics, it is important to have this kind of information at hand and to ask the right questions…


La Redaction