The month of January in drawings: angry farmers, new government, tensions in the Red Sea...

At the start of 2024, the news in France was marked by the mobilization of farmers and the appointment of a new government led by Gabriel Attal

The month of January in drawings: angry farmers, new government, tensions in the Red Sea...

At the start of 2024, the news in France was marked by the mobilization of farmers and the appointment of a new government led by Gabriel Attal. Donald Trump and his legal troubles, the presidential election in Taiwan and the demonstrations against the far right in Germany have for their part animated the international scene. In eleven drawings, “La Matinale” looks back at the highlights of the past month.

Started on Thursday January 18 in Occitanie, the farmers' protest movement, supported by the National Federation of Farmers' Unions, spread throughout France with blocked highways, manure dumped in front of supermarkets, radars covered roads…

Ten days after the start of the mobilization, the Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, announced a series of measures, but the movement continues. The unions want to continue to make their demands heard and have set themselves the objective of the “blockade” of Paris since Monday January 29. The use of phytosanitary products, the simplification of standards, free trade agreements and remuneration are at the center of their demands.

Tuesday January 30, during his general policy speech to the National Assembly, Gabriel Attal assured that there must “be a French agricultural exception” and promised that the government would be “there, without any ambiguity” to respond to the current agricultural crisis.

Winner of the Republican primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire, Donald Trump, the big favorite for the Republican nomination for the American presidential election in November, is moving forward weighed down by three criminal proceedings potentially leading to a prison sentence, two for attempted subversion of the November 2020 presidential election, and one for possession of secret documents.

At 34, Gabriel Attal, until then Minister of Education, was appointed head of government and took office on Tuesday January 9, the day after the resignation of Elisabeth Borne, in office since May 2022.

The youngest President of the Republic has thus appointed the youngest Prime Minister in the history of France. Making his youth a guarantee of “audacity”, he promised to take “to Matignon the cause of the school”, “mother of all battles”.

Gabriel Attal appointed, on Thursday January 11, a “tight” and “disruption” government, made up of eleven full-time ministers, including four women. He created a surprise with the entry of figures from the right, such as Rachida Dati, Minister of Culture, and Catherine Vautrin, Minister of Labor, Health and Solidarity.

Gérard Darmanin (interior), Bruno Le Maire (economy) and Eric Dupond-Moretti (justice) were retained. The new prime minister inherits many thorny issues and unfinished projects from his predecessor, Elisabeth Borne, including public debt, full employment and even the end of life.

During his “meeting with the nation”, Tuesday January 16, Emmanuel Macron answered questions from the press live from the Elysée in order to explain his objective around the “rearmament” of the country.

After designating the National Rally as his enemy, he promised to do everything to ensure that “France remains France”, and addressed, among other things, the issues of school uniforms and birth leave. He also defended Amélie Oudéa-Castéra and Rachida Dati, two ministers already in dispute.

During his press conference on January 16, Emmanuel Macron mentioned two measures to revive the flagging French birth rate. The Head of State outlined the contours of the future birth leave, shorter and “better paid” than the current parental leave, which is set to disappear, and announced the implementation of a “major plan to combat 'infertility'.

The annual demographic report from INSEE, published a few hours before the president's intervention, shows a further drop in births in 2023, of 6.6% compared to 2022.

Large-scale protests took place across the country against the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and its radical agenda. More than 800,000 people took to the streets on the weekend of January 27 and 28, notably in Hamburg and Düsseldorf, to denounce this movement and the dangers for democracy that it would represent. The previous weekend, the number of participants was estimated at 1.4 million by organizers.

This mobilization follows the revelation by the press of the holding of a secret meeting of members of the AfD around a plan for the mass expulsion of foreigners and “unassimilated citizens” from the country.

The candidate of the Taiwanese Democratic Progressive Party, Lai Ching-te, reviled by Beijing for his past remarks on the independence of Taiwan, won, on Saturday January 13, the presidential election on the island to which Beijing promises reunification, through military if necessary. “Between democracy and authoritarianism, we choose to be on the side of democracy,” Lai Ching-te said after his victory.

The Houthis, these rebels who control a large part of Yemen and are part of the “axis of resistance” supported by Iran against Israel, have increased attacks against civilian and military ships in the Red Sea since the outbreak of the conflict between the Jewish state and Hamas. To try to secure the area, strategic for world trade, the United States created an international coalition whose contours are still very vague.

Nearly 2,800 businessmen, intellectuals and politicians met in Switzerland to discuss the progress of the world, from Monday January 15 to Friday January 19, at the Economic Forum in Davos (Switzerland), against the backdrop of the multiplication geopolitical, technological and climatic crises.