Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

FOCUS

Many Turks angry over Syrian refugee situation

Read more

ENCORE!

Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday : The Best of the Bard

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

The Tour de France, a PR machine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the third plane crash in one week - from France, Algeria and Burkina Faso

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

France

French Communist Party drops hammer and sickle

Text by Tony Todd

Latest update : 2013-02-09

The most widely-recognised symbol of communism worldwide – the Hammer and Sickle – will no longer appear on French Communist Party membership cards. The party faithful are worried the decision bodes ill for a party with deep roots in France.


The French Communist Party (PCF) has decided to drop the emblematic Hammer and Sickle from its membership cards, fuelling fears in the party’s rank and file that its ideology is being watered down to gain broader popular appeal.

“Everyone in the party is shocked,” PCF Paris Secretary Emmanuel Dang Tran told FRANCE INFO radio on Friday as the party prepared for its annual congress in the capital.

“The PCF is allowing itself and its values to be swallowed up by another organisation, the Left Front,” he added in reference to the loose alliance of far-left parties that made surprising gains in the first round of the 2012 presidential election.

The Left Front’s chosen candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who is head of the Left Party, took 11 percent of the vote with the support of France’s Communist Party.

Historic influence in France

But PCF members remain fiercely protective of their party’s identity, forged during the Nazi occupation when it massively expanded its influence through France’s famed resistance groups. After the war, it continued to be a dominant political force in the interim government of Charles de Gaulle, and the party was also instrumental in establishing France’s post-war welfare state.

Party General Secretary Pierre Laurent on Friday denied that removing the Hammer and Sickle from membership cards heralded the demise of the party.

“It’s an established and revered symbol that continues to be used in all our demonstrations,” he told LCI radio. “But it does not illustrate the reality of who we are today; it isn’t so relevant to a new generation of communists.”

The PCF has 10 seats in the 577-member National Assembly, having gained 6.9 percent of the vote in the 2012 election. At its height in 1946, the party took more than 28 percent of the vote and had 182 seats in the Assembly (out of 627).

Date created : 2013-02-08

  • FRANCE

    Half of French say far right ‘not a threat to democracy’

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French Socialists struggle with millionaire tax

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France's UMP rivals agree on new leadership vote

    Read more

COMMENT(S)