Macron said on Friday that the Paris Treasury prosecutor’s investigation into his campaign financing and ties to McKinsey should continue and that prosecutors would do their job. “There must be transparency,” Macron told reporters in response to questions about the investigation. When asked if consulting firms worked on his campaign for free, he said no.
Macron said he had nothing to fear. “My accounts for the 2017 campaign went through all the procedures and were presented to the judges who approved them. The accounts for 2022 are currently under review, as are all other candidates.”
“Not directly related to public offerings”
He also said that there are many political attacks related to the advisory office, but the judicial authorities must work in an orderly manner. When asked about the suspicion of a possible “favoritism”, Macron said that as president he was not directly involved in public performances.
“The core of the investigation is not about me,” he said. Specifically, the investigations revolve around alleged improper management of campaign accounts as well as nepotism and aiding nepotism. Thus, the financial prosecutor’s office confirmed a report published by the newspaper “Le Parisien” on Thursday.
Dispute over the use of public funds
During the 2022 presidential campaign, a Senate report on the use of consulting firms sparked a row over the use of public funds. As a result, the scope of consulting contracts with government agencies doubled between 2018 and 2021. In 2021, the total value of these contracts amounted to more than one billion euros.
According to media reports, some of McKenzie’s advisers worked without pay for Macron’s election campaign in 2017. During the coronavirus pandemic, McKenzie worked very intensively for the government.
The Senate report also noted that McKinsey did not pay any corporate taxes in France between 2011 and 2020. The company denied the allegations and said it was complying with the law. The case has also caused uproar ahead of the presidential election in the spring because government spending on foreign advice skyrocketed during Macron’s tenure.
Determine the costs of the campaign in France
The judiciary now wants to investigate whether Macron did not receive undisclosed support from McKinsey in his campaigns, which he should have included on the balance sheet to finance his campaign. For reasons of equal opportunity between the two candidates, campaign costs have been capped in France. However, the accusation arises again and again that politicians conceal expenses or manipulate bills in order to cover up budget overruns.
Moreover, the judiciary wants to examine whether the government favored MacKenzie when awarding consulting contracts and whether Macron and his political camp benefited from them in return. Le Monde had already reported in the spring that former McKinsey advisers and advisors took part in Macron’s 2017 election campaign and that McKinsey employees had been given positions in Macron’s party and ministries.
The Elysee Palace told the newspaper that it had taken note of the prosecutor’s letter. It is up to the judiciary to conduct investigations in complete independence. Macron is protected from legal action due to the office’s immunity. At best, he could be questioned after his term ends in 2027.
Le Monde: The opposition is silent
Surprisingly, the opposition seems unwilling to take advantage of and politicize current events, wrote the French daily Le Monde. For example, former presidential candidate Marine Le Pen did not attack the head of state directly, and other opposition parties are also silent.
Macron’s heavy blow did not necessarily come at the right time, according to Le Monde: The French financial prosecutor’s office also recently conducted investigations into the ex-wife of Eric Ciotti, a member of the centre-right Les. The party denies embezzlement of public funds.
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