Two news about the investigation from the French judiciary to Macron. Last Minute EUROPE, France, CURRENT headlines and events

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The French judiciary has launched two separate investigations following the media allegations of corruption dubbed “MacronLeaks” and the “McKinsey scandal” by the media, and scrutinized accounts of two campaigns won by President Emmanuel Macron.

France’s financial crimes prosecutor’s office (Le Parquet National Financier – PNF) announced at the end of October that it had opened two criminal investigations into the intervention of consulting firms in the 2017 and 2022 election campaigns.

Three investigating judges from the PNF will review Emmanuel Macron’s winning campaigns in 2017 and 2022. According to the prosecutor’s office, the investigation will investigate “the relationship of President Macron and his team with the American consulting firm McKinsey, which was also investigated for tax evasion, and the conditions for conducting public tenders.”

The prosecutor’s office, which did not openly name Macron in a press release, said: “After numerous reports and complaints from elected officials and individuals, on October 20, 2022, especially with regard to allegations such as improper maintenance of campaign accounts and underreporting in campaign account, 2017 and 2022 elections A judicial investigation was launched into the terms of the intervention of consulting firms in their campaigns.

The prosecution also stated that after several complaints from elected officials and associations, on October 21, 2022, “a second investigation was opened into allegations of nepotism and concealment of nepotism.”

Findings in the Senate report

The McKinsey scandal, which erupted after the French Senate determined that “applications made by the state to consulting firms have skyrocketed since Emmanuel Macron took office,” was also the subject of an exploratory panel set up in the Senate, in the commission’s report. . strengthening the influence of consulting firms on the state”.

According to the report, between 2018 and 2021, the government paid over 1 billion euros to consulting firms. This amount means that spending made up to 2018 has more than doubled.

McKinsey didn’t pay a dime in taxes

The Senate report also showed that the company’s French subsidiary, which benefits from many government contracts, has not paid a penny in taxes between 2011 and 2020 for 10 years thanks to a lucrative tax scheme.

The Senate, finding that McKinsey executives’ statements to the commission were “not true,” filed criminal charges against the company in March and launched an investigation.

This was followed by an investigation in March against the company on charges of “aggravated money laundering and qualified tax evasion.” As part of this investigation, the company’s office in France was searched on May 24.

A study by Le Monde newspaper found that McKinsey received almost 40 tenders from the state and earned between 28 million and 50 million euros in return.

In a statement to this effect, the Élysée Palace said it took note of the Financial Crime Investigation Bureau’s statement and expects the court to conduct these investigations with complete independence.

Relations between Macron and McKinsey

McKinsey firm; An American company that provides consulting services to giant corporations, bosses, ministers and heads of state. The company, which first made itself known during the COVID pandemic and the vaccination campaign in France, traces its history back to 2007 under President Macron.

Macron, who became close to Eric Labaye, the company’s boss in France, when he was a young financial controller, began working with McKinsey in 2016 when he was economy minister. In the same year, he created his En Marche party in preparation for the presidential race, linking his economic projects to the big McKinsey team.

The relationship between Macron and McKinsey has continued to strengthen since he became president in 2017. Young employees of the company held positions in the party, the Elysee Palace and the government. McKinsey leader Eric Labaye, whom Emmanuel Macron met in 2007, was named head of the Ecole Polytechnique, the country’s most prestigious military school, in 2018. On the other hand, some party youth in Macron’s youth chapters have moved to the McKinsey firm.

How did Macron react?

Of the allegations, which appeared on the agenda shortly before the 2022 elections, Macron said on France3 television, where he was a guest on March 27: “First of all, no government contract has been signed without following the rules. The tender was won. openly, transparently and with the principle of responsibility. Otherwise, Article 40 is very clear, criminal court.” The report shows that if there is fraud, it is not true. The public procurement rules are very clear. France is a state of law. If there is evidence of manipulation, then the case will go to the criminal court,” he replied.

However, the president, whose name is not explicitly mentioned in the prosecutor’s press release, is protected by “immunity from punishment.” Even if the investigating judges decide that Macron should make a statement on these charges, they will have to wait until the end of the second presidential term in office.

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