Thursday, December 1

Pressure grows on Macron as the Prosecutor’s Office investigates the role of consultants in the last two campaigns

The French Financial Prosecutor’s Office has announced in a statement that last October it began two new investigations into “the conditions for the intervention of consulting companies in the 2017 and 2022 electoral campaigns” and about “possible charges of favoritism and receiving favors ”.

The statement, which does not mention which electoral campaigns or who could have benefited from this crime of favoritism, increases the pressure on Emmanuel Macron, since it is a direct response to the information published this Thursday by the newspaper Le Parisien, which maintains that the Justice is investigating the financing of the French president’s 2017 and 2022 electoral campaigns in relation to contracts with the McKinsey consultancy.

“Following various information published by the press, the Prosecutor’s Office wishes to clarify the situation of different criminal proceedings,” the statement said. In addition to the already well-known investigation into “aggravated tax fraud laundering” against the McKinsey group, the Prosecutor’s Office mentions the investigation that arose as a result of “accusations of non-conformity of campaign accounts and undervaluation of accounting elements in an account of campaign” and the “investigation for charges of favoritism and receiving favors.”

The French Presidency did not want to make statements about the information from Le Parisien or about the statement from the Prosecutor’s Office, reports the agency Reuters. The Prosecutor’s Office has indicated that the extension of the investigation occurred in response to a series of complaints from different associations and politicians.

Le Monde revealed that McKinsey had worked for the 2017 election campaign of the current French president. In addition, some of his employees later went on to hold positions of responsibility in Macron’s party, La República en Marcha (LREM), or in ministerial cabinets of his Executive.

Senate Committee of Inquiry

The investigation into McKinsey was triggered by a report by a Senate inquiry committee filed in mid-March into the growing influence of consultancies on the work of public administrations during Macron’s tenure.

The parliamentary commission, created at the initiative of a group of left-wing opposition senators, emphasized in its conclusions that since 2018 the Government had doubled the use of private consultants for multiple State Administration jobs, to represent 894 million euro in 2021.

He also complained that this increase in contracts attributed to consultants had been done without transparency and also emphasized that McKinsey, which was one of the main beneficiaries, had not paid corporate tax between 2011 and 2020.

Macron responded at the end of March to the reproaches made by the opposition during the campaign for the presidential elections in April this year -in which he was re-elected- pointing out that what they had to do who suspected that there was manipulation, if they had evidence, was to take the case to court.

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