Martine Orange

Ancienne journaliste à l'Usine Nouvelle, au Monde, et à la Tribune. Plusieurs livres: Vivendi: une affaire française; Ces messieurs de chez Lazard, Rothschild, une banque au pouvoir. Participation  aux ouvrages collectifs : l'histoire secrète de la V République, l'histoire secrète du patronat ,  Les jours heureux, informer n'est pas un délit.

Declaration of interest

In the interest of transparency towards its readers, Mediapart’s journalists fill out and make public since 2018 a declaration of interests on the model of the one filled out by members of parliament and senior civil servants with the High Authority for Transparency and Public Life (HATVP), a body created in 2014 after Mediapart’s revelations on the Cahuzac affair.

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All his articles

The French government's irresponsible dithering over energy crisis

Économie — Opinion

A number of European governments introduced detailed energy conservation plans in the spring to tackle the energy crisis. In contrast, the French government has been happy simply to talk about the need for 'restraint' combined with vague calls for people to cut energy use, argues Martine Orange in this op-ed article. She says it has now taken the country's electricity grid operator RTE to spell out just how urgent the situation is.

The perilous state of French utility giant EDF

France

Last month, the French government announced it will re-nationalise utility giant EDF which, also last month, has reported historic first-half losses in 2022 of 5.3 billion euros. EDF’s financial woes are exacerbated by the unprecedented shut-downs due to repairs and maintenance of more than half its fleet of 56 nuclear reactors, and the government’s cap on electricity price rises. Martine Orange reports on the background to what is the most perilous situation the company has known in its 76 years of existence.

Mystery of vanishing emails as top Macron aide faces ongoing 'conflict of interest' probe

France — Investigation

President Emmanuel Macron's key aide in the Élysée, his chief of staff Alexis Kohler, has faced two investigations into an alleged “conflict of interest” and “influence peddling” over his family links with major shipping line MSC. The first was dropped back in 2018 but another was launched in 2020 and is still ongoing. The current investigation has unearthed some troubling documents for Alexis Kohler, whose official title is secretary-general of the Élysée. Not only do they show him to have been far more involved than thought with issues involving MSC while working as a civil servant, some potentially important documents and emails have also vanished from certain locations - though they have been retrieved elsewhere – in what appears to have been an attempt to remove the paper trail of his interventions. Martine Orange reports on the continuing investigation into President Macron's right-hand man.

Why Macron's industrial strategy is his Achilles heel

France — Analysis

As the French presidential elections approach, Mediapart’s economics correspondent Martine Orange examines Emmanuel Macron’s track record in industrial strategy which, she argues, has become his Achilles heel. His involvement in policy making in the domain is not limited to his five years as president, but in fact began ten years ago in the wings of the Élysée Palace, since when France has lost more than one million jobs in the industrial sector, whose contribution to the country’s GDP fell in parallel from around 20 percent to around 10 percent.

Mystery of Macron's brutal power play against France's antitrust authority

France — Investigation

Abruptly and without any warning, the Élysée decided that it was not renewing Isabelle de Silva's contract as the president of France's competition authority the Autorité de la Concurrence from October 13th. The decision, which has reportedly surprised and dismayed government ministers as well as many observers, was taken so late that a successor has not yet been lined up. The main theory to explain Emmanuel Macron's shock move is that the highly-respected De Silva was seen as an obstacle to the proposed merger between two private French TV companies, TF1 and the smaller M6, a tie-up that the Élysée favours. More generally, the independent Autorité de la Concurrence is also seen as a block to Emmanuel Macron's aim of creating large-scale national business champions. Martine Orange reports.

What the Sanofi saga tells us about the state of France's industrial strategy

France — Investigation

The French pharmaceuticals firm Sanofi has been in the headlines recently because of its setbacks in producing a vaccine against Covid-19, which will not now be ready until the end of 2021 at the earliest. Yet the group has nonetheless decided to go ahead with its restructuring plans and will be trimming back on its research while also moving many of its production plants into a separate company to be sold off. France is now paying the price for having abandoned its industrial and research strategies over the last thirty years. Martine Orange investigates.

The mystery of French foreign minister's letter behind sinking of LVMH-Tiffany deal

International — Analysis

An opportune letter sent by French foreign affairs minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to LVMH luxury goods group boss Bernard Arnault gave the latter a justification for pulling out of a costly acquisition of US jewellers Tiffany that was agreed before the economic meltdown from the Covid-19 pandemic. According to LVMH, Le Drian, citing a looming tariffs dispute with the US, asked for the 16.6 billion-dollar deal to be halted. Curiously, the letter has never been made public. As Martine Orange reports, it is now at the heart of a legal battle between Tiffany and LVMH to be played out at a trial in the US in January, and threatens to become a major embarrassment for the French government.

Questions over curious intervention of French state as luxury firm LVMH breaks deal with Tiffany

France — Opinion

France's foreign minister has written an extraordinary letter that provides 'cover' for the French luxury goods group LVMH to pull out of an expensive deal to buy famous American jewellery firm Tiffany it no longer wanted to complete. That letter came after LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault reportedly asked foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian for help. The affair is now likely to lead to a long and bitter legal battle, one that could even end up with the French state facing claims for compensation from disgruntled shareholders. Mediapart's Martine Orange argues in this op-ed article that no French government has ever gone out on such a limb to support a private company.

How Macron's chief of staff was cleared over probe after president intervened

France — Investigation

President Emmanuel Macron intervened personally in an investigation into a potential conflict of interest involving his chief of staff, Alexis Kohler, Mediapart can reveal. In the summer of 2019 a statement from the president was sent to France's financial crimes prosecution unit clearing Kohler's name after detectives investigating the case had written a damning report. Following President Macron's intervention, a second police report was written which reached very different conclusions. A month later, the whole case was dropped. Martine Orange investigates a move by the president which appears to breach the doctrine of the separation of powers between the government and the judicial system.

Sanofi vaccine row: a patent betrayal of the common good

International — Opinion

The chief executive of French pharma giant Sanofi sparked outrage this week when he declared that the US would be first in line for a vaccine his group was developing against the Covid-19 virus. In this op-ed article, Martine Orange argues the move by Sanofi reveals the immoral reality of the pharma business which, instead of serving the common good, has embarked on a profit-seeking commercial war over the coronavirus.

The disastrous Argentine legacy of ex-IMF boss Christine Lagarde

France — Analysis

In July 2018 Christine Lagarde, then managing director of the International Monetary Fund, sanctioned a loan totalling 56 billion dollars to Argentina. Yet today the South American country's economy is once again on the verge of collapse. Mediapart's Martine Orange looks at this dismal financial legacy of the former French finance minister who is now at the helm of the European Central Bank.

Why Thierry Breton - Macron's new pick for EU post - is epitome of French capitalism

France — Analysis

After his first choice for EU Commissioner was rejected by MEPs, President Emmanuel Macron has nominated the veteran businessman and former government minister Thierry Breton as France's new candidate for the key Brussels post. But just how suitable is he? By flitting between business and politics, the former finance and economy minister has become a bridge between two worlds where collusion, cliquiness and conflicts of interest shamelessly run riot, argues Mediapart's Marine Orange.

All his blog posts

Mediapart’s journalists also use their blogs, and participate in their own name to this space of debates, by confiding behind the scenes of investigations or reports, doubts or personal reactions to the news.

Martine Orange
Mediapart Journalist

7 Posts

0 Editions

A Alain, mon ami

Blog post

En hommage à Alain Le Garrec, ancien élu PS du 1er arrondissement, mort du Covid-19. A tous les élus, militants, petites mains négligées des appareils politiques, tombés lors des élections municipales, pour que vive la démocratie.

Affaire Kerviel : Mediapart a bien gagné ses procès face à la SG et son ex-pdg

Blog post

Le 6 février, Les Echos affirmaient sur leur site que l’ex-pdg de la Société générale avait gagné son procès en diffamation contre Mediapart. C’était faux. Le quotidien a depuis changé le titre mais pas le fond. A aucun moment, il n’est dit que Mediapart a été relaxé par la 17e chambre correctionnelle. Mise au point.

L'honneur d'un lanceur d'alerte

Blog post

Au lieu de prendre les 16 millions de dollars de récompense qui lui étaient promis, un lanceur d’alerte, ancien responsable de la Deutsche Bank, préfère y renoncer et dénoncer la collusion entre le système financier et les autorités de contrôle. Afin que toute son action ne soit pas vidée de son sens. Respect.

Attac-Finance Watch : la démocratie doit reprendre le contrôle de la finance

Blog post

A quoi s’engagent les candidats aux européennes ? Alors que la campagne européenne commence, plusieurs ONG (Attac, Finance Watch, le Secours catholique, Ccfd - Terre solidaire, l’institut Verblen) ont souhaité réunir mardi 6 mai plusieurs candidats aux européennes pour les interroger sur les propositions et les combats qu’ils seraient prêts à mener, s’ils étaient élus au parlement européen.

Grèce : le grand leurre du retour sur les marchés

Blog post

Les dirigeants européens n’en finissaient plus de se féliciter, jeudi. La mine réjouie, tous saluaient le grand succès du retour de la Grèce sur les marchés. Athènes avait réussi à lever 3 milliards d’euros auprès d’investisseurs internationaux, avec le soutien des grandes banques internationales, dont Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan et Deutsche Bank.