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.

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  • France's 'Iron Man': economic plans of François Fillon

    By martine orange
    François Fillon is favourite to be the Right's presidential candidate. © Reuters François Fillon is favourite to be the Right's presidential candidate. © Reuters

    The frontrunner in the primary election to become the presidential candidate for the French Right and centre is a known admirer of Britain's late prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who was dubbed the “Iron Lady”. His economic plans include a strategic and immediate “shock” to the French system; the end of the 35-hour working week, abolition of the wealth tax, increasing the retirement age to 65 and reforming unemployment benefit and workplace rights. As Martine Orange reports ahead of Sunday's crucial second round contest, François Fillon plans to introduce these sweeping changes within the first two months if he becomes president – despite the risk that they would provoke a recession.

  • How Wallonia became spearhead of opposition to EU-Canada trade deal

    By martine orange
    'Non': Walloon leader Paul Magnette rejects the CETA deal in its current form. © Reuters 'Non': Walloon leader Paul Magnette rejects the CETA deal in its current form. © Reuters

    The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement or CETA trade deal between the European Union and Canada was in deep trouble after the Belgian region of Wallonia refused to accept it, despite strong efforts behind the scenes by neighbouring France to put pressure on the French-speaking area. Finally a last-minute deal was reached on Thursday October 27th, but came too late to allow Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau to fly to Brussels to sign the deal at a summit that has now been postponed. Martine Orange looks at how a small Belgian region became a focal point of opposition to a trade deal many fear will act as a Trojan horse for North American multinationals.

  • SocGen faces 2.2 bln tax break refund over its responsibility in 'rogue trader' losses

    By martine orange
    A 'rogue' trader no more: Jérôme Kerviel. © Reuters A 'rogue' trader no more: Jérôme Kerviel. © Reuters

    In a ruling by the Versailles court of appeal on Friday, French bank Société Générale was found to have been in large part responsible for the 4.9 billion euros in losses attributed to the reckless trades of its so-called “rogue trader” Jérôme Kerviel in 2008. The court ruling concerned Kerviel’s appeal against the damages he was required to pay the bank, which until now was fixed as the entire sum of the losses, and which it reduced to 1 million euros. Mediapart economics and finance correspondent Martine Orange analyses here the many consequences of the ruling, not least of which is the demand that the bank now pay back a 2.2-billion-euro tax break it was granted as a result of the sums lost.

  • French jobless rate sinks below 10% as Hollande re-election bid looms

    By martine orange

    The unemployment rate in France dropped below 10% during the second quarter of this year, and for the first time since 2012, according to figures released on Thursday by the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE). The news appears to pave the way for President François Hollande to announce his re-election bid in next year’s presidential elections but, as Martine Orange reports in this analysis of the figures, the slight fall in official jobless numbers cannot mask the grim reality of France’s endemic unemployment.

  • French telecoms group SFR pays the price of reverse-charges takeover

    By martine orange
    Patrick Drahi. © Reuters Patrick Drahi. © Reuters

    French telecoms operator SFR, which was acquired by the holding company of Swiss-based businessman Patrick Drahi in 2014, is losing subscribers to its mobile- and internet-based services by the hundreds of thousands. The haemorrhage threatens the future of the group, already struggling with heavy debts amid one of the toughest telecoms markets in Europe. Martine Orange analyses the cost-cutting, service-reducing strategy employed by Drahi, a champion of the technique of leveraged buyouts.

  • Questions grow over SocGen's 2.2 billion euro tax rebate in Kerviel affair

    By martine orange
    Part of a key report on the Kerviel affair that was ignored then shredded. Part of a key report on the Kerviel affair that was ignored then shredded.

    Was Société Générale's determination to hold on to a 2.2-billion-euro tax rebate partly behind the French bank's motivation to pursue its “rogue trader” Jérôme Kerviel with such zeal? That is a question raised by a report written for French prosecutors in May 2008 and now seen by Mediapart and other French media as part of a joint investigation. As Martine Orange reports, it appears this important report was first ignored by the judicial authorities and then shredded.

  • Europe's 'secret hand' in France's divisive labour law

    By martine orange
    Crucial meeting? French and German finance and economy ministers meeting in Berlin, October 2014. © france-allemagne.fr Crucial meeting? French and German finance and economy ministers meeting in Berlin, October 2014. © france-allemagne.fr

    The French government’s labour law reform bill, now being debated in the Senate, has prompted fierce opposition from several trades unions, massive demonstrations across the country, and a deep political and social crisis. Opinion polls show a majority of the population are opposed to the bill, which reduces current protection for employees with measures that include easing conditions for firing staff and placing a ceiling on compensation sums awarded by industrial tribunals. But the government is adamant it will not negotiate the bill's contents. Martine Orange investigates the reasons for its unusual intransigence, and discovers evidence that the most controversial texts of the bill were demanded by European Union economic liberals.

  • How Renault boss Carlos Ghosn ran over shareholders

    By martine orange

    Last Friday, the board of French carmaker Renault insisted it would pay chief executive Carlos Ghosn a package of 7.2 million euros for his services in 2015, despite a revolt by shareholders who disapproved of the deal which economy minister Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday denounced as “excessive”. In this opinion article, Mediapart’s economic affairs correspondent Martine Orange argues that Ghosn, who is also paid a yearly 8 million euros as head of Nissan, is typical of a new caste of cynical oligarchs who are unaccountable to anyone, even to the very shareholders who first launched them on a path of greed.

  • EDF staff rebel over Hinkley Point nuclear project

    By martine orange
    Economy minister Emmanuel Macron and EDF boss Jean-Bernard Lévy are under fire over the Hinkley Point project. © Reuters Economy minister Emmanuel Macron and EDF boss Jean-Bernard Lévy are under fire over the Hinkley Point project. © Reuters

    On Friday April 22nd the board of directors at French energy giant EDF announced they were delaying a final decision on building two European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) at Hinkley Point in Britain. The news came in the wake of an unprecedented rebellion by EDF staff against the 23-billion-euro project which some fear could even lead to the demise of the state-owned French company. Mediapart has seen a letter backed by 400 managers which calls on EDF's directors to face up to their corporate responsibilities, or face potential legal action if the Hinkley project damages the company. Martine Orange reports.

  • EDF's own engineers oppose Hinkley Point nuclear project

    By martine orange

    Plans by French energy giant EDF to build two European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) at the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant in south-west England have already triggered the resignation of the company's finance director, led to opposition from unions and raised doubts from France's financial watchdog. Now, Mediapart can reveal, in an unprecedented move a number of EDF's own engineers have also expressed their deep misgivings about the multi-billion euro project and called for it to be delayed. As Martine Orange reports, the engineers fear the Hinkley Point construction could threaten the group's plans to renew France's own nuclear power stations in the near future.