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.View his profile in the club
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Airbus is one of Europe's flagship industrial groups.
The French and British investigations into alleged corruption at the European aerospace and defence group Airbus centre on claims that hundreds of millions of euros of hidden commissions were paid out as part of massive export deals. Here Mediapart reveals details of a secretive system which flourished inside the group for 15 years and which today threatens some of its most senior figures. Martine Orange and Yann Philippin investigate.
Emmanuel Macron, then economy minister, and EDF boss Jean-Bernard Lévy at a nuclear power station at Civaux, near Poitiers, March 17th, 2016. © Reuters
The new French government has reacted as if it were surprised at the news that the French-led project to build a new nuclear power station in south-west England is already behind schedule and over budget. Yet it has known about the financial and technical risks posed by the Hinkley Point scheme for a long time, says Martine Orange. For the minister who personally backed and oversaw the massive project during the last presidency now himself occupies the Élysée.
Emmanuel Macron in May 2016. © Reuters
In order to finance his election campaign, Emmanuel Macron succeeded in raising almost 13 million euros in what was a remarkable achievement for his maverick centrist political movement En Marche ! created barely one year before his election as president. But contrary to the image put about by his campaign team that it was the result of a spontaneous surge of popular support, the funds were primarily sourced from a powerful network of bankers, financiers and businessmen, as information gathered from the massive leak of hacked En Marche ! internal documents and verified by Mediapart reveals.
For some years the European Union has been recommending that France carry out a series of policy initiatives in key areas such as public finances, pensions, unemployment benefit, workers' rights and even large-scale infrastructure projects such as digital development. Now, says Mediapart's Martine Orange, these policies have found a home – in centrist candidate Emmanuel Macrons's manifesto for the French presidency. In some cases they are almost word for word.
François Fillon (left) and his friend Henri de Castries, former CEO of AXA. © DR
On February 6th the beleaguered right-wing presidential candidate was forced to admit that the major insurance firm AXA was a client of his consultancy firm 2F Conseil. Between 2012 and 2014 the group paid 200,000 euros to Fillon, who was a Member of Parliament at the time. The money was apparently paid to the former prime minister because he could “open doors in Brussels and Berlin” as new European Union insurance regulations were being implemented. Mediapart's Martine Orange argues that the affair is a clear example of conflict of interest.
The Paris public prosecutor’s office has recommended that three complaints for forgery and use of falsified documents, for obtaining a ruling under false pretences and for subornation of a witness lodged by former trader Jérôme Kerviel against the Société Générale bank be dismissed. Kerviel, whose high-risk trading was revealed in January 2008 to have cost the bank almost 5 billion euros, has fought a long-running legal battle for the recognition of the responsibility of the Société Générale in his reckless trades, already partly established in court. A senior police officer who twice led investigations into the case and who denounced the bank’s manipulation of investigators, Commander Nathalie Le Roy, has told Mediapart that the decision to throw out Kerviel’s remaining legal action comes as no surprise. Ostracised by her hierarchy, she tells Mediapart that she has no regrets for blowing the whistle on what increasingly appears to be a cover up. Martine Orange reports.
Donald Trump and Tefvik Arif in 2007.
Tevfik Arif is one of the key figures to feature in a series of revelations stemming from documents from the whistle-blowing platform Football Leaks and obtained by the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) journalistic collective, in which Mediapart is a partner. The Kazakh-Turkish businessman is one of four brothers behind the secretive Doyen Group, and built a property development company in the US largely thanks to his controversial partnership with president-elect Donald Trump, including the construction of the Trump SoHo building in New York. Martine Orange and Yann Philippin report on an association which Trump now claims he has difficulty in remembering.
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.
'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.