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.

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

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    A Sanofi distribution centre at Val-de-Reuil in Normandy. © Joel Saget/ AFP A Sanofi distribution centre at Val-de-Reuil in Normandy. © Joel Saget/ AFP

    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

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    French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian speaking in parliament, September 22nd. © THOMAS COEX / AFP French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian speaking in parliament, September 22nd. © THOMAS COEX / AFP

    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

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    LVMH boss Bernard Arnault and Emmanuel Macron in June 2017. © Martin BUREAU / AFP LVMH boss Bernard Arnault and Emmanuel Macron in June 2017. © Martin BUREAU / AFP

    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

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    The statement written by President Emmanuel Macron on behalf of his chief of staff, Alexis Kohler. © Document Mediapart The statement written by President Emmanuel Macron on behalf of his chief of staff, Alexis Kohler. © Document Mediapart

    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

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    Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson. © ERIC PIERMONT / AFP Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson. © ERIC PIERMONT / AFP

    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

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    Christine Lagarde, then managing direrctor of the IMF, and Mauricio Macri, then president of Argentina, at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires in November 2018. © AFP Christine Lagarde, then managing direrctor of the IMF, and Mauricio Macri, then president of Argentina, at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires in November 2018. © AFP

    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

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    Thierry Breton with Emmanuel Macron, who was then economy minister, in 2016. © Reuters Thierry Breton with Emmanuel Macron, who was then economy minister, in 2016. © Reuters

    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.

  • Top Swiss court allows French tax authorities access to UBS accounts

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    ubs-3

    In a landmark decision for the Swiss banking sector, Switzerland’s highest court on Friday ruled in favour of a request from the French tax authorities to gain access to the personal records of around 40,000 accounts held with Swiss bank UBS by French residents, and which are estimated to total assets of up to 11 billion euros.

  • The new raw materials at centre of global disputes: rare earth elements

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    Huge pipes removing polluted water from a rare earth refinery in Inner Montgolia. © Reuters Huge pipes removing polluted water from a rare earth refinery in Inner Montgolia. © Reuters

    The Chinese president Xi Jinping, whose country is embroiled in a trade war with the United States, has threatened an embargo on Chinese exports of what are called rare earths. These metallic elements have become essential raw materials both for the technological transition to greener energy and in the digital world. And China has a near-monopoly on them. Mediapart's Martine Orange spoke about the issue with French expert Guillaume Pitron, author of a recent book on the growing global battle over these crucial elements.

  • Macron the destroyer of French industry

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    macron-whirpool

    In the immediate aftermath of the European elections, in which the ruling centrists lost to Marine Le Pen's far-right party, the French government has had to deal with impending job losses at three major industrial sites. It is, argues Martine Orange, the outcome of a deliberate policy by President Emmanuel Macron: the massive and organised destruction of French industry. Mediapart's finance and business writer says that as a result France runs the risk of being trapped permanently in austerity and unable to forge an industrial future for itself.