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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  • 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.

  • French parliamentarians' referendum bid to block privatisation of Paris airports

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    In an unusual alliance of the Left and Right, a vast majority of French opposition parliamentarians have this week launched a demand for a national referendum over the government’s proposed privatisation of the Paris airports operator ADP. Such a move has never before been attempted, and must now be approved by the Constitutional Council. Martine Orange analyses the latest development in an increasingly strained relationship between parliament and the executive.

  • Why plans to cap top-up pensions for France's bosses are just for show

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    Left to right: Carlos Ghosn, formerly of Renault, Tom Enders who is leaving Airbus and Thierry Pilenko of TechnipFMC. © Reuters Left to right: Carlos Ghosn, formerly of Renault, Tom Enders who is leaving Airbus and Thierry Pilenko of TechnipFMC. © Reuters

    Over the years there have been repeated scandals about the lavish top-up pensions awarded to the bosses of some of France's biggest firms, most recently involving Renault, Airbus and energy industry engineering firm TechnicFMC. Now, in a bid to end such controversies, the government's finance minister Bruno Le Maire is promising legislation to restrict the level of these lucrative perks. But as Mediapart's Martine Orange reports, the measure already looks as if it will be little more than window dressing.

  • Proof of Macron chief of staff's lie over family links to shipping firm

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    Chief of staff Alexis Kohler and PM Edouard Philippe, both members of the Le Havre Supervisory Board from 2010 to 2012. © LCI Chief of staff Alexis Kohler and PM Edouard Philippe, both members of the Le Havre Supervisory Board from 2010 to 2012. © LCI

    Contrary to what he has stated, President Emmanuel Macron's chief of staff Alexis Kohler has not always revealed his family links to the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), and in his duties as a senior public servant has not always stood aside from issues involving the giant Italian-Swiss shipping firm. Official documents from the major French port of Le Havre, seen by Mediapart, show that Kohler took part in discussions and votes concerning the company while he sat on the port's Supervisory Board as a civil servant from 2010 to 2012. Laurent Mauduit and Martine Orange investigate.

  • Mystery of the giant shipping line linked to President Macron's chief of staff

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    MSC container ships in the Spanish port of Valencia. © Reuters MSC container ships in the Spanish port of Valencia. © Reuters

    Why was Alexis Kohler, who is now secretary general at the Elysee and chief of staff to President Emmanuel Macron, so keen to become finance director at the shipping firm MSC and its cruise company subsidiary MSC Cruises? Yes, the Italian-Swiss group is world number two in maritime freight, is a major cruise company and controls a number of port terminals. But it also uses tax havens and practices tax avoidance, keeps its business confidential and operates in an environment where dangerous shadows lurk. Martine Orange and Cecilia Ferrara investigate.

  • Why Macron's chief of staff is target of corruption probe

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    Alexis Kohler at the Elysée Palace, January 3rd 2018. © Reuters Alexis Kohler at the Elysée Palace, January 3rd 2018. © Reuters

    The French prosecution services have launched an investigation into suspected corruption by President Emmanuel Macron’s chief of staff Alexis Kohler, following an official complaint lodged by anti-corruption NGO Anticor. The complaint cited revelations last month by Mediapart into Kohler’s role, when he was a senior civil servant, in affairs in which the interests of a shipping company owned by members of his close family were at stake. Mediapart’s Martine Orange, who first broke the story, details here the background to the case that now threatens the downfall of the man described by French daily Le Monde as “the most powerful senior civil servant in France”.

  • Why French tycoon Vincent Bolloré faces probe over African business practices

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    Vincent Bolloré with President Nicolas Sarkozy in March 2008. © Reuters Vincent Bolloré with President Nicolas Sarkozy in March 2008. © Reuters

    The French businessman Vincent Bolloré has been placed under formal investigation over the alleged corruption of foreign public officials and complicity in corruption. The probe into the well-connected businessman, who has amassed much of his fortune through his dealings in Africa, relates to how one of its companies won the concessions to run the ports at Lomé in Togo and Conakry in Guinea, and the use of his communications firm in the electoral campaigns of African leaders. Martine Orange gives the background to the allegations.

  • President Macron sets political trap for France's railway workers

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    A government-commissioned report on France's railway sector has put reform of the employment status and supposedly “exorbitant privileges” of the country's railway workers firmly at the centre of the political agenda. These changes would themselves save around 100 million to 150 million euros in savings over ten years – a modest amount compared with the massive debts of the train operator SNCF. But as Martine Orange reports, the French presidency's real aim is to win a political battle by getting pubic opinion on its side.

  • Paris court rules against Apple in case against 'tax evasion' protestors acting in 'general interest'

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    At the end of a legal case brought by tech giant Apple against alter-globalisation organisation ATTAC, in which the tech giant sought a three-year ban on activists demonstrating in and outside its stores in France to highlight the firm’s tax-avoidance schemes, a Paris court has ruled in favour of ATTAC, describing its campaign as being in the “general interest”. Martine Orange reports.

  • Apple turns red over tax protests at its French stores

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    In an extraordinary move, American tech giant Apple this week applied before a Paris court for a three-year ban to be imposed on alter-globalisation group ATTAC from continuing with its recent demonstrations at the company’s stores in France in a campaign to denounce its tax-dodging practices. Mediapart economics and business correspondent Martine Orange was in court to follow the hearing which, she reports here, has above all served to further tarnish the iPhone maker's image.