France Investigation

French minister Marlène Schiappa under fire over money handed out by anti-extremism fund

Months after the 2020 murder of history and geographer teacher Samuel Paty by a radicalised youth, junior minister Marlène Schiappa set up the Fonds Marianne to counter extremism and 'defend Republican values'. This government-funded body has since paid out just over two million euros to 17 different associations. But investigations by the media, including Mediapart, have raised question marks over two of the associations who received large sums from the fund and over the way this money was used. One in particular, Reconstruire le Commun, went on to publish videos attacking opponents of President Emmanuel Macron during the 2022 elections. And Mediapart can reveal that there are fresh questions today over the profile of some of those who took part in that charity's videos. Meanwhile, opposition politicians are calling for a Parliamentary inquiry into the affair, which has also been referred to the prosecution authorities. Antton Rouget and Ellen Salvi report.

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The government minister Marlène Schiappa is facing growing political pressure over a fund she set up following the murder of teacher Samuel Paty in October 2020. Marlène Schiappa, who was the minister for citizenship at the time, said the Fonds Marianne would use up to 2.5 million euros of public money to “defend Republican values” and fight against “separatism”, particularly online.

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