Emmanuel Macron, money and his well-heeled backers

The independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron has no public money behind him to help his presidential campaign, as he has no established political party. Instead he is relying on donations both via the internet and from private gatherings with wealthy supporters. Opponents have raised questions over the former economy minister's links with the world of money and business, as well as the declarations of his personal assets which seem to suggest he spent large amounts of money while working as a merchant banker. Those rivals seek to paint him as a candidate for “global capitalism”. His entourage are irritated by such a depiction but, given his background in the world of finance, they have little choice but to accept it, report Mathieu Magnaudeix and Mathilde Mathieu.

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“I'm not in favour of the power of money overriding politics.” Before finally choosing to support Emmanuel Macron, the veteran centrist politician François Bayrou had let rip about the former economy minister, the founder of En Marche! and now independent candidate in the French presidential election. He judged the 39-year-old ex-civil servant to be “unqualified” to become president of the fifth global economic power, while the closeness of the former merchant banker to the business world caused him grave concern. “Behind Emmanuel Macron,” he proclaimed, “there are major financial interests that are incompatible with the impartiality demanded by public office.”