Veteran anti-corruption magistrates on France's problem with sleaze

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The scandals hanging over this spring’s French presidential elections highlight the endemic problems of corruption across the French political class which has been steeped in sleaze for decades. In this interview with Mediapart, two veteran and emblematic figures of the fight against corruption, former investigating magistrate Eva Joly and former public prosecutor Éric de Montgolfier, set out why they believe the problem has flourished for so long and what measures must be taken to effectively tackle it.

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Eva Joly is a high-profile anti-corruption activist and a former investigating magistrate specialized in financial crime. During her lengthy career in the French justice system, Joly, now 73, led several major and highly-complex investigations, notably the Elf sleaze case after which she returned to her native Norway to act as a government advisor on financial crime and corruption. She then later served as a special advisor to the Icelandic government in its investigations into the role of financial crime on the country’s economic crisis.