Democracy under 'Macronism' - the dangers of complacency

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Two current affairs sum up the nature of 'Macronism', the approach to government adopted by the French president Emmanuel Macron since his election in May 2017. One involves his chief of staff at the Élysée and claims that he faces a clear conflict of interests between the public and private sectors, the other concerns the hefty discounts that the Macron campaign received on various campaign services during the presidential election. Both stories highlight the same problem: the failure of France's watchdogs to adequately monitor public life. Fabrice Arfi reports.

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On the face of it, the two affairs do not have a great deal in common. One involves the current secretary general at the Élysée – the president's chief of staff – Alexis Kohler and the conflict between his public role and private interests. The second concerns the major discounts that Emmanuel Macron's successful election campaign received from service providers. Yet the two affairs, both revealed by Mediapart, share a common script and also highlight the same failing.