In 2006, France introduced the total privatisation of three-quarters of its vast motorway network, leaving almost 9,000 kilometres under the management of three concession operators. A report this summer by the country’s national audit court, commissioned by a parliamentary finance commission, presents a damning picture of practices since the sell-off and calls for far tighter controls of the operators. Dan Israel reports.
The French national audit office report into spending by the French presidential offices during 2010 was largely complimentary over the achieved reduction in the administration's costs. However, it raised more than an eyebrow over the lack of accountability of spending on President Sarkozy's ‘communications' advisors. Mathilde Mathieu and Michaël Hadjenberg report.
A senior Päris public prosecutor has found evidence suggesting French finance minister Christine Lagarde (photo), candidate to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the International Monetary Fund, acted in a manner of "obstructing the law" in the controversial arbitration procedure that awarded French tycoon Bernard Tapie 403 million euros of public funds in 2008. Mediapart has obtained exclusive access to a report prepared by prosecutor Jean-Louis Nadal, revealed here in full, in which he says Lagarde "constantly exercised her ministerial powers to reach the solution that favoured Bernard Tapie". Michel Deléan reports.
French finance minister Christine Lagarde is hotly tipped to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, arrested in New York last weekend on sex assault charges, as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Mediapart has exclusively obtained a copy of a confidential report (pictured) by the French national audit office, the Court of Accounts, which we publish here and which could potentially scupper her candidacy to become IMF chief. It throws deep suspicion on Lagarde's role, already the object of legal moves for suspected "abuse of authority", in a massive out-of-court settlement of 403 million euros of public funds awarded to controversial French tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008. Laurent Mauduit reports.