The former Luxembourg prime minister has just been voted by Europe's mainstream right-wing parties to be their lead candidate ahead of May's European elections. Under new EU rules now in place this means the veteran politician could well become the president of the European Commission later this year. But for many observers Jean-Claude Juncker is indelibly linked to a dated vision of Europe that belongs to the last century. And as Dan Israel and Ludovic Lamant report, he is also closely identified with the financial secrecy of his native country.
The elimination of the Left in the first round of voting in a recent local by-election in which the Front National came top has sparked fevered speculation about how Marine Le Pen's far-right party is likely to perform in next year's crucial municipal elections. A recently-published and detailed analysis of voting trends suggests the FN could have a major role to play in some areas. But, as Mathieu Magnaudeix reports, the study says the outcome will probably depend on how well the economy performs between now and next spring.
The billionaire French industrialist Serge Dassault, who was caught on tape saying he paid money to 'buy' an election, is to appear before examining magistrates next month as a witness in an investigation into the attempted murder of the two men who made that recording. Meanwhile a participant in the alleged electoral corruption that Dassault is said to have created speaks exclusively to Mediapart about how the 'system' worked. In doing so he makes a plea for the judicial authorities to help him – claiming his life is now in danger. Pascale Pascariello reports.
The leading French industrialist and media owner Serge Dassault has been secretly recorded on video admitting that he paid out a huge sum of money to help 'buy' a local election in a town where he was once mayor. Billionaire Dassault, one of the wealthiest men in France and a French senator, makes the assertion in a recording obtained by Mediapart and parts of which are published here. 'I gave the money,' he is heard saying to two men who asked him about the cash – 1.7 million euros in all - while they clandestinely recorded him. Mediapart has also established that three months after the video was made the two men concerned were shot and wounded, one of them seriously. Contacted by Mediapart about the tape Serge Dassault said he had no comment. Fabrice Arfi, Michaël Hajdenberg and Pascale Pascariello report.
by Fabrice Arfi, Michaël Hajdenberg and Pascale Pascariello