Keyword: François Fillon

Macron v Macron: president's biggest challenge in 2018 comes from himself

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Addressing the nation: Presisdent Emmanuel Macron on December 31st, 2017. Addressing the nation: Presisdent Emmanuel Macron on December 31st, 2017.

“I did it in 2017....I will do it in 2018”. On Sunday December 31st, President Emmanuel Macron delivered his first New Year goodwill message to the French people. Just 12 months ago no one imagined that he would be the occupant of the Élysée. Even last summer, when he had been elected, no one thought he would be in a strong position. Yet here he is, and his political situation looks robust. But it is a little too early for the new president to get out the bunting just yet. For Hubert Huertas argues that President Macron is about to face his biggest political 'opponent' – himself.

Penelope Fillon: the paper-trail puzzle of 'Lady Discreet'

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Penelope Fillon. © Les Nouvelles de Sablé Penelope Fillon. © Les Nouvelles de Sablé

Former French prime minister François Fillon’s presidential election campaign nosedived after it was alleged that over several years he fraudulently employed his British-born wife Penelope as his parliamentary assistant for which she earned almost 700,000 euros paid out of public funds. While both Fillon, who was until then the lead candidate in the election, and his wife deny the fake job accusations they are currently placed under investigation in an ongoing judicial probe. The couple insist that if there is little evidence of Penelope Fillon’s presence in parliament it is because she was active in her husband’s constituency. Mediapart has carried out a detailed search through local newspaper archives to find trace of her work, and the result offers little support for their claim. Mathilde Mathieu and Antton Rouget report.

The Russian dolls of the scandal engulfing Macron's minister

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Richard Ferrand, Minister for Territorial Cohesion, at the Elysée Palace. © Reuters Richard Ferrand, Minister for Territorial Cohesion, at the Elysée Palace. © Reuters

Richard Ferrand, appointed to President Emmanuel Macron’s first government as Minister for Territorial Cohesion, has become engulfed in a controversy over the employment of his son as his parliamentary assistant and alleged favouritism in a 2011 property deal handed to his wife by a mutual insurance company when Ferrand was its managing director. The allegations against Ferrand, a socialist MP who last year became secretary general of Macron’s En March! movement, are a major embarrassment for the new government which is about to introduce legislation aimed at cleaning-up political life. But, Mediapart’s political commentator Hubert Huertas argues here, Ferrand’s political opponents would do well to think twice about their calls for his dismissal.

Le Pen accused of plagiarising Fillon

Several sections of her speech on Monday appeared to repeat almost word-for-word comments conservative Fillon made on April 15th.

Defeated Fillon steps back from front-line politics

The conservative said he would not play a senior role for his party in June's Parliamentary elections but would be a 'simple party activist again'.

Presidential candidate Fillon slammed for 'sexist' quip to journalist

French conservative presidential election candidate François Fillon, whose campaign has been plagued by a fake jobs scandal and his related placement under investigation for suspected fraud and misuse of company assets, has caused a storm of protest after he suggested, during a TV interview on Thursday, that a journalist questioning him was unaware of his manifesto because she was pregnant.

Fillon benefactor reveals 'pressure' for his silence and why his memoirs are on hold

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Robert Bourgi. © Reuters Robert Bourgi. © Reuters

Lawyer Robert Bourgi, 72, is a veteran figure of “la Françafrique”, the once-rife secret and corrupt network of relations between successive French and despotic African governments, which included the illegal funding of French politicians and parties in return for favours and protection. His name resurfaced last month in the scandal-hit presidential election campaign of conservative candidate François Fillon, when Bourgi revealed it was he who offered Fillon two expensive tailor-made suits, raising further questions over Fillon’s probity and political independence. In this interview from Beirut, where he is sitting out the rest of the election campaign, Bourgi gave Mediapart his version of his relationship with Fillon, who he says asked him to deny being a benefactor, and lifts the lid on the murky practices in French politics. His account offers an insight into decades of political corruption.

Journalists and judges investigating François Fillon receive death threats

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Bullets and threatening letters have been sent to four judges plus journalists at two media organisations, including Mediapart. Of the judges who have been singled out, one is the head of the national financial crimes prosecution unit, and the other three are the judges who have been designated to investigate the 'fake jobs' allegations involving right-wing presidential candidate François Fillon and his wife Penelope. The other media outlet that received a threatening letter and a .22 calibre Long Rifle bullet was Le Canard Enchaîné, the weekly investigative newspaper that first broke the Fillon story. Matthieu Suc reports.

French presidential candidate François Fillon pelted with flour

Former PM was on way to stage at event in Strasbourg when man in T-shirt with words 'Students for Fillon' emptied a packet of flour on his face.

Is this French presidential election's unpredictability really so unusual?

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The five main candidates at a televised debate on TF1 on 20th March, 2017. © REUTERS The five main candidates at a televised debate on TF1 on 20th March, 2017. © REUTERS

The chatter about the French presidential election focuses on the likely high abstention rate, the record number of undecided voters, a possible last-minute surge by the Right and whether one can trust the polls. In particular, just under three weeks from the first round of voting, the talk is of how unpredictable and hard to forecast this 2017 election is. But, Hubert Huertas, argues it is no more unpredictable than usual. It is just that when it comes to the mood of voters, the rules have changed.

Fillon runs egg-throwing gauntlet as Macron increases lead

An opinion survey this weekend confirmed centrist French presidential election candidate Emmanuel Macron as frontrunner in both rounds of the voting, while scandal-hit conservative candidate François Fillon, hanging on in third position despite a fall in poll ratings, was met by roudy protestors during a campaign visit to south-west France.  

Hollande slams Fillon claims he runs secret cell

Scandal-hit conservative presidential candidate François Fillon, mired in graft scandals and under investigation for fraud and misusing public funds, claimed that his predicament was the work of a secret plot by socialist president François Hollande, who has firmly dismissed the 'untruthful allegations'.

Kremlin says report of Fillon fee for Putin meeting is 'fake news'

A Kremlin spokesman said revelations that French conservative presidential candidate François Fillon received, via his consultency firm, 50,000 dollars to introduce a Lebanese pipeline construction tycoon to Russian President Vladimir Putin 'is what in English we call fake news'.

Graft probe widens into French presidential candidate Fillon

The judicial investigation into suspected misappropriation of public funds by conservative presidential candidate François Fillon has been widened to include suspected forgery, while new press revelations allege he was paid 50,000 dollars in 2015 to introduce a Lebanese businessman to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

French presidential candidate Fillon formally placed under investigation in fraud case

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François Fillon. © Reuters François Fillon. © Reuters

The French conservative party’s presidential candidate, François Fillon, was on Tuesday formally placed under investigation for the suspected fraudulent payments made by him out of public funds to his wife and two of his children who he employed as parliamentary assistants. While the move was widely expected, it is a major new blow for the former prime minister who was the election frontrunner until the alleged fake jobs scandal emerged in January. Meanwhile, further press revelations since the weekend include the disclosure that his children paid him regular sums of money from their salaries as his assistant, and that a mysterious benefactor has gifted him over the past five years with luxury clothing worth more than 48,000 euros.