Keyword: Jean-François Copé

Socialists ponder their strategy faced with self-destruction of UMP

The right-wing opposition party, the UMP, has been very publicly falling apart after a disastrous leadership election. In the ranks of the ruling Socialist Party MPs and officials have had some fun at the expense of their bitter rivals, and the government has been able to press forward with legislation almost unopposed. But some socialist MPs fear the squabbles in the UMP will reflect badly on all political parties. Others are increasingly concerned that the government is adopting the wrong strategy in the face of the opposition’s melt-down, and favouring social democratic policies over genuine socialist measures. Stéphane Alliès and Mathieu Magnaudeix assess the mood in Parliament.

France’s conservative party splits into two

Defeated UMP leadership candidate Francois Fillon says he and followers are splitting from the party to form their own parliamentary group.

France UMP crisis: Jean- François Copé confirmed as head

Internal party commission confirms that Copé won presidency of centre-right UMP but election rival François Fillon says verdict is 'illegal'.

UMP party heads for spilt after Copé-Fillon mediation fails

French conservative opposition party, the UMP, was close to disintegration Sunday after mediation between two leadership rivals broke down.

UMP future hangs on Sunday talks

The fate of France's copposition UMP party hangs on the outcome of a meeting Sunday between a mediator and the two rivals for its leadership.

Copé wins leadership of UMP party

Jean-François Copé is winner of elections for leadership of France's conservative UMP party, but his short victory threatens a future split on the Right.

UMP party leadership contest slips into farce amid fraud allegations

Former French Prime Minister François Fillon and his rival Jean-François Copé both claim victory for leadership of the conservative UMP party.

In the shadow of Sarkozy, UMP picks new leader

The conservative UMP will on Sunday choose between François Fillon and Jean-François Copé to lead the party in opposition.

French Right head for parliamentary elections amid split over party leadership

France's mainstream Right head for parliamentary elections amid a fratricidal battle for control of former president Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party.

French ruling UMP party chief in 4 million-euro tax gift probe

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Extrait de la lettre de Jean-François Copé, ministre du budget. Extrait de la lettre de Jean-François Copé, ministre du budget.

Jean-François Copé, leader of President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling UMP party, is at the centre of a police investigation into the annulment, when he was budget minister, of a tax back payment of 6.2 million-euros demanded from a wealthy businessman connected to two key suspects in the so-called ‘Karachigate' illegal political funding affair. The tax adjustment, which was reduced by 4 million euros (document above), came after arms dealer Ziad Takieddine raised the case with Copé on the behest of Nicolas Bazire, managing director of luxury goods firm LVMH, according to a statement given to police by Takieddine's British former wife, Nicola Johnson. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

The arms dealer and his 'friendly' services for UMP leader Copé

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Documents obtained by Mediapart show that the head of President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling UMP party, Jean-François Copé, enjoyed more than what he maintains are purely amicable relations with a key suspect in the illegal political funding investigation in which members of the president's close entourage are implicated. For despite the UMP secretary-general's public claims that he "never had relations of a professional nature" with Ziad Takieddine, Mediapart can reveal that the Paris-based arms dealer paid for a visit for Copé to Lebanon, in which he organized a programme of meetings with the Lebanese prime minister and other senior political and business figures. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

Captain Sarkozy hits the iceberg

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One after the other, President Nicolas Sarkozy's closest friends and aides, who for so long served as his political fireguards, have become implicated in a series of scandals and fast-developing judicial investigations. The alleged illegal political funding scam that has finally exploded with the revelations surrounding arms dealer Ziad Takieddine has already demolished the president's once solid network of protection. What has been happening this past month at the summit of French political power is historic, writes Mediapart editor François Bonnet, for never before has a French president been so exposed to being sunk by scandal and the revenge of abandoned protagonists.

British divorcee becomes key witness in French political funding scandal

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A British woman has become the key witness in the ongoing judicial investigation into suspected illegal political funding in France from weapons sales abroad, and which is now engulfing the French presidency in a scandal that threatens Nicolas Sarkozy's future. Mediapart can reveal here exclusive extracts from testimony given to police by Nicola Johnson, who was divorced earlier this month from Paris-based arms dealer Ziad Takieddine, currently under investigation for his role as a principle intermediary in the suspected scam. Her statement details how:

  • her former husband established extraordinary close relationships with senior French politicians, including the funding of lavish holidays for ministers.
  • Takieddine, who Mediapart has already revealed pays no tax on his 40 million-euro wealth in France where he is fiscally domiciled, apparently escaped a tax control last year after the intervention of a "higher authority".

The arms dealer, the French presidency and the dirty truth

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In July, Mediapart began the publication of a series of investigative articles about the very close and longstanding links between Franco-Lebanese arms dealer Ziad Takieddine and the inner circle of advisors and aides surrounding Nicolas Sarkozy - before and after he became French president. Takieddine is a key witness in an ongoing French judicial probe into suspected illegal party financing through commissions paid in a major French weapons sale, and Mediapart's revelations raise disturbing questions about other deals he was involved in. In a brief interview with Mediapart in July, Takieddine declared: "I'm a clean man and you're dirty. You're one of the filthy who are most productive in the muck." Here, Mediapart Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel sets out the key issues exposed by the investigations, and argues why an unprecedented chain of corruption is strangling France's institutions.

The secret financier who brings danger to the Sarkozy clan

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Brice Hortefeux et Ziad Takieddine. © Photo Mediapart Brice Hortefeux et Ziad Takieddine. © Photo Mediapart

Ziad Takieddine is best known to the public in connection with the ongoing judicial investigations into suspected illegal kickbacks from ‘commissions' paid during the controversial sale of submarines by France to Pakistan during the 1990s. But Mediapart can now exclusively reveal the businessman and arms broker's privileged relations at the very heart of President Nicolas Sarkozy's inner circle. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske investigate a man who represents a political time bomb for the French presidency.