Mediapart has gained access to confidential documents, backed by witness accounts, which tell a dark and disturbing story of how Danish pharmaceuticals firm Lundbeck succeeded in making a blockbuster in France of an antidepressant drug that experts judged had little, if any, medical interest. They reveal staggering examples of conflicts of interest, of secret links between the drugs firm and official health watchdogs, and of hidden price-fixing agreements. The result of the shady lobbying was a money-spinner which cost the deeply-indebted French public social security system hundreds of millions of euros. Michaël Hajdenberg and Pascale Pascariello report.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose conservative right Popular Party was elected to government in a landslide victory in November, earlier this month named Luis de Guindos, formerly with Lehman Brothers and PricewaterhouseCoopers, as his new economy minister. The appointment, announced last week, was the latest manifestation of a viral pattern now spreading across Europe, whereby technocrats are filling the posts of national governments and private sector "experts" are shaping EU decision making. Ludovic Lamant reports.