Keyword: right to know
French economy minister Emmanuel Macron on Monday introduced before parliament his bill of law for ‘growth and action’, a wide-ranging set of measures that include loosening Sunday trading rules, cutting red tape on construction activity and opening up closed professions like that of solicitors. Amendments to the bill, which is on a fast-track passage through parliament this week, have seen its original 106 articles rise to more than 200. Among them is a measure adopted in stealth and which aims to guarantee secrecy in business activity by making the revelation of confidential corporate information a crime. Mediapart economics correspondent Martine Orange argues here why the text of this amendment is so vague and potentially large in interpretation that it poses a serious danger for freedom of information, and for the press and whistleblowers in particular.
France’s highest court the Cour de Cassation has upheld the ruling that censored Mediapart's coverage of the Bettencourt affair. The decision confirms that more than 70 articles detailing the secret recordings made by the Bettencourt family's butler must remain suppressed, even though the revelation of the content of these very recordings has led to a string of scandals and high-profile judicial investigations. Editor François Bonnet says that faced with this anti-freedom stance by the top French courts, who have given the right to privacy complete precedence over the public's right to know, Mediapart has no choice but to appeal to Europe.