• France's news in English
'Hoax' or cunning plan: Macron for French president?
"What are you up to?", Nothing, honest." PM Manuel Valls and his Finance Minister Emmanuel Macron. Photo: AFP

'Hoax' or cunning plan: Macron for French president?

AFP/The Local · 12 May 2016, 12:35

Published: 12 May 2016 12:35 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron on Thursday was forced to deny reports that he is raising funds for a presidential election war chest and would announce his bid next month.

"These two assertions are totally false," the 38-year-old rising star told reporters. "I won't declare next month and... I have not raised any funds to this end."

Early this month Paris Match magazine reported that Macron raised nearly 10 million pounds (€12.75 million, $14.5 million) during a trip to London to "fund a campaign if he decides to run".

Then the Mediapart news website reported on Wednesday that Macron would announce his bid on June 10, prompting categorical denials from his aides.

The former banker said Thursday: "I will not do anything in June aside from my job as minister" while nevertheless evoking the need for an "overhaul" of the Socialist government's agenda.

Government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said earlier that he hoped the Mediapart report was a "hoax".

Macron made waves last month by setting up his own political movement, "En Marche" (On the Move), prompting cabinet colleagues to call on him to get into line.

The Minister has repeatedly been rebuked by members of his own government after suggesting that several sacrosanct Socialist principles like the 35-hour week and the status of civil servants.

“He knows exactly what he is doing,” French political expert Bruno Cautres told The Local. “A clever guy like that doesn’t say provocative things by accident.”

The deeply unpopular President Francois Hollande has said he will not decide until the end of the year whether to seek re-election.

Opinion polls predict he would be eliminated in the first round of the two-round contest starting on April 23.

Story continues below…

A poll last month showed that Macron would fare better if he was named the Socialist candidate, and would progress into the second round, possibly to face far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

READ ALSO: What on earth is this Frenchman really up to?

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available