First whiff of scandal hits Macron government

French President Emmanuel Macron, who vowed to clean up French politics, has encountered the first whiff of scandal in his own camp...and it's coming from his right-hand man.

First whiff of scandal hits Macron government
Photo: AFP
Richard Ferrand, general secretary of Macron's La République En Marche! party and minister for territorial cohesion, found himself the subject of a story published in satirical French paper Le Canard Enchaîné on Wednesday.
The newspaper — the same one responsible for exposing the scandal that possibly ruined François Fillion's shot at the presidency — reported that that Ferrand used his position as director of a health insurance company, Mutuelles de Bretagne, to benefit his family.
Naturally the French press have picked up the story and run with it, while pointing out that so far there is no proof that anything illegal was done.
What happened?
The reports say that in January 2011, during his time in post at the non-profit Mutuelles de Bretagne, the company was looking to rent a commercial space in Brest in Brittany, north western France, for a health centre.
Mutuelles de Bretagne unanimously settled on property management company Saca, headed up by Ferrand's lawyer wife Sandrine Doucen, with the company set to receive €42,000 annual rent for the deal.
But the problem was the company did not yet legally exist. So once the agreement was in place Doucen got to work registering the company.
Saca did not end up buying the premises for the health centre until July the same year.
While the practice is not illegal, for some it may call into the question the ethics of the president's closest advisor.
What does Ferrand say?
When Le Canard Enchaîné approached him for comment, Ferrand did not deny the facts but said it was not a special arrangement.
It was the cheapest solution,” he said. “The cost was consistent with the market and nothing was hidden. Everyone knew that the company belonged to my wife.”

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Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

French president Emmanuel Macron will make a live TV broadcast to the nation about the war in Ukraine.

Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

Macron will be on TV on Wednesday at 8pm, the Elysée confirmed earlier on Wednesday.

Macron also tweeted the announcement, saying that his speech will be on the subject of the war in Ukraine.

His office added that the president’s speech “will not touch on other matters” – Macron has only until Friday to confirm whether or not he is running for re-election.

It is widely considered to be extremely unlikely that he would not stand in the April elections, but all candidates have until Friday, March 4th, to make their declaration.

Macron’s team had previously announced a rally in Marseille on Saturday, March 5th, which was expected to be the first official campaign event, but on Tuesday this was cancelled because of the ongoing international crisis.

Macron was at the forefront of international efforts to find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis, and since Russia invaded Ukraine he has remained in close contact with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and has also spoken – at the request of Zelensky – to Russian premier Vladimir Putin.

The Local will be following Macron’s speech live from 8pm HERE.