French prosecutors open inquiry into Macron campaign financing

Paris prosecutors have launched an inquiry into the origins of thousands of euros donated to President Emmanuel Macron's election campaign last year, a legal source told AFP on Tuesday.

French prosecutors open inquiry into Macron campaign financing
Photo: AFP

The move follows an alert from France's campaign finance oversight body this month, after it was unable to determine the sources of a total of 144,000 euros ($164,000) given to Macron's Republic on the Move (LREM) movement.

The funds were contributed via checks, bank transfers or electronic payments, the source said, confirming a report on Europe 1 radio.

Investigators want to verify that none of the donors exceeded the 7,500-euro annual limit on individual donations to political parties.

The inquiry comes just weeks after leftist firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon was questioned and his home and party's headquarters raided in connection with two funding probes.

Melenchon denounced the inquiry as a “political manouevre” piloted by Macron, whose economic policies he has fiercely contested as leader of the France Unbowed party.

“Will there also be searches at his home? Membership and donor lists seized as well? Or will this openly be a case of double standards?” Melenchon wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

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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.