“I am extremely proud (…), it is very difficult to create jobs without companies or entrepreneurs”, added the Head of State. “I would do it again tomorrow and the day after tomorrow,” he insisted after visiting the site of the STMicroelectronics company near Grenoble.
As part of the “Uber Files”, an investigation based on thousands of internal Uber documents, Le Monde concluded that there was a secret “deal” between Uber and Emmanuel Macron when he was in Bercy. The daily also shows that the former lobbyist in Europe for the company, at the time “senior adviser to the board of directors”, had contributed in 2016 to raising funds for the campaign of the future president.
The oppositions continued on Tuesday to accuse the head of state of having defended the interests of Uber at the time when the company was developing its presence in France, when he himself was Minister of the Economy of François Holland (2014-2016).
Emmanuel Macron “was paid for his services”, estimated LFI MP Danièle Obono on Tuesday on BFMTV.
The formations constituting the left alliance Nupes will ask for a parliamentary commission of inquiry, for his part confirmed the boss of the PS Olivier Faure.
“Here is a minister who (…) quietly, secretly, built a deal with the company which everyone knows was that of the lowest social bidder, which was the Trojan horse of the destruction of part of our labor code”, he criticized on LCI.
The National Rally wants to launch a fact-finding mission, announced its president Jordan Bardella, according to whom Mr. Macron was at Bercy “the entry point for private interests in France”.
“We are introducing a kind of atmosphere which would consist in saying that seeing business leaders, in particular foreign ones, would be bad. But I fully accept it, and looking at you!”, replied Mr. Macron. “I have seen business leaders, the horror! I have seen them, it has always been official, with collaborators. I am proud of it! If they have created jobs in France, I am hyper- proud of that.”
“As one of my predecessors would say, it touches me one without moving the other,” insisted the head of state in reference to a sentence attributed to Jacques Chirac.
The survey published by the newspaper Le Monde on Sunday is part of a vast investigation around Uber involving around forty international newspapers.
Based on various testimonies and documents, including many SMS exchanges, Le Monde reports meetings in the minister’s office, numerous exchanges (appointments, calls or SMS) between the teams of Uber France and Mr. Macron or his advisers, citing in particular minutes of meetings written by lobbyist Mark MacGann.
“I brought in companies, I helped French entrepreneurs, I especially helped young people, who were not offered jobs, who came from difficult neighborhoods, who had no opportunities jobs to find for the first time in their lives, and for thousands of them,” President Macron pleaded on Tuesday.
“Then”, he continued in front of a few journalists, “we regulated these jobs, by closing, by locking at French and European level. (…) When I became president, we regulated the sector without any complacency. We are the first country that regulated the platforms and then we pushed it to the European level”.
The VTC system that made the fortune of Uber and other players that appeared in the 2010s had aroused the revolt of taxis at the time.
“We helped taxis as much as possible during the crisis”, assured Mr. Macron on Tuesday. “I have always respected this profession, but we had a system that was closed administratively. We did not give enough licenses”.
“Hyper-proud to trample on labor law, to encourage deregulation and to support a firm that is a champion of tax evasion: the President persists and signs”, tweeted, annoyed, the communist Fabien Roussel.