After weeks of debate, the government did not want to go so far as to vote on the pension reform in the National Assembly and favored the formidable weapon of article 49-3. In an already very tense context between the French, the unions, the opposition and the executive, things do not seem to be on the way to calming down. As new proof of this major crisis, the recent accusations of an LR deputy against Bruno Le Maire add a new stone to the building. In question ? A possible “active corruption” of the Minister of Economy.
This Thursday, March 16, the president of the LFI group in the National Assembly, Mathilde Panot, chose to take legal action to question the facts for which the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, would be responsible. Three days earlier, it was, in fact, an article from Le Parisien, which set fire to the powder by reporting the setbacks of an LR deputy, who confided that she had received multiple calls and pressure concerning the question of pensions. Among them, phone calls from his group, but also another from the office of the Minister for Relations with Parliament, Franck Riester.
It is then a call, last Saturday, from the Minister of the Economy, who is mentioned in order to speak to him about the pension reform and to try to tilt it in his favor. As Le Parisien writes, Bruno Le Maire would have explicitly told him that the government would know how to be “attentive” to his constituency, with a major undertone around the means granted to his canton. In order to verify these facts, Mathilde Panot wrote a letter to the Attorney General François Molins aimed at investigating this potential case of corruption.
At a time when the Joint Joint Committee had not yet met, this news had the effect of a bomb, which did not fail to make many members of the opposition react. The deputy of Essonne Antoine Léaument thus castigated, on his Twitter account, “an attempt at corruption”.
Mathilde Panot, in her letter, for her part, requested a seizure of the Commission of the requests of the court of justice of the Republic in order to verify the veracity of these facts and their conformity with the law. It should be remembered that the law provides for ten years’ imprisonment and a fine of one million euros for a person guilty of such acts.
Within the majority and while anger is brewing among the French, it is one more crisis that comes on top of an already complicated situation. At the exit of the Council of Ministers, this Wednesday, Olivier Véran refused to speak on the question. He simply affirmed that we were “in a strictly normal framework” which did not go beyond “the usual rules of relations between government and parliamentarians”.
For his part, the Minister of the Economy formally denies these accusations, while confirming that he tried to contact the MP in question without however being able to speak with her. The LR MP concerned, for her part, wished to modify her remarks and would like to publish “a denial”, as Le Parisien specifies. She claims to have “poorly expressed” and confirms the version of Bruno Le Maire, where she would have received a call without having picked up her phone.