French prosecutors said Wednesday that the headquarters of President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party had been raided in an investigation into the government’s use of consulting firms since 2017.
The Paris office of US consulting giant McKinsey was also raided on Tuesday, the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) said, confirming the report. Le Parisien newspaper.
Macron’s use of consultants came into the spotlight in March after a study by the French Senate concluded that public spending on consultants had more than doubled between 2018 and 2021 during Macron’s first term in office. bathed in
“It is normal for the judiciary to freely and independently investigate this matter in order to shed all light on it. Renaissance Spokesman Loic Signor told Agence France-Presse AFP.
He said the party was left to the discretion of the prosecutor “to provide all useful information about the campaign.”
McKinsey In addition, he admitted to the search of the office, saying that he was “cooperating fully with the authorities.”
Since October, two investigations have been underway investigating the possibility of fraudulent election campaign accounting and the possibility of favoritism and conspiracy.
Several of McKinsey’s consultants were known to have worked as unpaid volunteers in the 2017 election campaign that led to President Macron’s victory, and prosecutors questioned whether this involved hidden election costs. It is thought that they are investigating what is going on.
They are also looking into whether the company enjoyed special access and treatment after winning a lucrative government contract.
Total spending on consulting firms reached more than €1 billion ($1.1 billion) last year, a figure frequently cited by opponents of Macron’s second term in office last April.
Prosecutors have not publicly identified the president or his campaign for investigation, and Mr Macron said last November, “I’m not afraid of anything”.
But the use of expensive foreign firms for strategic advice, dubbed the “McKinseygate” by the French media, shocked many French voters.
France has strict rules on election campaigns and political party funding, which have led to many convictions in recent decades.
former president Nicolas Sarkozy Sentenced to one year in prison in September 2021 for illegally financing his 2012 re-election candidacy.
The judge concluded that Sarkozy spent almost twice the legal limit on his doomed quest for a second term. he appealed the judgment.
https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20221214-macron-s-party-office-searched-as-part-of-consulting-firm-probe Macron’s party office raided as part of consulting firm probe