The French president was reportedly lobbied to deregulate tight taxi industry
Following a leak of confidential files revealing Uber’s efforts to lobby high-profile politicians, the French opposition has slammed President Emmanuel Macron for a “secret deal” with the transport giant.
According to a Le Monde report published on Sunday, between 2014 and 2016 Uber made a “secret deal” with Macron, who was the economy minister at the time. The would-be collaboration between Macron and Uber was presumably intended to boost to the company’s standing in France by watering down stringent labor laws.
Uber reportedly found a willing partner in Macron, which allowed the two sides to reach an agreement that would “ensure that France works for Uber so that Uber could work in and for France”.
The revelations have drawn ire from a slew of French opposition figures, with Mathilde Panot, parliamentary leader of the left-wing France Unbowed party, describing the alleged dealings as the “pillage of the country.”
“Advisor and minister to [former French President] François Hollande and lobbyist for a US multinational aiming to permanently deregulate labor law,” she tweeted “And all this in contempt of court decisions.”
🚨 Macron ou le pillage du pays.
Conseiller et ministre de François Hollande et lobbyiste pour multinationale états-unienne visant à déréguler durablement le droit du travail.
— Mathilde Panot (@MathildePanot) July 10, 2022
Fabien Roussel, National Secretary of the French Communist Party, denounced the leaks as “damning,” and “against all our rules, all our social achievements and against the rights of workers.”
Révélations accablantes sur le rôle actif joué par Emmanuel Macron, alors ministre, pour faciliter le développement d’Uber en France.
Contre toutes nos règles, tous nos acquis sociaux et contre les droits des travailleurs.https://t.co/yiEaAOtWgZ
— Fabien Roussel (@Fabien_Roussel) July 10, 2022
The French right claimed “Emmanuel Macron’s career is marked by a cliché, a common thread: serving private interests, often foreign, putting them before the national ones,” tweeted Jordan Bardella, acting president of the right-wing National Rally party.
C’était de notoriété publique, les #UberFiles le démontrent une fois de plus. Malgré le « en même temps » permanent, le parcours d’Emmanuel Macron a une cohérence, un fil rouge : servir des intérêts privés, souvent étrangers, avant les intérêts nationaux.https://t.co/DdmOPGACo6
— Jordan Bardella (@J_Bardella) July 10, 2022
At the same time, the president’s office tried to mitigate the fallout, telling the AFP news agency that as economy minister, Macron “naturally” had contacts with “many companies involved in the profound change in services” that “should be facilitated by unravelling certain administrative or regulatory locks.”
According to the leaked documents, however, Macron didn’t just turn a sympathetic ear to Uber, he even allegedly suggested that the firm should hand in “ready-made” amendments to the deputies he had good relations with, while being the company’s go-to-person if its premises were raided by French authorities.