revelations about arrangements between Emmanuel Macron and the VTC platform

The investigation is vast and edifying. The British daily The Guardian obtained and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), of which The world and franceinfo, some 124,000 documents, dated from 2013 to 2017, including compromising information for the leaders of the Uber platform. These “Uber files”, made public this Sunday, show that the company has resorted to brutal, even illegal practices, to quickly impose itself in metropolises around the world, despite the reluctance of politicians and taxis.

In the introduction to his investigation, the Guardian claims, « The company has broken the law, deceived police and regulators, exploited violence against drivers, and secretly lobbied governments around the world. » Articles published in ICJ media include messages from Travis Kalanick, then head of the San Francisco-based company, when executives worried about the risks to drivers whom Uber was encouraging to take part in a protest in Paris. « I think it’s worth it, » the co-founder told them. “Violence guarantees success”.

In a statement, the Uber platform said it would not apologize for its « past ». “Mr. Kalanick has never suggested that Uber exploits violence at the expense of driver safety,” reacted Devon Spurgeon, spokesperson for the controversial former leader, in a statement published by the ICIJ, where he denies all charges.

Macron, support for Uber in France

The survey also shows how Emmanuel Macron, then Minister of the Economy, helped the VTC platform to develop in France. The world and franceinfo, testimonials, documents, and exchanges of SMS in support, even evoke a « deal » between Uber and the minister at the time to promote market deregulation.

In October 2014, a month after taking the helm of Bercy during François Hollande’s five-year term, Emmanuel Macron met with the leaders of the American company. But while his government colleagues show their hostility towards the VTC platform, the 30-year-old minister is very open: “Meeting mega top with Emmanuel Macron this morning. France loves us after all,” writes Mark MacGann, Uber’s lobbysite for the Europe zone, according to The world.

Amendments drafted by Uber

Since then, Uber and the Minister of the Economy have exchanged regularly: at least 17 significant exchanges in 18 months according to The world. Emmanuel Macron would have notably advised the company to draft amendments to submit them to a deputy favorable to Uber. This allowed the Minister to announce a decree to resume the main lines.

The leaders of Uber would also have relied on the minister when decisions went against them: when DGCCRF agents wanted to search the headquarters of Uber France, or when an order prohibited Uber in Marseille.

Outrage on the left

Asked by The worldthe Elysée affirms that Emmanuel Macron was only occupying the traditional functions of a minister, « naturally brought to exchange with many companies engaged in the profound change of services that occurred during the years mentioned, which it was appropriate to facilitate by unraveling certain administrative or regulatory locks”.

But the boss of the deputies La France Insoumise Mathilde Panot denounced on Twitter a « looting of the country », Emmanuel Macron having been both « advisor and minister of François Hollande and lobbyist for a US multinational aimed at deregulating the labor law in the long term. « .

The number one of the Communist Party (PCF) Fabien Roussel relayed « damning revelations about the active role played by Emmanuel Macron, then minister, to facilitate the development of Uber in France », « against all our rules, all our social achievements and against workers’ rights. « Uber deserves a small commission of inquiry » parliamentary, according to the communist deputy Pierre Dharréville.


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