After disclosures of his attempts to assist the American firm lobby against France’s closed-shop taxi industry, Emmanuel Macron said he was proud of his support for the US cab-hailing company Uber and it would “do again tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.”
Several French politicians from the left to the far right, as well as the leader of the leftist CGT trade union, have called for a parliamentary investigation into reports that Macron had secret undisclosed meetings with Uber while he was economy minister from 2014 to 2016, and that he told Uber he had negotiated a “deal” with the deeply divided Socialist cabinet then in power under François Hollande.
The information is contained in the Uber files, a collection of 124,000 company documents provided by the Guardian, and decided to share with the International Conglomerate of Investigative Reporters.
Macron was questioned by a journalist from Le Monde on the sidelines of an event commemorating the construction of a new semiconductor factory in Crolles about meeting Uber officials between 2014 and 2016.
“I was a minister who did my job,” he explained. “We’ve seen too much of a culture in which meeting business leaders, especially foreign ones, is frowned upon.” He stated that his conferences with corporate executives were “always official,” and that representatives of his staff were present.
Macron stated that the “victims” of French unemployment were young people with fewer qualifications who were “victims of discrimination.” That is why, he claims, he is fighting for high employment.
On the first day of the new French parliament’s question period on Tuesday, Danielle Simonnet of the hard-left party France Unbowed demanded a parliamentary investigation and critiqued Macron as “a minister who reflects the needs of an American platform against by the view of politics and the French administration.”
She cited a report in Le Monde that Mark McGann, the career lobbyist who led Uber’s efforts to win over European governments, later supported Macron’s presidential campaign in 2016 and 2017.