Opposition slams Macron’s alleged ‘secret deal’ with Uber

The French opposition has slammed President Emmanuel Macron for a “secret deal” with Uber following a mass-leak of confidential files revealing the transport giant’s efforts to lobby high-profile politicians.

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, allowing the two sides 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.”

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.”

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.

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.

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