12.23.19

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Understanding Thierry Breton: A Happy Ending – for Some at Least.

Posted in Europe, Finance at 4:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Overview

Understanding Thierry Breton

Epilogue will follow.


exit-entrance
Proceed with caution: revolving door ahead…

Summary: In October 2019, Macron’s chief PR guru was recruited in a consultant role by none other than… wait for it folks… LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault!

No story from the intertwined worlds of French politics and business would be complete without the appearance of a revolving door somewhere along the way.

We’ve seen how Atos CEO Thierry Breton became EU Commissioner for the Internal Market. And how the “killer shark” Christine Lagarde, former head of the IMF resurfaced as the director of the European Central Bank.

“We’ve seen how Atos CEO Thierry Breton became EU Commissioner for the Internal Market. And how the “killer shark” Christine Lagarde, former head of the IMF resurfaced as the director of the European Central Bank. “Following on from our examination of the Macron-Arnault connection in the previous part, we will conclude this series with a tale that has a happy ending, for some at least…

In this case, the beneficiary was a member of a group referred to in the French Press as “the DSK boys”. The “DSK boys” were a group of tech-savvy and ambitious political operators and former Socialist Party members who had cut their political teeth back in 2006 as members of the team behind Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s unsuccessful bid to win the party’s nomination for President. Strauss-Kahn was defeated by Ségolène Royal who lost to the rival UMP candidate Sarkozy in the 2007 presidential election.

“The “DSK boys” were a group of tech-savvy and ambitious political operators and former Socialist Party members who had cut their political teeth back in 2006 as members of the team behind Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s unsuccessful bid to win the party’s nomination for President.”Royale’s defeat in the 2007 election left DSK with high hopes of winning another nomination from the Socialist Party in 2012 as the most promising contender to unseat Sarkozy.

However, DSK’s political ambitions came to an abrupt end in 2011 following his implication in various scandals, including an indictment on charges of sexual assault of a chambermaid in New York, investigation and trial on charges of “aggravated pimping” in Lille and his portrayal in the media as a serial sexual predator.

The establishment of Macron’s En Marche! in 2016 provided a golden opportunity for the “DSK boys” to make their own political comeback as “Macron’s boys” after a decade in the wilderness.

DSK-boys
Macron’s “En Marche!” enabled the DSK boys to make a political come-back

Macron’s electoral campaign during 2016 and 2017 was masterminded by former “DSK boys”, including Stanislas Guerini, Cédric O, Benjamin Griveaux, Emmanuel Miquel and, last but not least, Ismaël Emelien.

DSK-Macron
Macron is reported to have had regular meetings with DSK during the 2017 election campaign

It was reported in the French media that during the election campaign Macron also had regular secretive meetings with Strauss-Kahn himself.

Although Macron was keen to take tactical advice from the former Socialist Party kingpin, he evidently preferred to keep their contact under the radar due to the toxic aura of the DSK brand following the very public fall from grace of the man the media liked to depict as a “horny toad” and a “rutting chimpanzee”.

Arrivals at Emmanuel Macron ceremony at Elysee Palace
DSK boys Benjamin Griveaux and Ismaël Emelien among the Macron team arriving at the Élysée palace for the inauguration of the new President on 14 May 2017.

One of the “DSK boys” who profited most from the comeback was Ismaël Emelien who acted as Macron’s chief PR guru during the 2017 campaign.

“One of the “DSK boys” who profited most from the comeback was Ismaël Emelien who acted as Macron’s chief PR guru during the 2017 campaign.”Emelien was rewarded by the newly elected-President in May 2017 with the post of special advisor for strategy, communication and speeches. However, he ran into difficulties when he became implicated in the Benalla affair which erupted in the summer of 2018.

In February 2019, Emelien announced that he was quitting his post as the President’s special advisor because he wanted to take a more public role and promote a book about “progressive politics”. Both Emelien and the President’s office denied that his departure had anything to do with the Benalla affair.

Cynics are likely to invoke Mandy Rice-Davies at this point.

Whatever about the reasons for Emelien’s untimely departure from Macron’s team, there’s a saying that “God never closes one door without opening another”. It’s an old saying that predates the invention of the revolving door but it seems rather fitting in the present case.

In October 2019, Emelien, was recruited in a consultant role by none other than… wait for it folks… LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault! Honi soit qui mal y pense…

“Both Emelien and the President’s office denied that his departure had anything to do with the Benalla affair.”And with that happy ending — for some at least — we have arrived at the end of the present series which set out to examine the background to Thierry Breton’s nomination as EU Commissioner and to explore his connections to the political and business elites who call the shots in the land of “Liberté, Egalité et Fraternité”.

Before closing the file completely, we will round things off with an epilogue containing a mid-term report on Macron’s “Jupiterian” presidency and some observations on his ambitions at European level and how they may lead to increasing tensions within the post-Brexit EU.

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