11.12.19

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Teaser: Thierry Breton and His Disquieting Past

Posted in Europe at 12:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previously: EPO and EU: People Behind the Faces

Thierry Breton caricature
Political caricature showing Leonardo da Vinci designing the perfectly balanced EU Commissioner who bears an unmistakable resemblance to Thierry Breton

Summary: “The company attracted notoriety and loathing in the UK for its role in assessing disability benefit eligibility.”

Techrights recently took note of a tweet from Benjamin “ZooBab” Henrion criticising the nomination of Thierry Breton by Emmanuel Macron as a candidate for the position of EU Commissioner in charge of industrial policy:

“Many readers will not be au fait with the minutiae of French politics, so it seems like a good opportunity have a closer look at Thierry Breton and what the implications of his appointment as EU Commissioner might be.”“Thierry Breton nomination is bad news for software freedom, ex-CEO of Technicolor/Thomson who was collecting royalties over MP3. Plus he seems to be in the Battistelli/EPO sphere…”

“ZooBab” is on the ball with this one but – whether he realises it or not – he has only touched on the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

Many readers will not be au fait with the minutiae of French politics, so it seems like a good opportunity have a closer look at Thierry Breton and what the implications of his appointment as EU Commissioner might be.

“He still has to face a hearing by members of the EU Parliament before any appointment is approved.”Before going any further it should be emphasised that the proposed appointment is not yet a done deal. As things stand at the time of writing, Breton has only been nominated as the preferred candidate of the French government.

He still has to face a hearing by members of the EU Parliament before any appointment is approved.

There is already speculation that Breton’s candidacy may become a cropper in the same way that Macron’s initial candidate Sylvie Goulard was rejected by the EU Parliament on “ethical grounds” after facing awkward questions about her employment of a European parliamentary assistant on national political duties and her lucrative salary from a US-based think-tank while she sat as an MEP.

“Some time later this month Breton is expected to face a “grilling” by EU parliamentarians in connection with various controversies related to his business activities, in particular his role as CEO of the dubious French multinational Atos, an “IT services” conglomerate.”The EU parliamentary jury is still out in Breton’s case but there is growing disquiet about a candidate who has been described as “brilliant, very smart” with “a lot of ideas” but also “a man of utmost arrogance” whose ego has “harmed him a lot in his career”.

Some time later this month Breton is expected to face a “grilling” by EU parliamentarians in connection with various controversies related to his business activities, in particular his role as CEO of the dubious French multinational Atos, an “IT services” conglomerate.

UK readers might recall that Atos was one of the main corporate recipients of government largesse in the area of public service “outsourcing” which reached its peak during the ConDem government of “Captain” Cameron and “Corporal” Clegg.

The company attracted notoriety and loathing in the UK for its role in assessing disability benefit eligibility.

Thierry Breton crimes

So, ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seat-belts and watch this space as we commence our exploration of the high-octane career of the French whizz-kid entrepreneur-politician and wannabe EU Commissioner Thierry Breton…

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