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Macron or the old networks of a young president

Almost two years of exercise of power have not been enough to unravel the mystery Macron. In the Great Manipulator (published by Stock), in bookstores on Wednesday, it is an unflattering portrait of the current head of state that brushes the journalist Marc Endeweld, four years later the Ambigu Monsieur Macron (Flammarion). In this story, which sounds fairly accurate even if the name-dropping sometimes finds its limits, the author is particularly interested in the way Emmanuel Macron, shadow adviser and then young minister, virgin candidate of any mandate and lastly inexperienced president, relying on strong old networks, far from slogans, to launch and end his Elyos conquest as to accompany his first steps in power. People often old and having served or sevi under other quinquennates or even septennates. Excerpts.

"The Great Manipulator" by Marc Endeweld."Everything was played during the presidential campaign. Certainly, the ambitious has enjoyed an insolent chance. But to climb the highest step of power without a political career, or even a party behind him, Emmanuel Macron used all the networks of the Republic. If communicators have managed to present it in the media as "the start-up candidate", the "new world" candidate has, in fact, used many "old world" channels. The one who claims to have no account to make, and who has, according to him, "on his own", did not have much trouble finding help in his ascent. […]

"The communicators of the Elysee can say that the President "absolutely wants to break with the Republic of intermediaries, especially in Africa", this mythology hides another reality badly. In the absence of a constituted political party, the candidate Macron appealed to old networks, more or less acceptable, which, until then, had worked for the two big traditional parties. These networks are modestly presented as "Transverse" flourished in the "neither right nor left" macronien. Great international trade, Françafrique, armament industry, intelligence services but also private security boxes, or companies working for the state, in the construction industry, utilities or telecoms. These "intermediaries" are unknown to the general public. "

Starting from a blank sheet or almost – even if the support and friendship of the patron of the second left Henry Hermand, who died in 2016, was decisive – with a handful of followers younger than him, Emmanuel Macron has input left-handed, even in the remnants of the mitterrandie, but also among the ex-Fabiusians, the ex-Strauss-kahniens or radicals on the left, and at the same time on the right, without distinction. He has also dealt with the business community and its intermediaries. All, with a consummate art of partitioning, a limited affect and a steel will. Very far from the empathic flights of the countryside where his supposed societal liberalism had largely masked that his project of social dismantlement was actually the Fillon barely light. "Ironically for these supports, Macron is neither Obama nor Trudeau. The president is much more conservative and Bonapartist than his image of campaign could not let it think ", emphasizes Endeweld, who placed in the highlight of his book this quote from Portrait of Dorian Gray : "Acting as a hypocrite, he had put on the mask of virtue."

"This new survey maps all of these diverse networks that contributed in 2017, and a few months before, to the victory of the young president. But also to understand why, at all levels, men of the shadow have returned to the forefront, in the purest tradition of the Fifth Republic of the "black cabinets", and other parallel policies, after a five-year Hollande which was first built against the Sarkozy system. "They managed a synthesis between the worst turpitudes of Sarkozie and DSK", a former comrade of the ENA of the current president.

In this unprecedented political success story under the Ve Republic, we knew but the book confirms, the political role of Brigitte Macron has always been major, complicating its relationship with the official political adviser of the minister, the candidate and the head of state, the young Ismael Emelien, who has since left the Elysee on business background Benalla.

"Tensions arise between Brigitte Macron, omnipresent and influential, and the young advisor of the President, Ismael Emelien. An old situation in reality, these two have never appreciated. For both, the political and emotional issues of the relationship with Emmanuel are such that it makes sparks: "What does he find in Emelien?" Brigitte Macron regularly misses her family. "

If he does not make revelations about his influence in the conduct of the country, Marc Endeweld underlines how his destiny to him fed on the ambition that it nourished for them. He also details the broad networks that she has woven – from Bernard Montiel to Bernard Arnault – long before her husband became a minister. As many levers as it mobilized when it was necessary, pushing, like Hermand, for his champion to launch in 2017.

"It was during a dinner at Alain Minc's in the summer of 2014 that the future first lady felt that her husband should throw herself into the presidential election as early as 2017, and not wait until 2022, as if many people advised her then, because her age, she said, would become an impassable handicap for the couple: "We can not wait until 2022. Because we have a huge problem, the problem is me, it's my mouth, so we have to speed up." […]

"In the summer of 2016, while the machine is running and the Minister of the Economy is about to resign, the doubt creeps into him: "Am I going now, and I win in six months, or am I waiting to win later?" It is then Brigitte who convinces him to present his candidacy from this presidential. »

In the description of the Macron system, Marc Endeweld of course devotes many pages to Alexandre Benalla who will remain one of the figures of the quinquennium. Far from being a simple punting Rambo, the author documents the fact that the one who was physically part of the first circle at the time of the launching of the candidate Macron saw everything and heard everything. At En Marche HQ, during the former Minister's private outings, but also during the international travel and fundraising that preceded the launch of the campaign.

We also find Benalla during the story of a presidential trip to Algeria, in December 2017. The presence of the sulfur intermediary in arms contracts, Alexandre Djouhri, close to Villepin as Sarkozy and under a mandate to international judgment issued by two French judges at a reception in the presence of the Head of State at the Embassy had been revealed by the chained Duck and angered Macron. But Marc Endeweld tells how Djouhri tried again to contact the President of the Republic the same evening at an official dinner hosted by the Algerian Prime Minister.

"At Duck chained, the Elysée also explained at the time: "He was invited by the Embassy […] this is not the first time this gentleman tries to meet the President […] [Cette insistance] put [Macron] angry." The version we have collected from several diplomats of the Quai d'Orsay, some of whom are posted at the Embassy of Algiers, is however very different: all assure that the two lists, that of the lunch like that of the evening, have well been sent to the protocol of the Elysee. And it is Alexandre Benalla, in charge of the displacements, which validated them! In front of the police, ambassador Driencourt will nuance the version delivered hot by the Elysee, stating that originally, it is the secretary general of the Quai d'Orsay, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, 64, personal friend Alexandre Djouhri, who asked him to invite him to this evening. Gourdault-Montagne is a figure at the Quai. Former chief of staff of Alain Juppé Matignon, then diplomatic adviser Jacques Chirac from 2002 to 2007, he was propelled by Emmanuel Macron – it was one of his first decisions – Secretary General of the Quai d'Orsay in Paris. "

If Marc Endeweld tells the story of the struggles of influence that took place within the police, with the sarkozys at the maneuver, and in the world of intelligence after the election of Emmanuel Macron, he describes also over the pages a singular organization of the summit of the state already highlighted by the commission of senatorial investigation on the Benalla affair. Beyond the official cabinet headed by Patrick Strzoda, the author describes how a quarter of loyal young people led by the Secretary General, Alexis Kohler, who has the upper hand on the regal, is the real guard close to the President. Some have a well-official role, but others are mission managers with vague missions or work at the task force set up by Macron to centralize and coordinate the fight against terrorism. A team bis some of whom left the castle but without denying anything of Macron.

In the end, a question remains. How could François Hollande, so politically endowed, have been so lacking in lucidity and even clairvoyance in putting this ambitious youngster into orbit who, at least as much as Manuel Valls, whom he was supposed to act as a counterbalance, soaped the board of the outgoing president for his benefit. If he brought the wolf into the sheepfold, it is that it was not lacking references, with Jean-Pierre Jouyet and Jacques Attali as godparents:

"Another connection of influence to record on the list of Brigitte Macron, Jacques Attali, she meets with Emmanuel. It is also she who will personally ask François Mitterrand's former advisor to introduce his young husband to François Hollande. "

An ambition of a couple, who comes from far away, carried by barons of yesterday, captains of industry and young wolves eager for power. Where how seniors have largely contributed to the victory of a thirty-year-old to nick a couple of quinquas.

Jonathan Bouchet-Petersen

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