Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
In 2016, French President Macron prepared his election campaign completely secretly for at least six months. He was then Minister of Economic Affairs.
Against the then president, François Hollande, he said that he had no further political ambitions. But that was not true, according to documents that have now been revealed.
Emmanuel Macron was in silence, and behind Hollande’s back, already busy with the race for the Élysée, the presidential palace. This reveals daily newspaper Le Monde which dived into the archives of the Macron election campaign. …
That was remarkable, writes Le Monde, because Macron did not officially announce until November 2016, until six months later, his participation in the election. The newspaper calls Macron ‘the masked candidate’ during the six months before: virtually no one outside his own circle was aware of the preparations.
“From the spring of 2016, Macron was also engaged in fundraising”, writes Le Monde. He needed financiers for his campaign, and in April 2016 one of his advisers reported that he already had 229,000 euros. To his president Hollande, Macron said he was not a candidate. …
Hollande published a book about his presidency last month. “I could not imagine that Macron was already preparing his candidacy”, he writes about that period, though Hollande suspected that his own minister wanted to go “higher”: “But he always denied it with a smile.”
From the documents that Le Monde has seen, it appears that the Macron election campaign cost a total of 16,698,320 euros. …
But according to various French media there are even more complications. For example, Macron received considerable discounts several times when organizing election meetings. One of the companies that organized such a meeting is owned by a Macron business friend. In total, the candidate is said to have paid around 209,000 euros ‘too little’.
Voice coach and kilos of Haribo sweets
The accounts and invoices of the election campaign also show that Macron did some remarkable expenses during his campaign. He turns out to have paid almost 30,000 euros in total for the 35 times that someone was taking care of his make-up. Some 7000 euro was paid to a singer and voice coach who taught him to breathe through the nose more often and to take a hot shower.
Finally, 17.8 kilos of Haribo sweets were also officially purchased during the election campaign. That cost 102 euros and 80 cents, according to the bill. According to the documents, the sweets were distributed to voters. The French electoral commission asked Macron to “prove that these expenses really served electoral purposes”.
“Things could go into a spin very quickly in the Macron camp”; interview with Olivier Besancenot.