The right hand of French President Macron suspected of involvement in fraud

France Press agency

NOS . News

  • Frank Renaut

    France correspondent

  • Frank Renaut

    France correspondent

Public prosecutors have charged a senior official of French President Emmanuel Macron with conflict of interest. It’s about Alexis Koehler, Secretary General at the Elysee Presidential Palace.

Justice has been investigating Kohler for years. It was announced today that he is officially being considered a suspect.

MSC, one of the largest transportation companies in the world, is founded by members of the Kohler family, and they are major shareholders. He worked there himself in 2016 and 2017 as CFO. Before and after working for the French government. Koehler has been an advisor and right-hand man to Macron since 2017.

The French judiciary is investigating whether Koehler used his political functions for the benefit of the family business. This investigation began in 2020 after the indictment of anti-corruption organization Anticor. According to research conducted by the French media, the government regularly aided MSC. For example, in 2013 and 2014, “dedicated assistance” was pledged if MSC were to build transport ships in a French yard.

Koehler denies using his position to benefit the multinational. “He is accused of a conflict of interest that would have existed more than 10 years ago, and where the facts of the acquittal were not taken into account,” his lawyer said.


For President Macron, formal accountability is a political and personal setback. It is said that Macron trusts Kohler blindly.

So a special court wants to file a case against the minister. But his attorneys immediately appealed, which had a suspensive effect.


Emmanuel Macron has yet to comment on the legal setbacks of two of his close associates. Observers expect this to damage his image.

According to a recent poll, 39.4 percent of French people think positively of the president and that percentage has been rising for a few months. This popularity is said to be partly due to recent large-scale aid packages for the French to compensate for their purchasing power.

There are dark clouds on the horizon. Macron announced that he wants to continue raising the retirement age (from 62 to 65). This measure is highly controversial: less than a quarter of French people support reform.

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