France: A “deal” between Uber and Macron, then in Bercy, on the VTC license, according to Le Monde
PARIS (Reuters) – Emmanuel Macron facilitated the establishment of Uber in France when he was at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, easing the conditions for access to a VTC license, according to a survey by Le Monde and its partners in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The newspaper says it relies on internal Uber documents – tens of thousands of emails, presentations, spreadsheets and PDF documents, dating from 2013 to 2017 – sent to the British daily The Guardian.
According to the investigation, Emmanuel Macron or his advisers had seventeen significant exchanges with the teams of Uber France in the eighteen months following his arrival at Bercy, in the summer of 2014, so that “France works for Uber so that Uber can work in and for France“.
The current head of state would thus have met the founder and then CEO of the American giant, Travis Kalanick, in October 2014. At least three other meetings took place thereafter, writes Le Monde.
Emmanuel Macron was “naturally led to exchange with many companies involved in the profound change in services that has occurred over the years mentioned, which should be facilitated by unraveling certain administrative or regulatory locks”, indicated the Elysée on a daily basis, emphasizing that the action of the former Minister of the Economy fell within the traditional framework of his functions.
Uber and Emmanuel Macron have reportedly concluded a “win-win” agreement for the American group, which has agreed to stop its UberPop service in France, subject to legal proceedings, in exchange for a simplification of the conditions necessary to obtain a license. VTC.
A common strategy would have been defined, including the drafting by Uber of parliamentary amendments, on the terms of access to a VTC license, sent to “friendly” deputies.
Thus in January 2015, according to Le Monde, Uber France transmitted “turnkey” amendments to the socialist deputy Luc Belot. The latter, contacted by the newspaper, admitted having tabled amendments as drafted by Uber or slightly modified, explaining that he was in full agreement with the content of the texts, because he was convinced that Uber was making improvements to transport services.
If the amendments presented by Luc Belot are rejected or withdrawn, notes Le Monde, they serve as the basis for a decree then announced by Emmanuel Macron. The government is revising downwards, at the beginning of 2016, the duration of the training necessary to obtain a VTC license – from 250 hours to 7 hours -, it is indicated in the survey.
Uber France denied having had a relaxation of the legislation after the end of the UberPop service, which it justified to World by the “level of violence targeting our users, drivers and passengers, who no longer allowed us to ensure their security”.
(Written by Jean Terzian)
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