Another “Benalla affaire” appears. Macron again under indictment?

L’affaire Benalla it was for some time a sword of Damocles on the head of the French president Emmanuel Macron.

The figure of Alexandre Benalla, responsible for Macron’s security both as a candidate for the Elysée and as a tenant, had already peeped into a series of scandals involving the violence that broke out in Paris in 2018, the use of diplomatic passports for a trip to the Sahel, and other matters ranging from Russian contacts to his never precisely defined role within the president’s security circuit. Revelations which in large part had been launched by the online newspaper Mediapart and that for several weeks they had harmed Macron’s leadership to the point that more than a few observers and politicians had asked for his resignation.

After years, the question seemed closed with the condemnation of Benalla and with the distances taken by the French president on what his former security manager had accomplished. But a new investigation of the same Mediapart now risks creating a further problem for the Elysée a few months before the presidential elections. To confirm it is Daily fact, which tells how the French investigation site uncovered a report from the Ministry of the Interior in 2019 which said that in the two-year period 2016-17, in the middle of the electoral campaign, the security officers of the then candidate of En Marche! they would have worked “in illegal conditions”. The accusations refer to illegal payments, contracts that are not particularly clear and investigations that have been covered up over time despite the spotlight on by the same ministry.

The charges are clearly never convictions. And this is a fundamental premise. But it is also known how media revelations have a weight in a politician’s career regardless of what is then confirmed in court. And for the French president, in the middle of the electoral campaign to obtain reconfirmation at the helm of the Elysée, the accusation of Mediapart it is not to be taken lightly. At the time, in the first years of his presidency, the Benalla affair had a very clear impact on the consent of the head of state. And now, as the engines warm up for the final sprint to the President’s darling, everything can be used as a weapon by his opponents. Macron appears confident of his first round victory, and polls confirm that at least 25 percent of voters should trust “le presidents”. Behind, however, Gaullist Valerie Precresse presses and the right-wing front made up of Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, who eat votes among themselves, represent a large pool of voters and discontent. For the head of the Elysée it is a complicated game and the Benalla affair is a problem that increasingly resembles a hydra with many heads. A nightmare that resurfaces just as Macron is playing everything: the reappointment to the helm of France while he is also the current president of the European Union.

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