French right-wing party in hot water over Panama Papers

On April 4, the neo-fascist Front National party of France, released a blistering critique of the state of global capitalism (although I doubt they’d characterize it as such).

“The control-free movement of men, goods and capital, coupled with high finance’s stranglehold on all levels of the economy, can only produce global fraudulent and money-laundering systems,” read the statement. Not wrong, though history shows that their right-wing solution amounts to little more than the anti-immigrant scapegoating we’ve seen from the American right.

What spurred the comment was the now infamous “Panama Papers“: a data leak from Mossack-Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that specializes in concealing the money of the rich from government scrutiny.

And then Tuesday rolled around.

Thanks to the reporting of Le Monde we now know that two “allies” of Front National’s leader Marine Le Pen, have been named in the Papers. What’s worse, those two allies, Frédéric Chatillon and Nicolas Crochet, were previously charged with fraud and illegal financing of the party.

Le Monde reports that money from Chatillon’s public relations company changed hands four separate times using intermediaries in the British Virgin Islands and Singapore.

Not surprisingly, the FN has released a statement condemning anyone who would raise an eyebrow at the association going as far as to say, “We will not tolerate [allegations which] damage the honor and reputation of its leaders, its members and its constituents, and accordingly will not hesitate to take legal action against all those who [defame us].”

The socialist-led government of Francois Hollande has placed Panama back on France’s “black list of uncooperative tax jurisdictions” after a national outcry following news of the leak, a move that subjects companies and individuals doing business in those jurisdictions to harsher financial scrutiny. Panama, however, has not taken this move lightly, threatening diplomatic action in the near future.

Despite this move, French citizens have continued to rally against big banks implicated in the papers. The Star reports that as many as 40 people blocked the entrance to Société Générale, a bank implicated in the Panama Papers, last Thursday with signs that read “fiscal fraud, social crime.”

Photo: Marine Le Pen


Patrick J. Foote
Patrick J. Foote

Patrick Foote writes occasionally for People's World. At the University of Central Florida, he worked with the Student Labor Action Project organizing around the intersection of student and worker issues. He would go on to work in the labor movement in such organizations as Central Florida Jobs with Justice, AFSCME Council 79, and OUR Walmart.