A new component opened this Wednesday in the case of the controversial Marianne Fund, launched in 2021 by Marlène Schiappa with the aim of financing the fight against separatism. During her hearing by the Senate Commission of Inquiry, Sébastien Jallet, the former chief of staff of the current Secretary of State for the Social and Solidarity Economy admitted on Wednesday that she had intervened to dismiss an ociation that could have benefited from funding from the fund.
Created after the ination of Samuel Paty on the initiative of Marlène Schiappa, then Minister Delegate in charge of Citizenship, the Marianne Fund was to finance ociations working against separatism. However, revelations from France 2 and Mediapart have brought to light several anomalies in the management of this fund. It would have mainly served to subsidize an ociation, the USEPPM (Federative Union of Societies of Physical Education and Military Preparation) arousing suspicions of favouritism. Another ociation benefiting from the fund, “Rebuild the common”, would subsequently have published content hostile to political opponents of Emmanuel Macron during the election period.
During his hearing in the Senate on Wednesday, Sebastien Jallet admitted that Marlène Schiappa had refused a grant to another ociation. The project selection committee, which was held on May 22, 2021 and in which Marlène Schiappa did not participate, “has essentially validated the proposals made by the administration”, he ured, conceding however, that one file had subsequently received an “unfavorable arbitration from the Minister”, without mentioning the name of the ociation.
According to Mediapart, it is SOS Racisme. Questioned by AFP on Wednesday, its president Dominique Sopo indicated that there was no doubt. “We had learned in the spring of 2021, orally by a contact that we were going to be granted 100,000 euros. Then afterwards, more sound, more light. We did not have a subsidy, ”he said.
A personal dispute to explain this refusal?
According to him, “Mr. Jallet’s hearing matches what we were told at the time” to explain the refusal: a personal “dispute” between him and the minister after he signed a collective forum published in a daily newspaper and initiated by the Human Rights League criticizing the so-called law “against separatism”. Sébastien Jallet, during his hearing, indeed explained this “decision of non-selection on this ociation” by a “questioning” of the minister by “via the press”. Solicited, the current cabinet of Marlene Schiappa could not immediately comment.
When the affair on the Marianne fund broke out in several media at the end of March at the beginning of April, Marlène Schiappa had strongly defended herself from any breach. “The choice (of the 17 winning ociations, editor’s note) was made via the administration, maneuvering in compliance with all procedures”, indicated a press release from his current cabinet on April 6. “Wrongly erting that it was an ad hominem decision by Marlène Schiappa is totally false and denied by the procedure”, it was said.
This interventionism is also in contradiction with one of the conclusions of a report by the General Inspectorate of Administration (IGA) published on Tuesday. He notes that according to “testimonies”, “the Minister Delegate withdrew from the process, once the official launch had ped” on April 20.