A French public prosecutor on Thursday opened an investigation into the financial dealings of the head of Emmanuel Macron's successful presidential campaign, on the same day Macron planned to announce new laws aimed at clearing up corruption in the corridors of power. Kate King reports
Emmanuel Macron is yet to speak publicly about misconduct allegations surrounding two of his ministers. But Thursday's planned announcement of new legislation aimed at curbing corruption in parliament - was not ideal timing. The law promotes political transparency and bans the hiring of family by members of parliament. It comes on the same day a French public prosecutor opened an investigation into the financial misconduct dealings of Macron's campaign chief and housing minister Richard Ferrand. The allegations centre around his management of a medical insurance group in Brittany six years ago, and the decision to rent office space from his partner. SOUNDBITE (English) NEIL WILSON, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, ETX CAPITAL, SAYING: "Macron can overcome quite a lot at the moment I think he's in a bit of a honeymoon period of course, he's got a lot of momentum behind him he's got a lot of goodwill certainly in Europe. I think he's got a lot of political credit that he can use up. So that's probably just going to be a small bump in the road." But even a small bump is enough to do damage. There's just 10 days until a parliamentary vote in which Macron hopes his party will win control of the National Assembly and consolidate his grip on power. Anything less that that, could force him into an uncomfortable alliance and jeopardize his promised reforms. SOUNDBITE (English) NEIL WILSON, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, ETX CAPITAL, SAYING: "I think really what we'll be looking at is how he deals with the unions over the coming months and whether or not he delays the some of the economic reforms that he's promised. If he delays them until late in the year or whether or not he tries to push them through." The President is under growing pressure to sack Ferrand. But that means ditching a man who helped sweep him into power.