Macron under pressure over Uber links

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                Paris, July 11 (AFP/APP):French President Emmanuel Macron was under pressure Monday to explain his past support for taxi app Uber while he was economy minister, following media revelations that have been seized on by critics.

                  Investigations by media including France’s Le Monde newspaper and Britain’s The Guardian claimed Macron held several undeclared meetings with Uber executives while minister from 2014-2016.

                  Citing leaked internal documents and text messages, Le Monde also alleged that Uber struck a secret “deal” with Macron on regulation of the company’s services at a time when it was upending the traditional taxi market.

                  Opposition MPs on the left and far-right slammed the president, a former investment banker who positioned himself as a pro-enterprise, pro-innovation politician when he emerged as a national figure in 2014.

                  Macron was “a lobbyist at the service of foreign private economic interests,” senior far-right MP Sebastien Chenu told France Info radio on Monday morning.

                  The 44-year-old president was “an ideologue for deregulation, for globalisation,” Chenu added.

                  Hard-left MP Alexis Corbiere from the France Unbowed party suggested a parliamentary enquiry, which could prove embarrassing for the 44-year-old leader who lost his majority in the National Assembly last month.

                  “It’s very serious the idea that with this secret pact Mr Macron de-regulated the regulation of the taxi industry,” he told Public Senate television. “What lessons should be drawn?

                  “Obviously we’ll ask the questions to the government when we can, and a parliamentary enquiry as well,” he added.

                  As announced last week, France Unbowed is set to table a no-confidence motion against the government later Monday which is not expected to pass.