Already criticized for her record at the head of the Ministry of Culture, Françoise Nyssen finds herself in turmoil after the opening on Thursday of an investigation into alleged illegal work when she was managing Actes Sud.
Two months after being pinned by the Chained Duck for the unauthorized expansion of the headquarters of Actes Sud in Arles before entering the government in 2017, the minister is implicated in a similar case that further weakens her position in the government of Emmanuel Macron
The Paris public prosecutor's office opened a preliminary inquiry to determine whether the extension of the Paris offices of Actes Sud in 1997 and from 2012 complied with the code of urban planning.
Wednesday, Le Canard chained revealed that the one who was the patroness of Actes Sud had at the time increased by 150 m2 the surface of the premises of the publishing house in Paris "without authorization of work or declaration to the fisc . "
– Complaint of an Association –
In full government, the detractors of the President of the Republic seized the case, representatives of La France Insoumise or Republicans ironically on "exemplary" advocated by the executive.
"# Benalla, #Kohler, and now #Nyssen. Are the president's friends above the law? Is the law still the same for everyone in #Macronie? ", Tweeted Bastien Lachaud, LFI MP.
"# Benalla #Kohler Nyssen, Penicaud, Goulard, Bayrou, … The new world of lesson givers and entitlements @emmanuelmacron is finally the old world, worse. Very far from the famous irreproachable Republic of his campaign! ", Indignant on his side Lydia Guirous, spokesman of the party Republicans.
Questioned on Wednesday, the government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux recalled that when a minister was indicted, he had to leave the government.
After the revelations of the Chained Duck, Actes Sud announced that it would undertake "the steps that would prove necessary" to regularize the situation of its offices.
Thursday, the publishing house said in a statement that it "will provide all the necessary explanations for the proper conduct of the investigation."
"I have no doubt that South Acts will be keen to shed light on this investigation," responded the minister in a statement to AFP.
"For my part, I will obviously be at the disposal of the prosecution if I can be of any assistance for the proper conduct of the investigation," she added.
Mrs. Nyssen had previously told AFP, after 24 hours of silence, that "no company is above the law" and that "the compliance by Actes Sud is obvious", saying very attached to "the preservation of the heritage".
Shortly before the opening of the investigation, a heritage organization, Sites & Monuments, announced that it would file a complaint against the minister.
The association accuses Ms. Nyssen of having "freed herself from the rules of heritage law and town planning" and "decided to file a complaint" early next week, according to a statement.
In June, the minister regretted "negligence" when the Arles affair broke out.
Françoise Nyssen directed, from the beginning of the 1980s, the Actes Sud editions, founded in Arles in 1978 by her father Hubert Nyssen (1925-2011), and made it one of the jewels of the French edition.
On arriving at the government, the minister had left her husband, Jean-Paul Capitani, the reins of Actes Sud.
Appointed Minister in May 2017, Ms. Nyssen is often criticized.
– "Element of fragility" –
In April, his plan to fight cultural deserts attracted the wrath of National Dramatic Centers. The daily Libération had then devoted its Une to the minister and the "blunders on the files for which it is in charge."
Since then, the minister has multiplied the announcements, including the presentation in early June of first tracks to reform the public broadcasting.
According to the political scientist Bruno Cautrès, the controversy "certainly adds an element of fragility" to the image of Mrs. Nyssen.
Above all, according to this researcher at the CNRS and the Political Science Research Center of Sciences Po (CEVIPOF), given the hope of the renewal of political life that Emmanuel Macron carried during his election campaign, the slightest detail concerning a personality close to him, even if it is of perfect good faith, takes a very strong echo. "
According to him, a possible reshuffling could be aimed at "certain personalities who have been weakened or who have made a mistake on a file".