Lobbying, corruption, US pressure ... The gray areas of the Alstom affair

By Marie-Béatrice Baudet and Chloé Aeberhardt

The testimony of Frédéric Pierucci, former executive of the company, invites to re-examine the circumstances of the sale, in 2014, of the French energy champion to the American General Electric.

The Alstom affair, a veritable state thriller, is revived. Outraged by the scenario of the sale in 2014 of the French energy champion to the American General Electric (GE), a man no longer wants to be quiet. Frédéric Pierucci, 51, publishes, Wednesday, January 16, with Matthieu Aron, a journalist The Obs, The American trap. Former Alstom executive, jailed in the United States for more than two years for "corruption" after launching a Department of Justice (DoJ) investigation into his company, reserved for World his first public speech. To read it, his personal history would illustrate the economic war that the United States delivers to Europe to seize its industrial nuggets "By diverting the law and morality".

The feeling that the sale of Alstom has been a huge game of lying poker is shared on the left and right among former members of the parliamentary inquiry commission set up at the end of October 2017 to examine "the decisions of the state regarding industrial policy ". "There are still gray areas in this case", says Delphine Batho, MP (not registered) of the Deux-Sèvres and former Minister of Ecology under François Hollande. Convinced for his part that this is a "National scandal", Daniel Fasquelle, MP (LR) of the Pas-de-Calais, confirms that"It was difficult to unravel the true from the fake in this very technical file". As for Arnaud Montebourg, at the time Minister of the Economy, he gets excited again "Stories to sleep told by the leaders of Alstom".

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The financial crisis of 2008 led Alstom's CEO, Patrick Kron, to seek, in the early 2010s, alliances in China for the energy sector and in Russia for the transport sector. The situation is complicated when, in 2012, persistent rumors indicate the desire of the Bouygues group to sell its 29.4% stake in the company - a conglomerate based on three activities: energy, electricity network and transport. In 2014, Alstom's governance chose the American GE rather than the German Siemens for the buyout of its energy business. Thus, the maintenance and renewal of the turbogenerators of the 58 French nuclear reactors, the production of Arabelle turbines for EPR reactors, the supply of propulsion turbines for the four nuclear submarines launchers and the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle now come from the United States.