Anti-corruption police are investigating allegations that French president Emmanuel Macron’s chief of staff, Alexis Kohler, violated conflict of interest rules in dealings with Mediterranean Shipping Company earlier on his career at the finance ministry.
The transparency campaign group Anticor launched a lawsuit on Friday after the French investigative website Mediapart revealed that Kohler had family links to MSC, which has been a major user of French shipyards for cruiseship construction.
Kohler’s mother is a cousin of Rafaela Aponte, whose husband Gianlugi founded MSC in 1970. Mediapart has claimed that Kohler hid his family links to MSC from the parliamentary ethics commission.
Mediapart also alleges that after leaving the finance ministry and becoming an executive of MSC in 2016, Kohler took part in at least one ministry meeting to discuss the fate of a STX, a French state-supported shipbuilding.
Macron’s office has said the allegations were “completely unfounded”.