“Context: record CAC40 profits, inflation, massive mobilization against pension reform… Macron’s bright idea: to decorate Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, 4e richest man in the world, of the Legion of Honor. » Here is the ironic summary made on Twitter by the MEP Manon Aubry (La France insoumise) of the decoration to the rank of Knight of the Legion of Honor, granted on February 16 at the Elysée, to the founder of the world leader in e-commerce. Revealed by an indiscreet of Point, the distinction did not fail to arouse some acid tweets from left-wing elected officials.
“Again and again, everything for the rich, nothing for the people! », mocked the deputy of Haute-Garonne François Piquemal (Rebellious France). Thursday February 16 was a day of national mobilization against the pension reform, recalled on the social network the MEP Leïla Chaibi (La France insoumise), mocking a decoration granted to the boss of Amazon “from the hand of the president of the rich”.
“Tell me who your friends are, I’ll tell you who you are” added the deputy of Seine-Maritime Alma Dufour (Rebellious France). A long-time opponent of Amazon, the elected official accuses the company of having allowed a vast VAT fraud to continue on its platform or of destroying more jobs in physical businesses than it creates in the sold online.
The decoration of a major foreign boss by the Elysée is not without precedent. Jamie Dimon, the boss of the JPMorgan Chase bank, also received the Legion of Honor in November 2022. And Jacques Chirac had, for example, singled out Shoichiro Toyoda, the boss of the Japanese manufacturer Toyota.
In digital, the CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff, was decorated in 2022 in Polynesia, on the proposal of Mr. Macron, reports the Polynésie La Première channel. Before that, the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, was made Commander of the Legion of Honor by François Hollande and the CEO of the IT giant Steve Ballmer was decorated by Nicolas Sarkozy. In 2014, under Mr. Holland, his minister Laurent Fabius awarded the Legion of Honor to Hiroshi Mikitani, founder of the Rakuten e-commerce platform.
However, these distinctions granted to economic personalities remain rare. That granted by Mr. Macron to Mr. Bezos illustrates the duality of the president’s policy towards the founder of Amazon. As elsewhere, he practiced ” at the same time “. Under his presidency, France pushed for European regulations reinforcing the responsibilities and respect for competition of platforms like Amazon. It introduced a tax on digital services or forced services like Prime Video (a subsidiary of Amazon) to devote 20% of their turnover to producing French programs.
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