RICHARD AND CÉCILIA ATTIAS, THE NEW GURUS OF FRANÇAFRIQUE. RICHARD ATTIAS ET CÉCILIA, NOUVEAUX GOUROUS DE LA FRANÇAFRIQUE
The French weekly "Charlie Hebdo" in this week’s issue published an investigation into the "it" couple who is making it happen in the "emerging" Gabon, Richard Attias and his wife Cécilia ex-Sarkozy. We publish below the contents of that investigation which we have translated from the original French.
RICHARD AND CÉCILIA ATTIAS, THE NEW GURUS of FRANÇAFRIQUE
The businessman and the ex-wife of Sarkozy are making it rain or shine in Gabon, as well as many dollars...
Even Robert Bourgi complains about it. Bourgi, the Jacques Foccart of the 1990s, the permanent envoy to Chirac and Sarkozy on the Dark Continent, is being blow away for the much sought after place of confidant to potentates ... and of businessman in chief in Gabon.
The former boss of Publicis Events Worldwide, Richard Attias, and his wife, the former Cecilia Sarkozy, have won the job. Based in New York, "they spend several days each quarter in the Gabonese capital," says a regular of major hotels in Libreville. The Moroccan businessman - he pompously presents himself as a "citizen of the world" - for example, organized the centenary of the arrival of Dr. Schweitzer in Gabon early in July, with a gala dinner and a concert. He also has been organizing, since last year in Libreville, huge routs which he has the secret: the New York Forum Africa.
Why Libreville? According to his website, the Forum "considers that the three economic pillars of Gabon’s economic plan, including green initiatives, officials industrial policies and the development programs for the service industry" would be "a model for continued growth "in Africa. Pure gobbledygook for those who open their eyes to the appropriation of wealth by the leaders, massive deforestation, poverty ... In reality, Attias missed the first edition of a similar forum in New York and fell back on Africa. He therefore takes care of Ali Bongo’s communication and puts his influence to his service. "He has relocated to the Africa of dictators who need visibility," says Michel Ongoundou, a former journalist and member of Ça Suffit Comme Ça!, A collective of civil society.
Officially, the budget for this meeting allowing presidents, ministers, VIPs and business leaders chat together would be about 5 or even 7 million euros, "most of which would go directly in his pocket, "predicts an expert. "Even ministers do not know how much it costs. Everything is handled directly between Attias and the Deputy Secretary General of the Presidency, Eric Chesnel, a Frenchman that was a kind of tutor to Ali Bongo. "The agency responsible for Attias communication did not deign to reply to the message from Charlie, we would not know more.
In June 2013, Spike Lee was scheduled to be at the Libreville Forum, alongside a handful of Nobel Prize, causing a strong reaction from the collective, sickened to see him used as ally by the Gabonese regime. "Should we tell you that Ali Bongo has not been elected by the people of Gabon? "The collective wrote in an open letter to Spike Lee denouncing his installation to power" with the support of institutions and an army led by family members "and that" the judge of the elections "(President of the constitutional Court) "is an official mistress" of his father.
CÉCILIA IN GABON COPÉ IN BRAZZA
Result: Spike Lee canceled, but that did not stop Christine Ockrent, paid to be there, Jacques Attali, Hubert Vedrine, Professor Khayat, Cherie Blair or Matthieu Pigasse, the head of Lazard Bank, which is setting up a subsidiary dedicated to Africa, from appearing in Libreville. Attias is so happy to be able to settle in Gabon that he even wrote an "open letter to Obama" to ask him to invest in Africa, especially in a fund created by Bongo for employment. A way of bringing a few extra dollars that the people would not see ...
But that is not the main thing. Between conversations and dinners with Ali Bongo, Attias is trying to do business. "The Forum does not pay, what brings money is the intermediation", decrypts someone close to an oil company. "The evidence is that our company was approached by a friend of Richard Attias strongly suggesting that they could oil the wheels with the Gabonese government. In exchange, we had to fork out, of course. "According to one expert, the company Gunvor, a Swiss oil trader would have won a contract in Gabon because of Attias, this is far from the " green initiatives "promoted by the Africa Forum ...
The worst thing is that Attias is being emulated in these dictatorships. In Brazzaville, took place on July 23, the Forbes Forum at the glory of Sassou, reuniting Ockrent and Pigasse (them again ...), Jean-Francois Cope, Kofi Annan, all invited at great expense ... Françafrique of the twenty-first century.
laurent.leger @ charliehebdo.fr
L’hebdomadaire français « Charlie Hebdo » dans son édition de la semaine publie une enquête sur le couple « it » qui fait la pluie et le beau temps dans le Gabon « émergent », Richard Attias et sa femme Cécilia ex-Sarkozy. Nous publions ci-dessous, le contenu de cette enquête.