Members who attended, Wednesday, September 3, the first day of hearings held by the Finance Committee of the National Assembly on the settlement of the case Bernard Tapie-Credit Lyonnais went on a surprise discovery. "Neither we do believe it," said Didier Migaud, President (PS, of the commission. We want first of all give us the means to understand. "Memory introductory presented by Charles de Courson, representative of National Assembly Board of Trustees of the institution of public financing and restructuring (EPFR), already had its share of revelations. The deputies were able to take note of the arbitration agreement which was finalized on January 30, before that the tribunal would make its award, July 7, condemning the Consortium de realisation (CDR) to be paid to agents Bernard Tapie 240 million euros, plus interest, and compensation for "moral damage" 45 million.
Record Credit Lyonnais: arbitration in favour of Mr Tapie was it legal?
Summing up all the information available, the secretary of the Finance Committee has been established that Bernard Tapie will get, after liquidating all debts and expenses and after tax profit including staff
between 106 and 144 million euros,
well above the estimates which had so far been advanced.
A decision to resort to arbitration while the Court of Cassation had previously made a ruling favorable to CDR, compromise prepared in advance "very favourable to the group Tapie," according to Mr. de Courson, an arbitral award "ignoring the res judicata "since the Court of Appeal and the Court of Cassation had denied the liquidators agents the possibility of seeking gains from the sale of Adidas group, the CDR's refusal to initiate an action for annulment "Everything in this case is unusual since the beginning," exclaimed Francois Goulard (UMP, Morbihan).
"This is an extraordinary case, has outraged François Bayrou (MoDem, Pyrenees-Atlantiques). The mission of the state is to defend the law and the taxpayer. In this case, he decided to abandon the force its positions and relying upon a private arbitration whose orientation was carefully specified in advance. The State has decided that the taxpayer Bernard Tapie to pay a debt which the Court of Cassation ruled that it had no existed. It is a theft. " "Clearly, we are faced with a case that one day we will call an affair of state", has seen Jean-Pierre Brard (app. PCF), while several members of the UMP tried to relativize the scope. While Jerome Chartier (UMP, Val-d'Oise) insisted that are quickly heard lawyers for Bernard Tapie to be "another vision of the dossier," Michel Bouvard (UMP, Savoie) called for "not wearing judgement to the cutter "and" not to politicize this issue ".
MEPs, however, were not after their surprises. The hearings successive Bertrand Schneiter, former president of EPFR, Jean-François Rocchi, president of CDR, his predecessor, Jean-Pierre Aubert, and finally the current president of EPFR, Bernard Scemama, have enabled them to be a fairly clear idea of the "chain of command".
Indeed, the acceptance of the arbitration and the decision not to initiate appeals were accepted by the CDR, an entity under private law. But what latitude he had vis-à-vis its 100% shareholder, EPFR, in the Board of Directors which sit two representatives of the State, and autonomy which the president of this public institution has - Does it himself? These were the questions raised by these senior officials.
Bertrand Schneiter, who said only "not shocked by the principle of arbitration," said that "the EPFR was unable to give instructions to CDR" and that he himself had " never asked to instruct a minister whatsoever. " However, the senior official handling with the verb with finesse stated: "I can not in all conscience, take a decision which I think the minister will refuse it." He also indicated that "the CDR took decisions that would put into effect only if the EPFR not precluded."
Defending also the decision to use the arbitration proceedings, Jean-François Rocchi stressed that "there is no principle that prohibits a subsidiary of a public institution to bring to arbitration." However, he acknowledged, "if EPFR had opposed this decision, it would stop there."
The president of CDR, however, was reserved for members an announcement troubling. While the morning, they questioned the possible enforcement of arbitral awards and on possible remedies, it showed an advance in the form of a cheque of 197 million would be paid as soon as Friday, September 5 to representatives of Bernard Tapie.
Indignation of François Bayrou: "In forty-eight hours, the taxpayer will discover that, by your decision and the government, the case is closed. What are these hearings, because decisions will become irreversible?" The remarks by Jean-Pierre Aubert brought a new light. For him, the judgement of the Court of Cassation on October 9, 2006 "gave the CDR a strong position." "The CDR could confidently expect the decision of a court referral," he said, arguing that because the reasons for resorting to arbitration, "at the request of the opposing party," does it "seemed irrelevant ". But, noted Mr. Aubert, "the president of CDR does not take a major decision without the consent of the Minister of Economy and Finance." For the former president of CDR, "the decision of the arbitral tribunal is incomprehensible against the very principles of law".
Last heard, Bernard Scemama, who had just taken office as President of the EPFR when was initiated arbitration proceedings, gave him about a more embarrassed. "There was a very strong current in favor of arbitration to settle the case Tapie," he acknowledged. Pressed by questions by MPs, he said that "the CDR had seized EPFR to ensure there were no objections." "The Board has not raised any objection, he continued, representatives of the State which has indicated that it had received instructions not to oppose arbitration." However, entrusted Mr. Scemama, who was asked what he thought of the award made on July 7: "The sky we fell on his head." The hearings will resume Wednesday, September 10: Members will hear Jean Peyrelevade, former chairman of Credit Lyonnais, and Bernard Tapie;
Source : Lemonde.fr
French conclusion :