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Paris Court Rebuffs Appeal of LVMH Settlement

by News Desk

CASE CLOSED, PART DEUX: The Paris court of appeals has upheld a December ruling that validated an agreement reached with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which paid 10 million euros to settle claims that Bernard Squarcini, a former head of internal intelligence for France-turned-consultant, spied for the company.

LVMH was the target of allegations by filmmaker, journalist and politician François Ruffin that he was subject to surveillance by Squarcini at LVMH’s request during the filming of “Merci Patron” (or “Thanks Boss,” in English). That “Roger & Me”-style documentary chronicled the struggles of a couple that loses their jobs at a Kenzo suit factory when production is moved to Eastern Europe. In it, Ruffin takes LVMH chief Bernard Arnault to task for their plight. The film won the César award for best documentary in 2017.

Ruffin launched an appeal of the ruling by the judicial court, and he and the media company Fakir came forth with claims that the judges had erred. Associated with the left-wing La France Insoumise party of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Ruffin had conscripted another French congressman to testify for him at a May 6 hearing.

On Tuesday, however, the appeals court shot down Ruffin’s efforts after a brief session, declaring “inadmissible the appeals lodged and the priority questions of constitutionality filed,” according to a statement from the court.

Arnault has never voiced an opinion on the film, though he noted dryly at a 2016 shareholders’ meeting that the company has “been the target of criticism from far-left parties for more than 20 years. It’s quite surprising; I’ve often wondered why. I think the answer is quite simple: The LVMH Group is the incarnation of — at least for these far-left observers — the worst that a liberal economy has produced.

“We have all the flaws. First, we are a big CAC 40 company — that’s very detrimental. On top of it, we have good results and that makes it worse. Thirdly, we hire staff — in France even, and long term — and that’s appalling,” he continued. “That’s very bad, according to them. And, lastly, we illustrate globalization’s benefits for France, that’s the absolute catastrophe…and so that is the reason why, in my opinion, we have been the subject of this kind of criticism.”

According to Wikipedia, Ruffin is in favor of the economic doctrine of degrowth.


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