Jeff Bezos decorated by Emmanuel Macron: legion of honor strongly criticized by elected officials of rebellious France

The president distinguished the founder of Amazon at the Elysée, Thursday, February 16. Elected officials on the left see it as a deplorable symbol.

by Alexandre Piquard

“Context: record profits of the CAC40, inflation, massive mobilization against pension reform … Macron’s light idea: decorating Amazon’s boss, Jeff Bezos, 4 e richest man in the richest man world, of the Legion of Honor. “Here is the ironic summary Done on Twitter by the European deputy Manon Aubry (La France Insoumise) of the decoration to the rank of knight of the Legion of Honor, granted on February 16 to the Elysée, to the founder of the world leader -trade. Revealed by an indiscreet of the point, The distinction did not fail to arouse some acid tweets of elected officials on the left.

“Again and again, everything for the rich, nothing for the people!”, mocked the deputy of Haute-Garonne François Piquemal (La France Insoumise). Thursday, February 16 was a day of national mobilization against the pension reform, recalled on the social network the European deputy Leïla Chaibi (La France Insoumise), brockering a decoration granted to the patron of Amazon “by the hand of the president of the rich”.

“Tell me who are your friends, I will tell you who you are”, added the deputy of Seine-Maritime Alma Dufour (La France Insoumise). Long-standing opponent to Amazon, the elected representative accuses the company of having allowed vast VAT fraud to last on its platform or to destroy more jobs in the physical shops it creates in the Online sale.

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The decoration of a large foreign boss by the Elysée is not unprecedented. Jamie Dimon, the boss of Bank Jpmorgan Chase also received the Legion of Honor in November 2022. And Jacques Chirac had, for example, distinguished Shoiroo 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 M. Macron, reports the Polynesia chain the first . Before that, the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, was made commander of the Legion of Honor by François Hollande and the CEO of the computer giant Steve Ballmer was decorated by Nicolas Sarkozy. In 2014, under Mr. Hollande, his Minister Laurent Fabius had awarded the Legion of Honor to Hiroshi Mikitani, founder of the e-commerce platform Rakuten.

These distinctions granted to economic personalities, however, remain rare. That granted by Mr. Macron to Mr. Bezos illustrates the duality of the president’s policy with regard to the founder of Amazon. As elsewhere, he practiced the “at the same time”. Under its presidency, France has pushed European regulations reinforcing responsibilities and respect for competition from platforms like Amazon. It has established a taxation of digital services or obliged services as a premium video (Amazon subsidiary) to devote 20 % of their turnover to produce French programs.

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/Media reports cited above.