The ‘penegate’ leaves Macron without Paris


Shock in the court of Emmanuel Macron. The candidate of the French president for mayor of Paris is forced to resign after the publication in the social networks of videos and photos of his sexual organ. The ‘penegate’ spreads digital terror among French politicians.

Benjamin Grivaux was chosen by Macron to conquer the mayoralty of Paris, a political post of much more relevance than the simple management of a city now in the hands of the socialist Anne Hidalgo. The macronista party, La Republique En Marche (LREM), opted for the first time to the highest authority of the French capital.
Griveaux announced in a message recorded on Friday [el 14 de febrero] in the morning that he was withdrawing his candidacy, after the day before “some websites spread ignoble attacks on my private life”. “I don’t want to continue exposing my family,” he stressed, “now that all the blows are allowed; it has gone too far.”
The attacks referred to is the publication of a series of images of his erect member in an alleged message exchange With a woman through a social network. The website that has collected the photos is, of which the self-appointed is part artist Russian Piotr Pavlenski, who, along with his former partner, Oksana Chaliguina, obtained political asylum in France in 2017.

Pavlenski counts among his performances the fire of the doors of the former headquarters of the KGB in Moscow, having nailed his scrotum on the cobblestones of the Red Square, having sewn his lips or having rolled into bare barbed wires to protest against the re-election of Vladimir Putin. Upon arrival as a political refugee in France, Pavlenski set fire to the doors of the facade of a branch of the Bank of France in Paris.

In statements to the newspaper Libération, the answering artist Russian claims to have obtained the video thanks to a spoiled relationship of Grivaux. With his publication, Pavlenski states “wanting to denounce the hypocrisy of Benjamin Griveaux”: “He is someone who permanently relies on family values, who says he wants to be the mayor of families and always cites his wife and children as an example, but it’s the opposite“, complaint in telephone conversation with the newspaper cited.
The sex video fell like a cluster bomb that splashes the Elysium, Matignon and the whole young party of Emmanuel Macron, who should now look for a new candidate for mayor of Paris. Griveaux was not in any case among the favorites to occupy that position. Surpassed in the polls by Hidalgo and by the right-wing candidate, Rachida Dati, she had even less support than the number one dissident of macronism, the mathematician Cedric Villani, who preferred to be expelled from LREM rather than resigning from Paris thus challenging the president, that demanded abandonment.
Benjamin Griveaux was not exactly very popular. It was he who largely caused the wrath of the yellow vests, pointing out to them pejoratively as “those types that circulate in diesel vehicles and spend the day smoking.” Later, and as an official candidate for Macron, he referred to other candidates of his own party as “stupid” and “sons of bitches.”

Politician close to the social democrat Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Griveaux, 43 years old and father of three children, was Secretary of State for Economy and Government spokesman at the beginning of the presidency of Emmanuel Macron.

The French politicians who have demonstrated have condemned the circumstances that they have forced Griveaux to leave. Everyone denounces – and fears – attacks on private life on social networks. “Abomination”, “haunting climate”, the “garbage market” are the most repeated expressions by the representatives of the French. Mayor Hidalgo, a candidate for her own succession, has called for “respect for people’s private lives”.
France lives with this scandal a very common episode in the United States, where several politicians have also had to give up their career for the same reasons as Griveaux. Until recently, until the uncontrolled explosion in this country of social networks, France presumed to have – unlike the US – with some media that have always respected the privacy of politicians. Pure hypocrisy. It is political pressures and threats that prevented such information from coming to light, as demonstrated by the case of the double life of socialist president François Mitterrand, who kept his lover and daughter’s daughter in charge of the treasury.

Now the use of social networks is denounced, but after the stupor of the first moment will come the reflection on how certain public figures, and especially politicians, use those media exposing themselves to be discovered, as has happened to Benjamin Griveaux.



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