Cheating for 25 years? Spotlight on Renault
Another European carmaker is facing allegations of cheating on emissions. The French consumer fraud agency DGCCRF has accused Renault of fitting its diesel vehicles with software that allowed them to get around legal emissions limits for more than 25 years. The French press is incensed and, with the scandal involving French presidential candidate Fillon in mind, wonders how willing French society is to tolerate dishonesty.
The state must demand the return of subsidies
It is unacceptable for French politicians like Environment Minister Ségolène Royal or ex-Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron to cover up for the carmaker, economist Maxime Combes writes in anger on his blog with Mediapart:
“Ever since Renault's headquarters were searched in January 2016, the two ministers Emmanuel Macron and Ségolène Royal have been trying to protect Renault. In so doing they have helped to deceive the people regarding the true nature of the company's machinations. The Ministry of the Economy and Ségolène Royal must immediately stop trying to cover up and downplay Renault's fraudulent activities and draw all the necessary consequences from these new revelations. For example the government could demand that Renault reimburse all the subsidies provided by the state to encourage people to purchase supposedly 'low-emission' vehicles.”
Honesty does not count for much in France
The fact that unlike VW, Renault has reacted in a very relaxed way to the accusations of fraud testifies to the lack of integrity in France, Libération comments:
“What do François Fillon and Renault have in common? The presidential candidate and the carmaker are both potentially implicated in scandals that interest examining magistrates, without either having been convicted so far. Nevertheless this is less important than the question of attitude and respect for the people. Because above and beyond the question of criminal liability is the question of social responsibility and exemplary conduct. ... There is something very French about the attitude that one can escape the worst, that such scandals always blow over in the end, and that one is accountable to no one but the judiciary. And finally about the belief that moral questions will always fade into obscurity.”