The new president of the Court of Auditors will be appointed to the Council of Ministers on Wednesday. A vacant position for several months and that Pierre Moscovici should occupy. The former Minister of the Economy had been eyeing this job for a long time.

Pierre Moscovici will be appointed to the Council of Ministers at the head of the Court of Auditors on Wednesday. 

It has been months since this jurisdiction, which controls public finances, has had a boss. And Pierre Moscovici had been eyeing the post even longer. This time it’s almost there, and professionally it’s quite justified. He himself came from this body of magistrates, whom he had joined upon leaving the ENA, and he has moreover returned there, in line, for the past six months. From this point of view, he "ticks" all the boxes, as they say.

But I guess being a public finance pro isn't enough to run this institution.

Effectively. Authority is needed. The one that lets you tell your political reality. The one that brings to order the government, or any local or regional authority when finances go wrong. The one that makes this position, one of the highest in the administrative hierarchy, much more than a position of senior official. It is (it must be) a post of censor of state public policies. The boss of the Court of Auditors must therefore have, pegged to the body, the obsession with the main principles of public accounting. 

And precisely, these boxes are "checked" by Pierre Moscovici?

It depends on which Moscovici you are talking about, because he wandered, throughout his years of political activism. I pass on his Trotskyist youth, quickly erased, then on his increasingly eminent role within the Socialist Party, François Mitterrand era then Lionel Jospin. The most interesting, to clarify his next appointment, is how he managed his portfolio of Minister of Finance of François Hollande, then his mandate as European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs. Two positions, four profiles. 

That is to say ?

Boss of Bercy, in 2012, he was first of all the man of the explosion of taxes, of the strongest tax grab ever inflicted on our economy in decades. But he was also the first to end up denouncing the French fiscal fed-up. This was bitterly criticized by his comrades on the left, but, clumsiness or not, it was he who forced François Hollande to initiate a back pedaling on taxes. 

So that makes two profiles? And in Brussels?

Two profiles also: he had arrived with a reputation as a spending minister, a great financier of an unscrupulous country with his budget deficits. In Brussels, it was as if we had entrusted the keys to the bar to a soiffard. Well, fortunately, he has converted to his role as European Commissioner, champion of budgetary discipline. Always with indulgence, by constantly playing on its influence so that France is not punished like the bad European student.

If I take your image of the bar, he showed moderation? 

Yes that's it. The question now is whether, in this post-Covid period, he will have at the Court of Accounts a fifth profile, less forgiving for the drift of public accounts, more attentive to the risk of fiscal suffocation, and vigilant on indebtedness. In a word, that of a less political Moscovici.