Paris (AFP)

He often seemed politically offside, and has always managed to get back into the game: this time, it is in the chair of the First President of the Court of Auditors that Pierre Moscovici, former Socialist Minister and European Commissioner, will install.

Acerbic remarks reported last summer by the newspaper Le Monde on the "mainstream populism" of President Emmanuel Macron seemed to have cost him the post of First President of the prestigious institution on rue Cambon in Paris. "He can always go and be seen," said the head of state, according to the chained Duck.

Aged 62 and father of a young child, the European Commissioner for Economic Affairs had therefore completed his mandate on November 30 without a position in sight.

Like any former student of the ENA in search of a drop-off point, he had taken the path of the body which he had integrated in 1984, the Court of Auditors, as a simple "master counselor".

But he certainly never intended to end his long political career by shining the benches.

This pure Parisian, who does not have his license and who frequented the Café de Flore, paradoxically made his electoral weapons in working class and automobile. Pierre Moscovici, was in fact parachuted in 1994 for cantonal elections on the lands of Peugeot, those where the historic factory of Sochaux is located, and he was also a deputy of Doubs.

He was also a Member of the European Parliament, and twice Minister: of European Affairs under Lionel Jospin, then patron of Bercy at the start of the mandate of François Hollande, in two successive governments of Jean-Marc Ayrault.

Son of a couple of great Jewish intellectuals from Eastern Europe - his father, social psychologist Serge Moscovici, left his mark on political ecology while his mother, Marie Bromberg, was a renowned psychoanalyst - Pierre Moscovici flirted with Trotskyism in his youth. He now claims, and for many years, a social democratic positioning.

Joined the Socialist Party in 1984, and then loyal among the followers of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, he rebounded in the campaign team of François Holllande after his mentor was swept away in 2011 by a sex scandal.

Pierre Moscovici can now count on contacts in the first circle of Emmanuel Macron. Alexis Kohler, right arm of the president, was thus his deputy chief of staff in Bercy.

This time, it was therefore to the post of First President of the Court of Auditors that Pierre Moscovici returned to the game, after several months of waiting and speculation, his predecessor Didier Migaud having let go of the reins six months ago already for direct the High Authority for the transparency of public life.

The scenario recalls the one who had seen Pierre Moscovici land at the European Commission in 2014, after losing the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and following long hesitations from President François Hollande.

At the head of the Court of Auditors, the former European Commissioner will find a familiar exercise: scrutinizing the French state budget projects.

He himself had reported to Brussels when he was Minister of Finance from 2012 to 2014, and that France was mistreating the objective of a budget deficit of less than 3% of gross domestic product.

At the time, Pierre Moscovici had been talked about by denouncing the "fed up with the tax", which then returned as a boomerang at the head of the executive throughout the quinquennium Holland.

Minister, he had pleaded for "flexibility" in the application of the rules of the euro zone, then threatened with implosion by the sovereign debt crisis.

Under the guise of the Court of Auditors, whose mission is based on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen - which provides that "society has the right to hold any public official in its administration to account" - it will faced with an extraordinary budgetary situation.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, and containment measures that have paralyzed the economy, the French public deficit could flirt with 10% of GDP this year, according to Brussels.

© 2020 AFP