Macron Kicks French Press Out of the Elysee Presidential Palace

(Bloomberg) -- Emmanuel Macron is evicting the presidential press corps from the Elysee Palace.

Aides to the 40-year-old head of state told reporters Wednesday that the press room that’s been used since 1984 is going to move to another building outside of the palace housing Macron’s residence and offices because his advisers need the space for their meetings. Macron decided on the move last year and it will be completed by the end of June, Press officer Sibeth Ndiaye said.

Macron called for a “healthy distance” between the executive and the press in a January speech and said he sought to fight any “proximity” between the two. Macron does not have an official spokesperson and the presidency has never made its visitors’ log public.

According to Reporters Without Borders, France ranks 39th for press freedom. Norway is first, the U.S. is 43rd and Germany is 16th.

U.S. President Donald Trump scrapped a plan to move news briefings out of the White House last year after journalists and the White House press association objected.

The press room has been in its current location overlooking the Elysee courtyard since 1984 and it’s been inside the palace since the mid-seventies. The new press center will be located in a neighboring street.

One Elysee press adviser at the meeting said the shift marked the end of privileges given to the press, though Ndiaye urged reporters not to read too much into it. There is “no symbolism” in the decision, she said.

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