Capital reveals a nationwide scandal amounting to tens of millions of euros: association money. Almost one in two French people is a member of one of them. Whether you like Zumba, tulips or stamp collecting, there is sure to be an association in your city that brings together other enthusiasts like you! In France, there are 1.5 million associations that brew around 113 billion euros each year, around 3.3% of national GDP.

To finance themselves, they rely on contributions from their members, but also on public subsidies paid to them in particular by the municipalities. How do you know if these aids are allocated and spent wisely?

In principle, the law obliges associations which receive more than 153,000 € in public subsidies to publish their accounts. But we have discovered a very opaque area. Lack of control, illegal payments of money, our elected officials do not always know what the millions of euros they allocate each year are really for.

Capital has investigated in particular in Toulouse, where the municipality headed by Jean-Luc Moudenc does not seem to keep the list of agreements that associations must provide to receive public money. The city councilor refers to one of the municipal councilors, Christophe Alves, who also remains unclear on the place where these documents are stored which are sought by investigators from the regional chamber of accounts. But he assures him “I will meet you in 18 months to prove to you that we will have significantly improved on this point”.

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