FRENCH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER RESIGNS OVER EXPENSES SCANDAL


17/07/2019




Robert HARNEIS -TDO- French Deputy Prime Minister, François de Rugy, has been compelled to resign as Minister of Ecology after a series of revelations concerning his alleged abuse of expenses for luxurious meals with selected journalists. There is also an investigation into €60,000 spent on improving his official residence. The revelations come as the Macron administration is cutting down on public expenditure and considering tightening up on widows’ pensions.

The affair was revealed by the online magazine Mediapart.

Last Friday he told journalists that he was determined to stay in office despite the revelations that he described as “lies” which made him “very angry”.

Only four days later he has given up the struggle to keep his ministry. He wrote on his Facebook page “The effort needed to defend myself means that I am not able to carry on calmly and efficiently with the job the President has given me.” He attacked “the desire to harm » by Mediapart using “stolen photos, vague gossip and matters unrelated to my ministerial position.”

The largely unknown 45-year-oldde Rugy has benefited from his association with Emmanuel Macron and became President of the National Assembly following the Presidential elections. He then went on to become Minister of State for Ecology after the resignation in 2018 of the high-profile Nicolas Hulot after disagreements over environmental policy with the President. President Macron will now have to find his third Ecology Minister in two years.

On 17 January 2017 de Rugy married his second wife Severine Servat a journalist at the magazine Gala, who has also been accused of abusing ministerial expenses when her new husband was President of the Assembly. Mediapart have revealed a photo of her with a very expensive bottle of wine at a lunch with friends at the Hôtel de Lassay, the official residence of the President of the Assembly.


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