France passes law to clean up politics after fake job scandals

Agence France-Presse. Paris | Published: 00:47, Aug 10,2017

 
 

France’s parliament overwhelmingly backed a new law Wednesday to clean up politics, a campaign promise of president Emmanuel Macron following a string of scandals.
A total of 412 lawmakers backed the bill, which would notably scrap cash handouts for lawmakers to spend on areas and NGOs of their choice.
Parliament had last week already voted through aspects of the law banning lawmakers and ministers from employing their family members, as Macron’s new centrist government seeks to restore public trust in politicians.
‘Practices... that were probably tolerated, maybe accepted for some time, are no longer accepted today,’ prime minister Edouard Philippe told French radio.
The presidential campaign that saw Macron take power in May, becoming France’s youngest-ever president, was rocked by allegations that his rightwing rival Francois Fillon employed his wife as a publicly-funded assistant for years despite little evidence of any work.
Fillon was the odds-on favourite in the race until revelations at the end of January that he had employed his Welsh-born wife Penelope.
But his poll standings plunged as he struggled to convince voters that his wife and their children had worked to justify their pre-tax income of around 900,000 euros ($1million) over 15 years.
The Republicans party nominee was charged with misusing public money in March, just weeks before crashing out of the first round of the presidential election. He denies any wrongdoing.

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