PARIS (Reuters) – France’s environment minister resigned on Tuesday following a week of reports by an investigative website about his high spending on private lobster dinners and costly renovations of his ministerial residence.
In a posting on his Facebook page, Francois De Rugy said he had handed his resignation to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe because the “effort required to fight the accusations” was undermining his ability to do his job.
De - Rugy - Wrongdoing - Reports - Series
De Rugy has denied all wrongdoing, but the reports have made it hard for him to continue a series of key reforms, including the restructuring of indebted state utility EDF.
The scandal has also reinforced criticism of President Emmanuel Macron’s government as being elitist, as it struggles to end months of “yellow vests” protests, which marred the traditional Bastille Day parade on Sunday.
De - Rugy - Complaint - Website - Mediapart
De Rugy said he had filed a criminal complaint against the investigative website, Mediapart, over its reporting.
“Since the start of last week, Mediapart has attacked me on the basis of stolen photos, rumors, half-truths and things that have nothing to do with my job,” he wrote.
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“Given Mediapart’s untruths, I have this morning filed a criminal complaint for defamation.”
Speaking to France Info, Mediapart co-founder Edwy Plenel defended the website’s reporting, saying: “We’re doing our job in the interests of public service.”
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The Elysee Palace said Macron had accepted the resignation of de Rugy, a former speaker of parliament who ranks as number two in his centrist government.
“It is a personal decision, which (the president) respects, so that he can fully focus on his defense,” a source said.
MINISTRY - THE - IMPOSSIBLE
“MINISTRY OF THE IMPOSSIBLE”
Mediapart reported last week that De...
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