PARIS: France’s environment minister is prepared to reimburse any undue expense from lavish lobster-and-wine dinners he hosted when parliament speaker, his boss said on Thursday (Jul 11), ratifying Francois de Rugy’s position despite widespread public disgust.Investigative website Mediapart said in reports this week that De Rugy and his wife hosted a dozen luxury dinners, mostly for friends, at his official residence in central Paris when speaker from June 2017 to October 2018.The story raised questions over use of taxpayers’ money and reinforced perceptions of an out-of-touch government when President Emmanuel Macron is already fighting a “president of the rich” label from his pro-business policies.Pictures of giant lobsters on a candle-lit table and De Rugy enjoying a Valentine’s Day dinner at a table covered in rose petals have outraged many in France.His troubles were compounded on Thursday when Mediapart said taxpayers paid €63,000 (£56,608) for the renovation of his government-provided apartment on the swanky Boulevard Saint-Germain on the bank of the River Seine.Macron, who promised to clean up French politics, has already lost one environment minister last year over his perceived failure to make good on green policy promises, and faced months of “yellow vest” protests over high living costs.Prime Minister… Read full this story
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