Francois Fillon today acknowledged his wife, Penelope Fillon, worked for him as a parliamentary attache, but denied media reports that she had been paid for fictitious employment.
Acting quickly to dampen a possible scandal, a spokesman for the right-wing former prime minister acknowledged she had been an employee of her husband and that she had also worked briefly for a prestigious cultural journal.
Le Canard Enchaîné, a highly popular satirical newspaper which has been lifting the lid on scandal in high places in France for decades revealed details of her payments on Wednesday, January 25th, reporting that she had drawn about 500,000 euros ($536,300) in salary over eight years for working as an assistant to her husband.
According to the paper, Mrs Fillon was paid from 1998 to 2002 by her husband, on the payroll reserved for MPs and senators. In 2001, she received 3,900 euros gross per month. Beginning in the summer of 2002, after Francois Fillon joined the government, his wife, who had always claimed to stay away from her husband’s political activities, joined the collaborative newspaper of her deputy, Marc Joulaud, who Succeed him to the National Assembly.
According to figures obtained by the Le Canard Enchaîné , it was during this period she highest the highest paid (receiving 6,900 euros to 7,900 euros a month). In France, hiring relatives as collaborators is not prohibited for parliamentarians, provided that it is not a fictitious job. A parliamentary collaborator of Marc Joulaud, interviewed by Le Figaro, said she had “never worked with her, I have no information on this. I knew her only as a minister’s wife. ”
A job at the Revue des Deux Mondes
In 2012, Canard says she was again paid “for at least six months” when Fillon again became MP, after five years as prime minister. The satirical weekly also says Penelope Fillon had been employed in parallel, between 2 May 2012 and December 2013, the Revue des Deux Mondes , owned by Marc ladreit of Lacharrière, a friend of François Fillon. She then received about 5,000 euros gross per month.
Asked by the Canard , the director of the magazine, Frizzy Michel, said he was “flabbergasted”: “I have never met Penelope Fillon and I’ve never seen in the offices of the magazine.” He said however that the wife of the former prime minister signed “two or perhaps three reading notes”. Thierry Solère told AFP that Michel Crépu was “uninformed”.