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Monday, March 19, 2018

Moral code: the French don’t want to see the wife of Macron’s first lady

In France, the debate continues around the official office of the President’s wife Brigitte macron. The Elysee Palace intends to “legalize” its status as the first lady, but more than 200 000 French people were against. They fear that this will allow the spouse of the head of state to receive funds from the budget. In addition, the rules banned MPs and the Ministers to employ their relatives. It turns out that the fight against nepotism, he intends only as long as it doesn’t affect his own family, — say the authors of the online petition.

photo: AP

Emmanuel macron during the presidential campaign promised to make the position of first lady to the legislation. 64-year-old Brigitte already has an office in the Elysee Palace, a few assistants and bodyguards, regularly participates in official events and charitable campaigns. And all these modest joy, by estimates of auditors, has already cost about 450,000 euros per year. Therefore, official status to the wife of the President can come in and the additional costs that will be forced to pay the state, fear the French.

“While French public life moralization bit, while a law was adopted that members of Parliament are forbidden to hire relatives… We can’t endorse the initiative, which gives the wife of the President of Macron special status,” the petition reads. This document appeared on the Internet platform about two weeks ago and it has already signed more than 200 000 people. The petitioners also believe that such issues should be submitted to a referendum.

“Brigitte Makron plays a role, has responsibilities,’ retorted government spokesman Christoph Kastner, We want to clarify and legitimize opportunities that it holds”. According to him, Madam Makron every day gets about 200 emails, so she needs more helpers to cope with their responsibilities.

Recall that on 29 July the French Parliament voted for the bill on the “moralization of political life”. He provided a range of anticorruption measures among which was the prohibition for parliamentarians, Ministers and officials of the local administration to employ spouses, children and parents. Violating this law is punishable by a fine of 45,000 euros and three years in prison.

Anyway, Emmanuel macron promised that if his wife and will get the official post, he will not be paid from the Treasury. After all, this was the time “lost” his rival in the presidential race, Francois Fillon. As a parliamentarian, he took on the post of assistant to his wife Penelope, who, according to media reports, did not show up for work, but received a disproportionate salary. Thanks to the press it became known to the public, and ratings of Fillon has fallen sharply.

Wives of the presidents traditionally act as philanthropists and public figures, but even in the United States, where the term “first lady”, this status is not spelled out in the legislation.

In France, the marital status of the President it was not common to pay a lot of attention, so the desire of the Makron would “legitimize” the spouse meets such disapproval. The couple have been together for 20 years, but not all occupants of the elysée is known for such constancy. François Mitterrand did not conceal that lives for two families, Nicolas Sarkozy for the presidency had to divorce and marry again, and Francois Hollande “walking left” to even his civil wife Valerie trierweiler. And not all spouses and mistresses the presidents were public figures, requiring staff. So the future official status of first lady of the Makron from the post of President is very vague.


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