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Demonstrators in France protested "fake jobs" and "corrupt" politicians

Demonstrators in France protested "fake jobs" and "corrupt" politiciansThousands of people in Paris and other French cities took to the streets on Sunday to protest corruption, taking aim specifically at presidential candidates Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen, both accused of misusing public funds, AFP reported on Monday.

In Paris placards called for an end to the privileges of the ruling class, echoing claims of the French Revolution.

Conservative candidate Fillon has been mired in scandal since last month when it emerged that his wife netted at least €680,000 ($720,000) for a suspected fake job as a parliamentary assistant over a period spanning 15 years. Two of Fillon's children were also put on the parliamentary payroll for brief periods.

Far-right leader Le Pen, for her part, is accused by the European Parliament of defrauding it of nearly €340,000 paid to two parliamentary aides.

In Toulouse some 200 people banged pots and pans - a reference to a slang word for political scandals - and shouted "No to corruption".

Other protests were held in Lyon, Angers, Lille and elsewhere, with more planned for next Sunday with elections looming in two months.

The rallies in Paris and other big French cities were in part inspired by the mass anti-corruption protests sweeping through Romania. Organizers say both nations are fed up with their politicians.

Fillon, who has denied the "fake jobs" allegations, said Saturday that he would press ahead with his presidential bid even if investigators charge him over the affair.

Le Pen's standing has not suffered from the scandal, as she remains in first place for the first round, with 26 percent of voter intentions.
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