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New French interior minister appointed after predecessor quits over job scandal

New French interior minister appointed after predecessor quits over job scandalFrance’s Interior Minister has resigned after a scandal erupted over the payment of public funds to his daughters.

Bruno Le Roux denies he has done anything wrong but says he does not want the scandal to affect the government’s work.

“It is my responsibility not to affect the government’s work,” said Le Roux, who became interior minister in early December in a government reshuffle.

Financial prosecutors have opened an inquiry following press reports Le Roux paid his two daughters from public funds for parliamentary work when he was a lawmaker. At the time, they were students.

“Those work contracts correspond to work that was effectively carried out,” Le Roux said in a bid to distance himself from the ongoing inquiry involving the centre-right presidential candidate, Francois Fillon.

Bruno Le Roux’s daughters totted up 24 short-term contracts between them, one from the age of 15 – is the claim from the French investigate website Mediapart.

But it is not illegal for politicians to employ relatives in France. Members of the National Assembly, France’s lower house of parliament, are allowed to hire family as assistants and pay them from funds put at the disposal of all lawmakers. The question is whether any work was actually carried out.

Le Roux has already been replaced by the junior foreign trade minister, Matthias Fekl, according to the Elysee presidential office.

Matthias Fekl took office Wednesday as a short-timer overseeing France’s fight against Islamic extremism, illegal migration and other crime. The current government leaves office in May.
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