French government rules out First Lady plan 

Dhaka,  Sat,  23 September 2017
Published : 08 Aug 2017, 23:03:21

French government rules out First Lady plan 

French President Emmanuel Macron's plan to officially recognise his wife Brigitte as First Lady of France appears to have been abandoned, amid growing opposition to the idea.

The Élysée Palace refused to comment on the decision to backtrack, but told CNN affiliate BFM TV that a "transparency charter" clarifying Brigitte Macron's position would be released in the coming days.

The move coincided with spreading support for a petition against according her an official title, status and budget, which has been signed by more than 280,000 people.

In a series of tweets, government spokesman Christophe Castaner defended Brigitte Macron's position, but said no changes would be made to it.

"Brigitte Macron plays a role and has responsibilities. We are looking to be transparent and to outline the means she has at her disposal," Castaner posted.

"No modification of the constitution, no new funding, no salary for Brigitte Macron. Stop the hypocrisy!"

"Brigitte Macron receives more than 200 letters a day ... and keeps a link with the French public with the greatest discretion," he added.

According to the French constitution, the president's spouse does not enjoy an official position, though they do have an office and a number of advisers.

While running for the presidency, Macron insisted his wife's role would not be paid for out of public funds.

President Macron's plans had caused consternation among his political opponents as he prepares to introduce regulations banning French parliamentarians from employing members of their own families.

If the law is passed, anyone convicted of such an offence in future could face fines and potential time in prison.


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