Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Five children among seven killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

France

French PM admits that Mubarak paid for family holiday on Nile

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-02-09

France’s Prime Minister François Fillon (pictured) said Tuesday his family had been treated to a holiday by Egypt’s embattled President Hosni Mubarak even as his foreign minister faced calls to resign over a New Year trip to Tunisia.

AFP - French Prime Minister Francois Fillon admitted Tuesday that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak paid for his and his family's New Year holiday on the Nile and lent them a plane to go sightseeing.

The revelation came as France's foreign minister battled calls for her resignation over a New Year holiday in Tunisia during which she used a private jet owned by a tycoon allegedly close to the country's ousted dictator.
             
Fillon's office rushed out a statement after the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine broke the story about his trip to Egypt, where 300 people have been killed in massive protests seeking to oust Mubarak.
             
The Fillon family got a free holiday that lasted from December 26 to January 2 in the Nile resort of Aswan, were treated to a Nile boat ride and a flight on an Egyptian government plane to go sight-seeing, it said.
             
"The prime minister was lodged during this visit by the Egyptian authorities," the statement said, noting that Fillon met Mubarak in Aswan on December 30, before anti-government protests kicked off in Egypt.
             
How the story of Francois Fillon's Egyptian trip broke
"The prime minister, again at the invitation of the authorities, used a plane from the Egyptian government fleet to travel from Aswan to Abu Simbel where he visited a temple," it said.
             
The prime minister was making this information public "in the interest of transparency," it added, and pointed out that Fillon personally paid for his family’s flight from France to Aswan on a French government plane.
             
Fillon has in recent days repeatedly backed his foreign minister Michele Alliot-Marie as she faced calls to step down over her alleged links with the ousted Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
             
During a holiday in Tunisia in late December, she took two trips in a plane owned by a prominent businessman -- who critics said was close to the regime -- when the uprising that eventually deposed Ben Ali was already under way.
             
'NOTHING THAT IS POLITICALLY REPREHENSIBLE'
It was also Le Canard Enchaine that broke the story about the foreign minister's end of year holiday in Tunisia, a former French colony.
             
Alliot-Marie has said she now deeply regretted her actions but she refuses to step down despite repeated calls from the opposition Socialists.
              
The outcry over Alliot-Marie came at a delicate time, after France was accused of being slow to react to the Tunisian uprising and of indulging Ben Ali's authoritarian regime.
             
France had warm ties with Ben Ali during his 23 years in power but just after he was driven out, right-wing President Nicolas Sarkozy backed the protest movement and denied him refuge in France.
             
Last month, when rights groups were reporting that Tunisia's hated police had shot dead dozens of unarmed protesters, Alliot-Marie caused an outcry by suggesting France could help train the force.
             
Sarkozy last week added his voice to calls for immediate political transition in Egypt as pressure grew on Mubarak to step down amid mass protests.
              
Mubarak, 82, has said he will hang on until September but not run in that month's presidential election.
             
Sarkozy's call echoed that of US President Barack Obama, who has told the Egyptian president that an orderly transition needed to begin immediately.

 

Date created : 2011-02-08

  • FRANCE

    France's foreign minister under fire for holidaying in Tunisia during uprising

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Foreign minister rules out resigning over Ben Ali link

    Read more

COMMENT(S)