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France

France’s First Lady accused of ‘living off taxpayers’

© AFP

Text by Mehdi Chebil

Latest update : 2013-03-17

The marital status of France’s First Lady Valerie Trierweiler has come under scrutiny after the heir of a business empire filed a complaint accusing President François Hollande’s girlfriend of “embezzlement” for living off taxpayers’ money.

France’s unmarried first lady Valérie Trierweiler has been accused of misappropriating public funds because she is living off taxpayers’ money despite having no legal link to President François Hollande.

The latest attack on the unpopular Trierweiler comes from the French heir of a supermarket empire who lives in Switzerland.

Xavier Kemlin reportedly filed a complaint to the magistrates court in Saint-Etienne, stating that French taxpayers’ money should not be used to “house, feed, and pay the staff and travel expenses” of a woman with whom taxpayers have no legal links.

Liaisons dangereuses

Hollande’s partner has her own office and staff at the Elysée palace while pursuing her career as a journalist at the glossy weekly Paris Match.

“[Hollande] is not married, so she’s not his wife. They have not contracted a civil union, so she’s not his companion… So who is this lady? She’s his mistress”, said Kemlin, referring to the secretive beginnings of the relationship between Valérie Trierweiler and François Hollande, who at the time was living with his life partner, Ségolène Royal.

Kemlin claimed that the presidential couple did not want to get married because combining their assets would lead them “to pay the ISF wealth tax”.

The embezzlement accusations come as the First Lady’s private life will be at the centre of a court hearing on March 20, following Trierweiler’s legal complaint against the authors and editors of an unauthorised biography, “La Frondeuse” (the Trouble-Maker). In this controversial book, the authors allege that Trierweiler was a shared mistress of both François Hollande and a married right-wing minister in the early 2000s. 

 

Date created : 2013-03-17

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