Ségolène Royal, French President François Hollande's former partner and the mother of his four children, has denied claims she ordered female staff at the Environment Ministry to "dress appropriately" and avoid revealing tops.
The report, published by French weekly Le Point on Thursday, claimed Royal, who joined Hollande's Socialist government following a cabinet reshuffle earlier this month, had also banned smoking in the ministry’s courtyard and gardens in her presence.
Denying the “ridiculous rumours” on her Twitter account, Royal said the only instruction she had given colleagues was to be sparing in their use of public funds.
"I obviously deny the ridiculous rumour about a ban on cleavage at the Environment Ministry!"
This is not the first such report to emerge in the French press.
Last week, L’Express, another French weekly, said the new environment minister had also banned the “bise”, France’s traditional cheek kiss, urging staff to greet her with a more formal handshake instead.
A formal presidential runner-up, Royal, 60, has made a remarkable comeback after a string of political setbacks, including a humiliating defeat in parliamentary elections in 2012.
She has been criticized in the past for her allegedly dictatorial behavior and is often described by French media as the “Iron Lady”.
Date created : 2014-04-24