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France

FRANCE 24 chief says her mandate ‘cancelled’ over administrative glitch

© Martin Bureau, AFP | Marie-Christine Saragosse, 57, has been at the helm of France Médias Monde since 2012.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-02-14

The president of FRANCE 24’s parent company, France Médias Monde (FMM), said Tuesday her mandate had been automatically cancelled after she missed a deadline to disclose her personal assets.

Marie-Christine Saragosse, who has been at the helm of the state-funded media group since 2012, had won a second five-year term only last year.

In a letter to FMM staff, Saragosse said she was “stunned” to discover that her mandate had been cancelled after she failed to meet new administrative requirements she was unaware of.

Under French law, ministers and high-ranking civil servants are required to disclose their assets before an ethics watchdog known as the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life.

Saragosse, 57, said she had disclosed her assets when solicited by the High Authority in 2013 and 2015, but was unaware that new rules meant she had to do so again unsolicited.

The case will be examined by the Higher Audiovisual Council (CSA), France’s broadcasting authority, which had praised Saragosse’s management when announcing her reappointment last year.

Should her position be again opened to applicants, Saragosse said she would “obviously be a candidate”. In the meantime, an emergency board meeting will be convened to put in place a transitional administration, she added.

The incident comes at a sensitive time for France’s state media, just two weeks after the CSA fired Mathieu Gallet, the chairman of public radio broadcaster Radio France, following a conviction for graft at a previous job.

Reporting on Saragosse’s case, French daily Le Monde said Wednesday that several heads of public institutions were expected to face similar difficulties in the coming weeks.

Date created : 2018-02-14

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