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    French Minister of the Armed Forces Sylvie Goulard (C) attends the ceremony to mark the 77th anniversary of late French General Charles de Gaulle's resistance call of June 18, 1940, at the Mont Valerien memorial in Suresnes, near Paris, France, June 18, 2017

    French DM Resigns Over Misuse of EU Parliament Assistants Investigation

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    French Armed Services Minister Sylvie Goulard resigned after the French Prosecutor's Office launched a preliminary investigation into the misuse of European Parliament assistants by her the Democratic Movement (MoDem) party.

    PARIS (Sputnik) — French Armed Services Minister Sylvie Goulard stepped down on Tuesday amid an investigation into the misuse of European Parliament assistants by her the Democratic Movement (MoDem) party, Goulard said in a communique Tuesday.

    On June 9, media reported that the French Prosecutor's Office launched a preliminary investigation on the breach of trust and concealment of the breach of trust against the MoDem after former party member Jean-Luc Benhamias, sent a letter to the prosecution, claiming that he was partly paid in 2010-2011 with EU parliament funds for work that he in fact did for the party.

    "Given the possibility that a preliminary investigation into MoDem will lead to a review of the conditions for the employment of my assistants in the European Parliament, I would like to have the opportunity to demonstrate the goodwill and work that I conducted," Goulard said.

    Goulard also underlined that she resigned in order to protect the reputation of the French army from the controversy that the investigation could cause.

    "The honor of the army, of the men and women who serve sometimes putting their lives at risk, cannot be involved in controversies that have nothing to do with them," Goulard noted.

    Goulard resigned one month after she was appointed by French President Emmanuel Macron. Following the legislative election, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is expected to announce the new government on Wednesday.

    Last week, Richard Ferrand had to resign from the position of the French minister of territorial cohesion after the prosecution opened a preliminary investigation into his past activities. Ferrand was the head of a non-profit health insurance company in the Brittany region six years ago, when his partner and ex-wife were reportedly able to win contracts from the fund while Ferrand was its head. Politician's partner also rented office space out for the fund, later securing a business loan with the help of rental income from the organization.

    The issue of fictitious jobs of the French politicians and parties has been high-profile over the recent months mainly in connection with the fake job scandals, most notably in relation to Former Prime Minister Francois Fillon, member of The Republicans party.


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