The candidate in presidents of France from the right-wing “Republicans” Francois Fillon was at the center of a political-financial scandal due to the recruitment of his wife and children to work, at a press conference on Monday, February 6, apologized to the French and admitted his mistake. However, he stated that in his actions there was nothing illegal. Fillon reiterated the determination to continue the struggle for the French presidency as the candidate of the right-wing “Republicans”.
Fillon said he understood the feelings of the French people after revelations of the press, and promised to clarify the situation. He stated that he had not violated the law and that all his actions were transparent.
Francois Fillon: “Courage for a politician is to admit his mistake. To cooperate with members of his family in politics is a practice, which today rejected the French. What was acceptable in the past, is rejected and is unacceptable today. Working with my wife and children, I’m at the head of the corner relationship of trust that today cause distrust. It was a mistake. I deeply regret and want to apologize to the French. Like many other MPs, I acted in accordance with established practice, of course, legitimate, but which our citizens no longer accept. I have made these conclusions for more than three years ago, ceasing cooperation with family members, unlike many other politicians, who today teaches me a lesson.”
The average monthly salary of his wife Penelope in 3677 Euro as his parliamentary assistant he called “justified” and added that his wife was really his employee was engaged in the “simple but important things” (e.g., handled his correspondence, was schedule). Fillon said that he sees no reason for compensation to budget amounts, which his wife received as his parliamentary assistant for many years.
The contracts of two of their children in the French Senate he called completely legal.
Fillon noted that among the clients of his consulting company 2F Conseil was not the Russian authorities, as well as any Russian company.
According to him, nobody can question his victory at the primaries of the right-wing and centrists. “I chose the millions of the French, I am not a candidate of the party. No authority has the right to challenge the results of voting at the primaries,” he said.
Surrounded by the Fillon presented this press conference as a “counter-attack”. Many called it the last chance for the candidate of his own party members have called to abandon the struggle for the presidency.
The scandal of right-wing candidate erupted after the satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné said that the wife of the candidate Penelope Fillon has received more than 800 thousand euros, working as a parliamentary assistant to her husband and his “mate” Mark Julot, and about 100 thousand — in the edition of the Revue des deux Mondes, owned by a friend of Fillon, billionaire Mark Ladreit de Lacharriere. In the magazine say that they never saw Penelope Fillon at the office. In addition, according to media reports, she didn’t have a pass to the National Assembly, no special e-mail address of the parliamentary assistant.
The Prosecutor’s office opened a preliminary investigation, interviewed the spouses Fillon and conducted searches in Parliament and in the Revue des deux Mondes. Investigators became interested in the sum of 83 thousand euros, which Fillon, as a Senator, paid children for parliamentary work. The politician insists that paid to his son Charles and daughter Marie for legal services, although they were not professional lawyers.
According to a recent poll published in Le Journal du Dimanche, 68% of French would like to Fillon was nominated for President. 77% of respondents do not consider him honest.