So much for a new broom. French President Emmanuel Macron was elected promising a break with past, but it seems one of
his ministers has been indulging in the time-honoured political practice of corruptly favouring those close to him.
It is alleged a Socialist member of parliament in Brittany, Richard Ferrand, who was the first political figure to rally to Macron, used his influence to ensure
his girlfriend profited from the move of a local health insurance organisation to new offices, the purchase of which Ferrand organised, with the rents accruing
going to his partner, Françoise Coustal.
A court in Brest has opened a preliminary inquiry, which will also investigate claims of contracts being awarded to friends and family, and a failure to declare
at least two parliamentary assistants. For the moment at least, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe says Ferrand, now a minister, can keep his job.