In France, Fillon against All Odds

They must be too a sign of the times - presidential races turning to circuses. The latest twist in the French campaign is the investigation of the leading candidate, former Premier François Fillon, prompted by allegations that he paid his wife for years for a fake parliamentary assistant job. When the satirical weekly ‘Canard Enchaîné’ dropped its bombshell on François Fillon at the end of January, alleging that between 1998 and 2007 he had remunerated his British-born wife Penelope and two of their five children for fictional jobs, the financial prosecutor lost no time. Within 24 hours, a probe was launched and Fillon’s office raided. Lawmakers are entitled to employ family members, but the ‘Canard’ said there was no evidence of actual work. Despite Fillon’s protestations that his wife Penelope and their children did, in fact, work and all tax returns were duly filed, the media gleefully seized on the story,...(Read Full Article)