France's Fillon counts cost of wife 'fake job' claims

Fillon said in a TV interview Thursday that he was "disgusted" at allegations that Welsh-born Penelope Fillon did nothing to earn half a million euros ($534,000) paid from public funds over more than a decade.

France's Fillon counts cost of wife 'fake job' claims

World Bulletin / News Desk

French presidential hopeful Francois Fillon was counting the cost Friday of claims his wife had a fake job in a scandal overshadowing this weekend's vote to pick a leftwing candidate.

He said his wife had "always worked for me" during his four-decade political career and listed tasks she had carried out, including "editing my speeches" and representing him at events.

France's national financial prosecutor has opened a preliminary inquiry into the claims.

A new opinion poll Friday showed that the popularity of Fillon, a former prime minister who is widely seen as the frontrunner in the presidential contest, had taken a hit over the allegations.

Thirty-eight percent of voters across the political spectrum have a "good opinion" of him in the wake of the claims about his wife's jobs, a drop of four points from a poll on January 8, and 16 points less than in early November, the Odoxa poll of 1,012 people showed.

Le Canard Enchaine, the newspaper that made the claims, also alleged that in 2012 and 2013, Penelope Fillon had a job at a literary periodical, La Revue des Deux Mondes, for which she was also paid from the allowance that her husband receives as a member of parliament.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Ocak 2017, 17:50