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France

France's right-wing opposition leader accused of shady deals with party funds

media UMP chief Jean-François Copé Reuters/Jean-Marc Loos

A French newspaper has accused the country's main opposition party, the UMP, of paying nearly 20 million euros to a communications company run by associates close to party president Jean-François Copé.

The company, Event and Co is a subsidiary of Bygmalion, run by friends of the right-wing party’s leader.

Background reading: Previous French scandals

According toLibération, there is no sign that some of the events billed to the UMP ever took place.

The accusations come only three months after Copé was accused of irregularities regarding eight million euros the UMP paid to Event and Co during the 2012 presidential campaign.

Although Copé denies the accusations, a preliminary investigation was launched two months ago.

The UMP leader claims that the left-leaning paper was pursuing a political agenda.

.“We’re just 10 days away from the European elections and the same allegations were made against me two months ago, right before the municipal elections,” he said on French radio on Thursday. “These accusations are a mess and the facts have not been properly checked.”
 

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