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France

Fillon to meet with party lawmakers over ‘fake jobs’?

media Francois Fillon, former French prime minister, member of The Republicans political party and 2017 presidential candidate of the French centre-right, attends a political rally in Saint-Pierre as he campaigns on the French Indian Ocean island of the Reunion. REUTERS/Laurent Capmas

Parliamentary deputies belonging to the conservative Les Républicains party, whose beleaguer presidential candidate Francois Fillon is still under fire over allegations he placed them, have called for a meeting with Fillon this morning.

According to reports from the French news agency AFP, the lawmakers want to outline their discontent with the ongoing controversy an, according to one deputy, "explain that is impossible to conduct" [a presidential campaign]” with the controversy still raging.

“We have discussed what is going on and noted the damage on the ground that all these affairs are having, and the difficulty it poses in conducting a campaign,” Georges Fenech, a supporter of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, said.

The participants at the meeting of deputies last night – said to include about 40 MPs - say they have decided to “ring the alarm bells very loudly” and want confront Fillon at Les Républicains weekly meeting Tuesday.

Fenech also pointed out that the group did not have an alternative to Fillon.

Over the weekend , François Fillon vowed to "fight to the end" at a rally on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion Sunday as a newspaper claimed that judges could order action against him this week.

The embattled French presidential candidate faces allegations that members of his family held fake jobs as parliamentary assistants for him.

"I am being attacked 24 hours a day but I also receive countless messages of support," Fillon told an election rally on Réunion, a French overseas department. "I will fight to the end because my programme is the only one capable of reviving France."
Fillon and his family are under investigation but have not been charged.

The Journal Du Dimanche paper on Sunday cited sources at the French fraud office saying that legal action against Fillon and his wife could be launched this week.

 

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