French Protest Emmanuel Macron’s Plans to Give Official ‘First Lady’ Status to Wife

French President Emmanuel Macron has come under fire over plans to give his wife official status as “First Lady” of France.

Macron, who took office in May, is facing accusations of hypocrisy after he was previously outspoken in his determination to rid the French political system of nepotism.

A petition with close to 200,000 signatures has been launched in protest at the decision to give Brigitte Macron an official role with access to public funds, her own staff and office.

“Brigitte Macron currently has a team of two or three aides, as well as two secretaries and two security agents. That’s enough,” says the petition.

“It is up to the people of France — and no-one else — to choose their representatives,” it adds.

According to the French constitution, the president’s spouse does not enjoy an official role, though they do have an office and advisers.

During his presidential campaign, Macron said any role for his wife would not be paid for out of public funds.

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SOURCE: CNN, James Masters