Elysee palace to issue 'transparency charter' on role of French president's wife

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The issue has become a new political headache for Macron after an online petition against creating the role garnered more than 200,000 signatures and a poll showed a majority of French people were also opposed.

Secondly, timing: Macron's campaign rival, François Fillon, was dogged by allegations that he paid hundreds of thousands of euros to his wife in a sham role as a parliamentary assistant.

It is explicitly stated that the refusal was aimed at an initiative to grant special status to President Macron's wife because it is related to the budget tightening that is being launched by the country.

Instead, the presidency will clarify Brigitte Macron's resources and make public the cost to the public purse, the source and the BFM news channel said.

U.S. President Donald Trump has been profusely criticized for assigning his family members to official positions in his administration.

Macron's intention to have his wife serve concurrently as a first lady as well as another post not yet specified first arose during his campaign, so it shouldn't be too surprising to the French people.

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French presidents' spouses are allotted an office in the Elysée Palace, security guards and a small staff. He wrote: "We fiercely denounce all sexist attacks against Brigitte Macron and we do not question her skills".

Thierry Paul Valette, the petition's creator, made an effort to distance it from personal attacks levied against Brigitte Macron.

One survey published last week showed just 36%of respondents held a positive view of him.

The controversial move comes as Macron is preparing to pass a law which would ban French parliamentarians from employing members of their own families.

Brigitte would "have the role that she's always had".

"She will have a role, she won't be hidden because she's part of my life", he explained.

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