Resignation of No. 2 of the French Government

The French government’s number two, François de Rugy, is stuck in a series of accusations over his “glitzy” lifestyle, announced Tuesday his resignation from the Ministry of Ecology, one of President Emmanuel’s stated priorities. Macron.
The resignation of François de Rugy again marks this ministry, 11 months after the resignation of his popular predecessor Nicolas Hulot, who had slammed the door by denouncing the government’s inaction on environmental issues. Rugy was replaced on Tuesday evening by Élisabeth Borne, previously Minister of Transport, who will not, however, have the rank of Minister of State of his predecessor, announced the presidency.

At the age of 45, de Rugy, a former member of the ecologist party who rallied to President Macron, was in the hot seat for several days after cascading revelations from the Mediapart news site.

Glitzy dinners

The site first pinned its sumptuous dinners at the Hôtel de Lassay, Mr. de Rugy’s residence when he presided over the National Assembly (2017-2018). Lobsters, champagne and grand cru wines from the cellars of the Assembly were served at tables of 10 to 30 guests, mostly friends and acquaintances of his wife, Séverine de Rugy, a journalist for the Gala people magazine , according to Mediapart.

Then a low-rent housing unit was pointed out unduly occupied by her chief of staff, who was immediately dismissed, and expensive work in her own office apartment at the ministry.

Mr de Rugy explained that these “informal dinners” were part of a “representation work” for his duties and denied any “lavish evening” or unjustified work.

But he struggled to convince in a country agitated by seven months of sling “yellow vests” against social injustices. And calls for resignation have multiplied up within the presidential party The Republic in March (LREM).

“There is a level of exemplarity requirement that now seems to be rising on the part of public opinion,” said communications specialist Arnaud Benedetti.

“Media letting”

The number two government, which was scheduled to present Tuesday in the Senate bill “Energy and Climate” and before facing a questioning session in the National Assembly promises to be stormy, ended up throwing in the towel.

“The attacks and the media lynching that my family is undergoing today lead me to take the necessary step backwards … The mobilization necessary to defend myself makes me unable to calmly and effectively assume the mission entrusted to me by the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, “wrote François de Rugy in a statement.

“From then on, I submitted my resignation to the Prime Minister this morning” [Tuesday], he added. President Macron, who had supported him in recent days, accepted this choice.

The Presidency stressed that this was a “personal decision” by Mr de Rugy, which the President “respects so that he can defend himself fully and freely”.

“We have no indication that rules have been broken,” said spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye.

François de Rugy said he filed a libel suit against Mediapart, which he accuses of “untruths”.

“Since the beginning of last week, Mediapart [m ‘] attacks on the basis of stolen photos, gossip, approximations, elements outside my function”. “The will to harm, to dirty, to demolish, is not in doubt. I am subject to a rolling fire of new questions and forced to constantly fight new attacks, “he lamented.

On Twitter Tuesday, he discussed the fate of former Prime Minister Pierre Beregovoy, who committed suicide on 1 st May 1993 after having been, in the words of then president Francois Mitterrand, “delivered to the dogs” .

“Mediapart has only done its job and will continue to do,” reacted Tuesday a journalist on the site, Fabrice Arfi. “The resignation of Mr. Rugy […] shows one thing: the information was stronger than the communication,” he said.

The site was preparing to publish a new survey on the use of his professional expenses of deputy and sent Monday new questions to François de Rugy.

“This resignation was imperative. The lack of transparency and the pomp of receptions undermine trust in our institutions, “said in a tweet Julien Bayou, the spokesperson of the ecologist party Europe-Ecology Greens.

A “dignified and responsible choice,” said Aurore Bergé, spokeswoman for the LREM party.

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