French defence minister Sylvie Goulard quits over fake job scandal
Paris, June 20 (IANS): France newly-appointed Defence Minister and former MEP Sylvie Goulard on Tuesday resigned from Emmanuel Macrons government amid an investigation into the misuse of European parliamentary funds in her party, a media report said.
Goulard, who was appointed in May, has asked not to be considered as part of the new government after parliamentary elections delivered a landslide victory for Macron’s Republique En Marche and her own MoDem party, the Financial Times reported.
The investigation centres around the misuse of MoDem’s funds in the hiring of assistants in the European Parliament.
Goulard said her resignation was an act of “good faith” as the investigation overshadows her party.
“The President of the Republic is working to restore confidence in public action, reform France and relaunch Europe. This work should have precedence over any personal consideration,” Goulard said in a statement.
“Defence is a demanding portfolio. The honour of our armies, that of the men and women who serve and put their lives in danger should not be mixed up in controversies that have nothing to do with them,” she said.
Goulard served as an MEP in Parliament’s liberal grouping Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) from 2009 to 2017.
Marielle de Sarnez, Minister for European Affairs in Prime Minister Édouard Philippe’s government, is also targeted by the probe but has made no statement about her status in government, reports said.