According to Alliot-Marie's statements in public, her relationship with Aziz Miled is nothing other than one of friendship. On the Europe 1 French commercial radio station she said of her holidays in Tunisia: "I was knackered [...] I relaxed and I saw only contacts who were friends. Yes, OK, this is possible, and I profoundly regret it."
Once again, the argument she gave is somewhat economical with the facts. This week, the Canard Enchaîné, in its edition published February 15th revealed that, during her holidays, her parents signed an investment agreement with Miled to buy up shares reportedly worth more than 300,000 euros in his property development company Ikram.
"If I sometimes take holidays in Tunisia, it is at my expense, the trip and the hotel": Alliot-Marie speaking before French parliament February 2nd.
Nothing until now has been presented to show that the minister did indeed pay her own expenses during her family holiday at the Tabarka Beach Hotel, as is what she claimed before MPs during a French parliament session on February 2nd.
Alliot-Marie has said that she paid for the plane tickets to and from Tunisia, and her parents offered the hotel accommodation. The ministry has so far refused to communicate the amount paid for the hotel. It is therefore unknown whether the minister's party paid the normal rate or a subsidized one, nor is it possible to establish with certainty that they were not quite simply invited for a free stay by Aziz Miled.
Mediapart reporters who travelled to Tabarka and who approached personnel at the hotel were met with silence. It appeared likely they have been told not to talk to the press.
English version: Graham Tearse