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President François Hollande's special advisor Aquilino Morelle dramatically quit his job on Friday after Mediapart published revelations about his conflict of interest while working as a government inspector. Morelle, a friend of current French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, carried out private consultancy work for a pharmaceutical company while working for France's public service inspectorate, the Inspection générale des affaires sociales (IGAS). Though Morelle insisted the work had been correctly declared at the time, both his former boss and IGAS itself say he was never given authorisation. The departure of a key figure from the presidential Elysée Palace over claims of an undeclared conflict of interest will be a major embarrassment for President Hollande who, during his 2012 election campaign, promised an “exemplary Republic” under his leadership. Michaël Hajdenberg reports.
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