EU claims 339,000 euros from Marine Le Pen over staff pay

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The European Union's anti-fraud office has called for France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen to pay back hundreds of thousands of euros in staff allowances. Officials say Le Pen, president of the Front National (FN), wrongly paid two of her staff out of EU funds in her capacity as a Member of the European parliament when in fact they were mostly engaged in internal party work. In a joint investigation with magazine Marianne, Mediapart can also reveal that French prosecution authorities have broadened their probe into the financing of around 20 FN assistants at the European Parliament. Marine Turchi reports.

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The European Union's anti-fraud office OLAF has asked the European Parliament to begin proceedings to recover hundreds of thousands of euros paid to France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen in her capacity as an MEP, Mediapart and news magazine Marianne can reveal. The Front National (FN) president will be asked to pay back 339,000 euros paid in relation to the employment of two parliamentary assistants, amid claims that these assistants were involved more with party duties than work linked to Le Pen's responsibilities as an MEP. Under EU rules assistants paid for by the European Parliament must perform work “directly linked to the exercise of a Member’s parliamentary mandate”. Le Pen is launching two appeals against the claim.