The European Parliament is poised to launch proceedings to reclaim “non-compliant” expenses from the far-right parliamentary grouping that includes France's Front National, Mediapart has learnt. The total amount of the expenses involved, which include “unreasonable” claims of meals costing 400 euros a person, and the purchase of 228 bottles of champagne as gifts, comes to 427,000 euros. Ludovic Lamant and Marine Turchi report.
A vast cellar belonging to Champagne house Pol Roger collapsed in 1900 and buried more than a million bottles of its produce, but recent building work has unearthed 20 of them, which date back to the harvest in 1887, in what appears to be good condition.
Many Champagne producers are opponents of EU rule which should open up new French wine regions for first time in nearly a century.
French capital abandons traditional firework display on Champs Elysées, calling in no fewer than 11,000 police to patrol the festivities.
The new status for Champagne and Burgundy regions spurs wine tours which are seen as major draw in France's bid to increase tourist numbers.
Two of France's top wine-producing areas have been officially classified as sites of special cultural or natural significance.
After enjoying years of growing sales and exports, France's Champagne producers see sales falling even further than in 2012.