National Assembly

Crisis? What crisis? How the French parliament gravy train rolls on and on

France — Investigation

While austerity measures, budgetary discipline and spending cuts are the watchwords of debates inside the French parliament, the institution itself enjoys a remarkably undisciplined and high-spending regime that pays parliamentary groups yearly subsidies of almost 10 million euros and without demanding any account to ensure the money is spent for legitimate purposes. Mathilde Mathieu reports.

France's own MPs' expenses 'scandal'

France — Investigation

A Mediapart investigation has revealed that a socialist MP used his parliamentary expenses allowance to pay for family holidays abroad. But his is not an isolated case. Instead, it highlights the near total lack of transparency and control over the way that France's Members of Parliament make use of their generous monthly expenses of more than 6,000 euros. A number of MPs are now calling for greater openness in the allowance system, fearing that an expenses scandal such as the one that hit British MPs in 2009 could engulf them. Meanwhile an anti-corruption organisation warns that an MP who can be shown to have misused their allowances could be prosecuted for misappropriation of public money. Valentine Oberti reports.