French president Macron wants to give a role to his wife

45 views
French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron.

PARIS - French President Emmanuel Macron wants to formalize the role of the president's wife amid controversy over the cost and status of the first lady.

The president's office is preparing a formal communication in coming days, Brigitte Macron's office said Tuesday.

During his presidential campaign, the 39-year-old outspoken centrist promised more "transparency" on the issue. France's first lady doesn't have an official status.

As the president's popularity drops in polls, more than 270,000 people have signed a petition in the past few weeks against the plan to grant a tax-funded budget to finance his wife's activities.

Brigitte Macron currently has an office at the Elysee palace and a staff composed of two advisers and two secretaries, as well as bodyguards.

Publicly, she is mostly seen at her husband's side.

The status of the president's partner appears to be a sensitive issue in France following a series of scandals in the past few decades, including Macron predecessor Francois Hollande's complex private life.

There hasn't been a presidential spouse in the Elysee Palace since 2012, when former President Nicolas Sarkozy and his supermodel wife Carla Bruni left.

Macron once said he wants to end "French hypocrisy" about the status of presidential spouses. The person living with the president "must be able to play a role and be recognized for that role" but wouldn't be paid for it, he said before his election. - AP


45 views