FRENCH ministers accused of dining at illegal luxury restaurants during strict coronavirus lockdown
If you can’t stand the heat, don’t go into the kitchen in the first place. That’s the advice being given to several senior French politicians who have been accused of eating out in clandestine pop-up luxury restaurants during the strict coronavirus lockdown, while the other mere mortals were forced to stay at home. A report broadcast on TV M6 on Friday, April 2 allegedly shows hidden camera footage of ministers attending dinners with menus ranging anywhere from €160 to €490, without wearing masks or respecting social distancing measures.
“People who come here take off their masks. Once you walk through the door there is no Covid. We want people to feel comfortable. This is a private club. We want people to feel at home, “explained the organiser of one of these pop-up parties.
The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, has now asked the Paris Police to open an investigation into the allegations, while, the delegate Minister of Citizenship, Marlène Schiappa, said that if it is found that any member of the Executive has attended these clandestine dinners, they will be fined and sanctioned “just like any other citizen.”
The owner of a mansion dedicated to organising posh events in Paris, Pierre-Jean Chalencon, was identified after appearing anonymously on the TV programme, and following severe social media backlash, he retracted his claims that several ministers attended illegal dinner parties at his property.
If identified, the organisers of these alleged parties face up to one year in prison and a €15,000 fine for endangering the lives of others, according to Spanish daily El Correo. Any politicians or other customers found to have attended the dinners will have to pay two fines of €135: one for not wearing a mask and another for breaching curfew.