Emmanuel Macron's defense minister resigns over scandal
Posted June 20
French Defense Minister Sylvie Goulard resigned from her role Tuesday after becoming embroiled in a fake jobs scandal.
Goulard, who previously worked in the European Parliament, stepped down after just 38 days on the job amid questions that her party, the Democratic Party (MoDem) -- which is allied with that of French President Emmanuel Macron's -- had misused European Parliament funds.
In a statement, Goulard insisted her resignation was voluntary, adding that she wanted to give Macron the opportunity to restore public confidence in the French institutions.
"The President has undertaken to restore confidence in public action, to reform France and to relaunch Europe, which must take precedence over any personal consideration," she said in a statement.
"This is why I asked the President, in agreement with the Prime Minister, not to be part of the government anymore."
During his campaign, Macron said cleaning up French politics would be one of his priorities.
He promised to ban politicians from employing members of their family as staff and to ensure they disclose all their personal matters while in office.
That policy was announced as presidential candidate Fran-ois Fillon was placed under formal investigation on multiple counts, including embezzlement of public funds.
Goulard's resignation came as Paris prosecutors launched a preliminary investigation into claims by the French newspaper Canard Enchaine that her party was using European parliamentary funds to pay its staff based in France.
It also came one day after Macron removed Richard Ferrand from his Cabinet over allegations of financial impropriety.
Ferrand, a close ally of Macron's who helped manage the now-President's election campaign, has been caught up in allegations that he and his domestic partner benefited improperly from property deals done six years ago by a health insurance fund he managed in the Brittany region.
Instead, Ferrand will now lead La Republique En Marche's huge majority in parliament.
Macron's party won 308 of the 577 seats in Sunday's second round of legislative elections.