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French minister in lobster, fine wine scandal resigns



French Environment Minister Francois de-Rugy, on Tuesday resigned after days of controversy about fancy dinners he hosted as head of the National Assembly.

The site published photographs it said were from the taxpayer-funded meals featuring lobster and wine costing between 100 and 550 euros (113 to 619 dollars) a bottle.

“The activity needed to defend myself means that I am not able to calmly and effectively carry out the mandate that the President of the Republic and Prime Minister have charged me with,” de-Rugy wrote.

The former Green party lawmaker claimed that Mediapart; “has been attacking me on the basis of stolen photos, gossip, approximations, and things that have nothing to do with my role.”

On Thursday, a source in Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s office said that the dinners, and works on de Rugy’s official apartment as minister, would be investigated.

He, however, promised to “repay every euro’’ if any doubts remained.

De-Rugy, who chaired the National Assembly between June 2017 and September 2018, has said the dinners were held with other political, media and business figures as part of his role.

His resignation is the second embarrassing loss of an environment minister of President Emmanuel Macron’s cabinet.