French presidential race rocked by financial scandals

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen and centre-right candidate Francois Fillon say accusations of corruption are nothing but politically-motivated vendetta.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Marine Le Pen, the French National Front political party leader and candidate for the 2017 presidential elections, has refused to repay nearly 300,000 euros of EU funds an investigation says she misspent.

France's presidential campaigns may be in full swing, but the front-runners are both caught up in financial scandals.

The leader of the far-right French National Front political party, Marine Le Pen, says she will not repay the $321,000 that the European Parliament says she misspent.

She's accused of using EU taxpayers' money to pay staff, but Le Pen says she's the victim of a politically-motivated vendetta.

The presidential candidate for the centre-right party The Republicans is also facing questions over his finances.

Anti-corruption police raided Francois Fillon's office over allegations that his wife Penelope was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the state for work she did not do. A local newspaper has reported she may have been paid even more than previously thought.

Fillon has called it an institutional coup d'etat against his presidency bid.

TRT World's Myriam Francois has been following France's political saga from London and brings us the latest.

TRTWorld and agencies