Lobster vs. kebab: French food fight after minister scandal


Junior Minister of Ecological and Inclusive Transition Brune Poirson, left, listens to new Ecology Minister Elisabeth Borne during the handover ceremony at the ecology ministry, Wednesday, July 17, 2019 in Paris. Francois de Rugy resigned Tuesday following media reports that he has been living a lavish lifestyle at taxpayer expense, including hosting lobster and Champagne soirees and ordering up exorbitant renovations of his ministerial apartment. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

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PARIS (AP) — France’s government spokeswoman says the resignation of the country’s ecology minister over reports of lavish dinners at taxpayers’ expense comes at a time when most people “more likely eat kebabs” than lobster.

Sibeth Ndiaye’s comments came as a new ecology minister took office Wednesday, replacing Francois de Rugy, who stepped down after a series of reports about his spending habits, which included lavish dinners with giant lobsters and costly wine, expensive renovations and chauffeur service during his vacations.

Rugy’s replacement, Elisabeth Borne, has been France’s transport minister. She was named to the post late Tuesday.

Ndiaye said the government had a responsibility not to mix personal and public expenses. Rugy said Wednesday that his years of dedication to improving the environment could not be erased by a single error.

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