Undeclared  Gifts  Scandal Shakes New French Minister of Health

Undeclared Gifts Scandal Shakes New French Minister of Health

Fri 22 Dec 2023 17:46
The recent appointment of Agnès Firmin-Le Bodo as the Minister of Health in France has quickly turned into a media storm, marked by allegations of undeclared gifts from a pharmaceutical company. Just two days after taking office on December 20, the minister finds herself at the center of an investigation into gifts totaling 20,000 euros that she allegedly failed to declare.

Formerly the Minister Delegate for Territorial Organization and Health Professions, Agnès Firmin-Le Bodo confirmed on December 22 that she is under investigation related to her past as a pharmacist. The case, revealed by the news site Mediapart, suggests that the minister received luxury items such as watches, bottles of wine, champagne magnums, and weekend packages 21 times between 2015 and 2020 from the Urgo laboratories.

This controversy arises in an already tense political context, with the left protesting against the immigration law. However, Agnès Firmin-Le Bodo asserts that she is fulfilling her current duties and does not seem to be considering resignation at the moment. When interviewed by France Bleu Normandie, she stated, I assume the responsibilities that are mine, while emphasizing that the ongoing investigation focuses on her profession as a pharmacist.

Several organizations, including Attac and Anticor, have become involved in the case by listing the alleged gifts and disseminating information. Criticisms are also surfacing on social media, with the rebellious Euro MP Manon Aubry ironically highlighting ethical breaches and legal entanglements as criteria for entry into the government.

It is worth noting that Urgo laboratories were already fined 1,125,000 euros in January 2023 for exchanging gifts with pharmacists in exchange for the abandonment of commercial discounts. The current investigation into Agnès Firmin-Le Bodo is a continuation of this conviction, shedding light on the links between the minister and the pharmaceutical company s reprehensible practices.

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