Juppe and son to move out of flats in corruption row

STEPHEN JESSEL

Paris

Amid rumours of the imminent resignation of the Prime Minister, Alain Juppe, the French franc came under attack yesterday and prices fell on the Paris stock exchange.

Mr Juppe denied the rumours last night, and said he and his son would move out of apartments owned by the city of Paris which have been the subject of a judicial investigation of allegations Mr Juppe abused power to lower rent or pay for renovations. "My children have or will move in the coming weeks and I will do the same to turn the page which is for me a deep wound," he said.

It was not clear what effect, if any, the move would have on the investigation of his actions while assistant Paris mayor in charge of finances from 1989 to 1993.

The rumours were prompted by the disclosure that police had opened a preliminary inquiry into possible abuse by Mr Juppe of his position to allocate himself a luxury flat belonging to the city of Paris, and to reduce the rent of another city-owned flat let to his son.

At this stage the affair stops short of being a major scandal but it is proving embarrassing and damaging to the Prime Minister. The political rumour mill has begun to grind out names of possible successors in the unlikely event that President Jacques Chirac feels able to do without Mr Juppe.

A collapse in support for the Prime Minister was confirmed by three opinion polls yesterday which showed that, in the space of a month, backing for Mr Juppe had fallen by 21 percentage points in one poll, 18 in a second poll and 16 in a third. They provided little comfort for Mr Chirac, whose own standing fell by 10, 11 and 13 points in the surveys.

Although tax increases, a public-sector wage freeze and disappointment over the failure of the government to achieve early economic success lie behind the steady drop in the two men's ratings, Mr Juppe is being further damaged by the controversy about the use of city-owned housing. He appeared to have beaten back one legal challenge arising from revelations that he reduced the rent of a flat let to his son Laurent, by Fr1,000 a month while in charge of the finances at the Paris city hall. Prosecutors decided that since Mr Juppe himself had not benefited financially he had committed no offence.

But attention has turned to an apartment let to Mr Juppe, in a chic area of central Paris at a rent well below the market rate. Claims that he was not directly involved in the distribution of city-owned flats appear to have been demolished by evidence from a city employee that Mr Juppe was closely involved in allotting flats, authorising repair work and setting rents. Renovation work worth Fr1.1m (pounds 140,000) was done to Mr Juppe's flat before he moved in.

The case is with prosecutors who have asked Paris city hall for a number of documents, and called on the police to conduct an inquiry to establish the facts. The legal position is not clear, as any offence committed by Mr Juppe may be covered by a statute of limitations.

Franc tumbles, page 20

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam