French presidential candidate Francois Fillon got his wife and kids jobs paying $1.5 million: Report

Francois Fillon and his wife, Penelope, at a political rally in Paris, France, Jan 29, 2017.
Francois Fillon and his wife, Penelope, at a political rally in Paris, France, Jan 29, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - French presidential candidate Francois Fillon got his wife and two of his children jobs that paid nearly €1 million (S$1.5 million), according to new claims in the Canard Enchaine newspaper on Tuesday (Jan 31).

The conservative candidate's wife Penelope earned €900,000 as a parliamentary aide and at a literary review owned by his friend, and two of his five children were employed as parliamentary assistants, earning a further €84,000, the report alleged.

Fillon was the long-time frontrunner in the presidential race but his popularity has dropped since the same newspaper alleged last week that Welsh-born Penelope had earned half a million euros, but that it could find no evidence of the parliamentary work she did.

A poll published on Sunday showed that Marine Le Pen, the leader of the anti-immigration and anti-EU National Front (FN), would score highest in the first round of the election on April 23, followed by Fillon and the centrist Emmanuel Macron almost neck-and-neck.