Petition against French First Lady Brigitte Macron garners 160,000 signatures

Brigitte Macron, wife of the French President, welcomes pop star Rihanna to the Elysee Palace in Paris on July 26, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - More than 160,000 people have signed an online petition against the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron being given a formal position as the country's First Lady.

The petition on began two weeks ago to demand that no public money be set aside for the First Lady role which Macron promised to create for his wife Brigitte on the campaign trail ahead of his victory in May.

"Brigitte Macron currently has a team of two or three aides, as well as two secretaries and two security agents. That's enough," says the petition which had collected 160,000 signatories by Sunday.

Macron, 39, promised to create the position for his 64-year-old wife to clarify her status but promised that she would not be paid from public funds.

Far-left opponents of Macron in parliament have already protested against the plan at a time when the government is cutting budgets and about to pass a new law to prevent MPs from hiring family members as assistants.

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