PARIS — French prosecutors mentioned Friday that that they had begun a full-scale investigation into whether or not a number one presidential candidate, François Fillon, had embezzled public finances.
The announcement complex what have been a initial inquiry into studies that Mr. Fillon had misused public finances to a brand new degree wherein fees might be introduced towards him. It additionally threw an already unsettled presidential race additional into turmoil.
Mr. Fillon’s felony difficulties building up the chance — extraordinary in trendy French historical past — that the presidential election this spring might be fought between two applicants from out of doors the key political events. One is the far-right chief of the Nationwide Entrance, Marine Le Pen; the opposite is Emmanuel Macron, a centrist and previous financial system minister who isn’t affiliated with a birthday party.
Till ultimate month, Mr. Fillon, the candidate of the center-right Republicans birthday party, gave the impression set to cruise to France’s presidency with little issue. A conservative former high minister, he has campaigned on guarantees of absolute probity and a program of austerity to curb France’s hovering deficit.
However the ones planks had been overtaken ultimate month when Le Canard Enchaîné, a number one investigative and satirical newspaper, printed articles suggesting that Mr. Fillon’s spouse, Penelope, had for years been paid out of public finances as her husband’s parliamentary assistant with no need accomplished any paintings. His kids had been additionally reported to had been at the payroll. Altogether, loads of hundreds of bucks are…