French Prime Minister Under Fire For Controversial Champions League Visit

Valls and Platini during the Champions league finals
Valls and Platini during the Champions league finals

The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls has apologized to the French populace for spending public funds totaling 15,000 Euros to attend the Champions League finals in Berlin, Germany.

The top official who traveled alongside his two sons for the football event has offered to refund part of the money to the government.

But the country’s opposition figures appear not to have been placated by the offer as they have continued to condemn the trip,which they said was frivolous especially considering the economic downturn most European nations are currently facing.

Also three out of four French people have said they were “shocked” by the trip, which cost up to 15,000 Euros according to government sources.

Valls, who initially defended his actions, has asked the French populace to forgive his indiscretion.

“I am of course sensitive to the reaction of the French people and I have to behave in a completely rigorous way. If the chance came up again, I wouldn’t do it again. And to remove any doubt, I have decided to pay the costs for my two children, amounting to 2,500 Euros ($2,800),” Valls said in a press statement.

Valls is said to be a staunch Barcelona native and fan of the team which won the match 3-1.

Vall’s initial claim that he had been invited to the event by UEFA president, Michael Platini has further angered the opposition who express doubt about the claim.

Platini in a brief intervention on Wednesday said the embattled prime minister had come at his invitation to watch the match and also discuss the upcoming EURO 2016 tournament.

“I told Mr Valls that if Barcelona reached the final, I would invite him … I kept my word,” Platini said at a news conference in Paris.






     

     

    The French authorities have waded into the matter calling for calm even as they attempted defending the prime minister.

    Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Valls took the right decision by offering to pay back his children’s trip.
    “The prime minister’s trip was completely justifiable … it’s behind us,” said Fabius on French television.

    President Francois Hollande also came to the rescue of Valls on Wednesday when said the prime minister actually went to Berlin to discuss important matters concerning UEFA.

    Sources however claim that Hollande was appalled at the political damage the trip would do to his government if not properly managed.

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