French culture minister’s publishing house under investigation

FILE PHOTO: 71st Cannes Film Festival - Opening ceremony and screening of the film "Everybody Knows" (Todos lo saben) in competition - Red Carpet Arrivals - Cannes, France, May 8, 2018. France's Minister of Culture Francoise Nyssen arrives. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

PARIS (Reuters) – Paris prosecutors opened a preliminary probe on Thursday into possible building violations by a publishing house co-founded by culture minister Francoise Nyssen, a judicial source said.

Investigators launched the probe after Le Canard Enchaine satirical weekly reported that Nyssen and her husband had enlarged Actes Sud’s Paris office without informing city and tax authorities.

The publishing house said in a statement that it would take “all necessary action” to bring its offices in line with building regulations.

Nyssen told journalists that Actes Sud’s statement required no further comment and said that “no company is above the law”.

Eager to keep sleaze from weakening his reform drive, President Emmanuel Macron has insisted that he would hold ministers to the highest ethical standards.

Though government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux has said Nyssen fully enjoyed Macron’s support, the investigation is an embarrassment for a minister in charge of setting standards for protecting historical buildings and other sites.

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