The European General Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Marine Le Pen against a decision by the European Parliament to recover close to 300,000 euros from the extreme-right former Euro-parliamentarian for misusing a parliamentary assistant. The Luxembourg-based court dismissed the appeal by the head of the National Rally (ex-National Front), requesting the annulment of the parliament’s decision, taken in late 2016.
Marine Le Pen “has not been able to prove that her assistant performed actual work for her,” the Court stated in a press release. “She has not provided evidence of any activity whatsoever on the part of the assistant that comes under parliamentary assistance, which she moreover acknowledged at the hearing.”
The same jurisdiction had already rejected a petition by Le Pen last year to stop withholdings on her salary that the European Parliament had imposed to recover its money, estimated at 298,500 euros.
A European member of parliament from 2009 to 2017, Le Pen had seen her parliamentary and subsistence allowances cut by half since early 2017. The withholdings stopped when she left the European Parliament in 2017. By that time, about 60,000 euros had been reimbursed. To recover the remainder, the institution is awaiting the result of a civil-action suit by Le Pen that is pending in France.
In March, the European Court confirmed another decision of the European Parliament, which had demanded, for the same reasons, the reimbursement of 600,000 euros by former National Front parliamentarians Jean-Marie Le Pen and Bruno Gollnisch.
In May, FN Euro-parliamentarian Mylène Troszczynski had had a similar suit dismissed by the EU court. She has to repay the European Parliament 56,000 euros.
The Brussels Times