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Egypt - France

French PM admits Mubarak paid for Egypt holiday

REUTERS/Charles Platiau

France's prime minister, Francis Fillon, admitted Tuesday that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak lent him and his family a private plane and paid for their New Year's holiday in Egypt. The revelation comes at a time when the French foreign minister is under fire from links with Tunisia's ousted dictator.

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Fillon's office released a statement after the story appeared in the satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaine.

The statement detailed how Fillon and his family were "lodged by Egyptian authorities" during their trip near Egypt's Nile River, which lasted from 26 December until 2 January.

It also noted the prime minister was making this information public "in the interests of transparency".

The announcement came as French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie battled calls for resignation for travelling in a private plane owned by a businessman alledgedly closely linked to the family of ousted Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Unlike Fillon's vacation, which happened about a month before the current uprising began, Alliot-Marie's trip happened when the revolution that deposed Ben Ali was already under way.
 

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