Under-fire French prime minister Manuel Valls attempted yesterday to quell the backlash from his all-expenses-paid junket to the Champions League final.
Barcelona fan Valls brought two of his children to the showpiece match in Berlin on Saturday in a government aircraft, paid for by the taxpayer, after leaving the Socialist Party conference in Poitiers.
Political opponents have rounded on Valls with Republican politician Nadine Morano writing on Twitter: “Red card for Manuel Valls who has forgotten he’s the prime minister of France.”
And yesterday he told a press conference in Reunion that he would repay the cost of two commercial flights for his two children at a cost of close to €2500 (£1820).
Carton rouge pour Manuel Valls qui oublie qu'il est le Premier Ministre de la France http://t.co/4WQhyG5LDT— Nadine Morano (@nadine__morano) June 7, 2015
Valls said he would not make the trip if the chance arose again but insisted there was “nothing unusual about the trip”.
On Wednesday President of Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Michel Platini had attempted to defend the prime minister, saying he had invited Valls to the game, where they discussed the organisation of the Euro 2016 competition, to be held in France, and the ongoing scandals at FIFA.
Insiders said the row has threatened to overshadow major reforms to labour laws for small businesses.