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The Minister of Ecological Transition François de Rugy, here on July 11, 2019. GEORGES GOBET / AFP

Surrounded by François de Rugy because she occupied a social housing in Paris without living there, her former head of cabinet Nicole Klein counter-attack in the columns of the newspaper Ouest-France this Friday, July 12.

It is a wounded woman who is engaged in the pages of Ouest-France . At 67, the former prefect with impeccable service was found swept away by the case of Rugy. Mediapart revealed Wednesday that Nicole Klein occupied a housing HLM in Paris from 2006 to 2018 when she no longer lived in the capital.

A " Mediapart journalist arrived without warning at my door at 9 pm Monday night and left me a little over 24 hours to answer his questions, " she told the regional daily Friday . In the columns of the newspaper, she defends herself, explains that she spent her weekends and holidays in this HLM, according to her changes.

Nicole Klein is bitter and angry when she talks about her former boss François de Rugy and her departure : telephoned in five minutes. She overwhelms him. " He wanted to save his head by offering mine (...) The way he dismissed me is enough " to explain the man he is.

How Rugy will be accountable

This testimony will not improve the image of the Minister of Ecological Transition François de Rugy, targeted since Wednesday by a series of Mediapart surveys: a first concerning lavish dinners when he was President of the National Assembly, a second on the work done in his company housing for 63 000 euros, a third about a low rent apartment he rents near Nantes since 2016.

Yesterday, François de Rugy had to shorten a visit in Deux-Sèvres to respond to a summons of Prime Minister Édouard Philippe to Matignon. At this meeting, the minister pledged to justify his entertainment expenses and the renovation bill for his office apartment, and to repay " every euro contested " .

Concerning the renovation, Matignon will check that the expenses are justified and that the rules have been respected. The inspection started this Friday, it will last a week. The expenses of representation will be peeled by the Secretary General of the National Assembly. As President of the Assembly, François de Rugy had about 450 000 euros a year to receive guests, provided that it was working meals. This is the precise point that the investigation will have to clarify.