French minister Zacharopoulou investigated after rape allegations

French minister Zacharopoulou investigated after rape allegations

French minister Zacharopoulou investigated after rape allegations

French minister investigated after rape allegations

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  • Chrysoula Zacharopoulou is a junior minister in President Emmanuel Macron’s government.
  • She is now state secretary for development, Francophonie, and international partnerships.
  • One complaint was lodged May 25 and the investigation opened two days later.
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Prosecutors in France said on Wednesday that they were looking into a junior minister Chrysoula Zacharopoulou in President Emmanuel Macron’s government after two rape allegations were made against her.

According to the French magazine Marianne, the rape allegations date back to when Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, now state secretary for development, Francophonie, and international partnerships, was still a gynecologist.

One complaint was lodged May 25 and the investigation opened two days later, the prosecutors said. The second complaint was filed on June 16. Both allege that the assaults happened in the context of medical care.

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Greece-born Zacharopoulou, 46, joined the government of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in May, having been a member of the European Parliament for the previous three years. She reports to Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna.

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She gained prominence in the mid-2010s by campaigning for greater public awareness of endometriosis together with actress Julie Gayet, who this year married France’s former president Francois Hollande.

She also wrote a report on the illness for the French government.

Zacharopoulou was strongly involved in the UN’s COVAX coronavirus vaccine rollout effort, and has spoken out in favour of women’s reproductive rights.

She was a member of the European Parliament’s women’s rights commission during her time there.

Zacharopoulou studied medicine in Italy before moving to France to practice first in the Begin military hospital near Paris, and then in the Paris hospital service AP-HP.

Contacted by AFP Wednesday, AP-HP said it had no knowledge of any complaints against her.

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The French foreign ministry did not respond to AFP’s requests for comment.

The accusations against Zacharopoulou are not the first rape allegations to shadow Macron’s government and come at a time of political difficulty for the president after he failed to retain an overall majority in parliamentary elections.

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Prosecutors investigated Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin in 2017 following a rape allegation. He denied any wrongdoing, and prosecutors asked for the case to be dropped in January.

In a controversy that erupted last month, Solidarity Minister Damien Abad was also accused of rape, but French prosecutors have said they are not currently investigating.

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