French minister accused of rape leaves Macron’s government amid reshuffle

EuroActiv Politico News

Damien Abad, France’s shortly appointed minister for solidarity is leaving the government in a post-election reshuffle, the Elysée announced on Monday morning.

Abad faced rape, or attempted rape, allegations from multiple women in the last weeks, which he is denying. Authorities opened investigations against Abad.

On Monday, French TV BFMTV reported that another woman testified against Abad.

The new government will meet on Monday at 4 p.m. for its first cabinet meeting. Most ministers from Macron’s post-reelection government are keeping their jobs. Abad, the former minister for solidarity and disabled people, is replaced by Jean-Christophe Combe, who was the head of the French Red Cross up until now.

Clément Beaune, France’s minister on European affairs, will take the transport portfolio. He is replaced by OECD Chief Economist Laurence Boone.

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to appoint his former health minister, Olivier Véran as government spokesperson, in charge “of democratic renewal.” Véran steered France through the COVID-19 pandemic during his tenure as health minister. Francois Braun will be named as France’s new health minister.

Olivia Grégoire, who shortly held the spokesperson position, will inherit the trade and SMEs portfolio.

Chrysoula Zacharopoulou — a former Renew Europe MEP, and gynecologist who also faced rape allegations from patients, is staying in the government as international development junior minister.

This article was updated.