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Backlash as Macron bids for state to bankroll wife

By Staff Reporter

French President Emmanuel Macron wants to formalise the role of the president's wife amid controversy over the cost and status of the first lady.

The president's office is preparing a formal communication in coming days, Brigitte Macron's office said.

During his presidential campaign, the 39-year-old centrist promised more "transparency" on the issue.

France's first lady does not have an official status.

As the president's popularity drops in polls, more than 270,000 people have signed a petition in the past few weeks against the plan to grant a tax-funded budget to finance his wife's activities.

Mrs Macron has an office at the Elysee Palace and a staff of two advisers and two secretaries, as well as bodyguards.

Publicly, she is mostly seen at her husband's side.

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