France's embattled President Nicolas Sarkozy has launched a "clean hands" campaign, forcing two junior ministers to resign over expenses claims scandals in the hope of salvaging his government's political credibility.
Alain Joyandet, secretary of state for overseas development and Christian Blanc, state secretary for the Greater Paris region stepped down on Sunday evening.
Mr Blanc sparked widespread anger last month when it emerged his office had spent €12,000 euros on Cuban cigars at the taxpayer's expense. He claimed he had only smoked a third of them but was ordered to pay back the entire bill.
Mr Joyandet hired a private jet at a cost of €116,500 to fly to on official business to the Caribbean when he could have taken a regular commercial flight. It also transpired that he had obtained an illegal permit to build an extension on his Riviera holiday home near Saint-Tropez. More...