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Undercover video triggers anger over secret dinner parties for Paris elite



The probe comes after a TV report from channel M6, which was broadcast on Friday, which showed hidden camera footage of two exclusive restaurants filled with mask-free guests.

In the video, a secret journalist walks into a private dining room with closed shutters and is greeted by a waiter wearing white gloves. She is asked on behalf of whom she has been invited and is told, “Once you are through the door, there is no more Covid.”

The Maitre d ‘is heard explaining that the menu starts at 160 euros ($ 190) per person. Person. For 490 euros ($ 580), guests can sip champagne while celebrating on foie gras with truffle and langoustine in a ginger sauce.

“We are investigating possible allegations of danger and undeclared work,”

; a spokesman for the prosecutor in Paris told CNN on Monday. “We will check whether the gatherings were organized in violation of hygiene regulations and determine who the potential organizers and participants were.”

France last month shut down all non-essential businesses, including restaurants, cafes, cinemas and clubs, as the country struggles with a third wave of coronavirus infections.
France risks 'losing control' of Covid-19 proliferation without stricter national measures - Macron

A further “limited shutdown” took effect last week when President Emmanuel Macron warned that the country risks “losing control” over the pandemic.

The video continues to show yet another dinner party in lavish surroundings with large tapestries and gilded paintings. The guests are seen giving each other “la bise”, kissing each other cheek to cheek.

The organizer seems to claim: “This week I ate at two or three restaurants, so-called secret restaurants, with a certain number of ministers.”

Due to its recognizable decor, the restaurant was later identified as the Palais Vivienne owned by Pierre-Jean Chalençon.

Chalençon’s lawyer released a statement on Sunday acknowledging that the distorted voice on the video belonged to his client, but that he was joking when he said government ministers had attended dinners.

The scandal has drawn many Irish to online, with the hashtag #OnVeutLesNoms (We Want The Names) trending on Twitter on Monday.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal told the LCI news channel on Sunday that authorities have been investigating reports of illegal parties for several months and that so far 200 suspects have been identified. “They will be severely punished,” Attal added.


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