Restaurants in France have been closed since October, but the pleasure of eating out is not restricted to everyone. The denunciation of luxury dinners organized illegally in a Paris palace provokes indignation in the country. Justice investigates the case.
The images of a clandestine party organized at the Vivienne palace, a luxury house in the heart of Paris, and revealed by an M6 television report leave no doubt.
While the government calls on the entire country to make a new effort to close all non-essential businesses and avoid meetings with more than six people to contain the transmission of the coronavirus, there is a group for whom Paris remains a party even during the pandemic.
The palace caters to wealthy guests who arrive by appointment. In a luxurious environment, dinners can include caviar, foie gras, brioche and champagne, for prices ranging from 160 euros (R $ 1,000) to 490 euros (R $ 3,300) per person.
Although the environment brings together dozens of people, masks are outside. “Once you walk through the door, Covid is no more. We want people to feel at ease,” explains one of the employees to the journalist who entered one of these feasts with a hidden camera.
In the images, it is possible to see people who greet each other with kisses on the cheeks and hugs – unthinkable drinks in the pandemic primer. To make matters worse, everything happens during the night, in a country under a curfew at 7 pm.
Ministers would have participated
The place where the dinner was organized belongs to the famous collector Pierre-Jean Chalençon, a former television presenter, who confirmed having organized a party at his house, through his lawyer.
In a telephone interview with M6, the collector commented that he had dined at two or three restaurants “said to be clandestine with a certain number of ministers”. The information was a bomb at the Elysee Palace, and prompted the French Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, to immediately request the investigation of the case and identification of the organizers and participants.
Then, through his lawyer, Chalençon stepped back, saying it was just a joke.
Paris prosecutor Rémy Heitz announced on Sunday (4) the opening of an investigation to investigate the case, his parents may be charged with “putting the lives of others at risk” and illegal work.
On Twitter, the hashtags #OnVeutLesNoms (We want the names) and #MangeonslesRiches (We eat the rich) went viral and show the fury of a nation.
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