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French government reports clear ex-minister of over-spending

PARIS (AP) — Two reports have cleared the former No. 2 in the French government of excessive spending a week after Francois de Rugy resigned as environment minister. The reports by the prime minister's office and France's parliament were made public Tuesday and ordered after a week of French media reports with claims that Rugy used taxpayers' money to pay for lobster and fine wine dinners, allegedly consumed with friends.

The report by the prime minister's office focused on Rugy's spending of 63,000 euros (about $70,000) to refurbish his official apartment. It concluded rules were "globally respected." A second report concerned a dozen dinners held when Rugy presided over parliament's lower house. It said there were "no irregularities" but looked askance at three dinners viewed as over the top.

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