France is opening an investigation into two rape allegations made against Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, French Secretary of State for Development and the Francophonie.
Zacharopoulou, 46, who was born in Sparta, Greece, is a gynecologist and politician for French President Macron’s center party La République En Marche.
A total of two rape allegations against the politician were filed with the French authorities–the first on May 25, and the second on June 16. An investigation into the first allegation was opened just two days after it was made.
According to Reuters, the alleged assaults may be linked to Zacharopoulou’s work as a gynecologist.
Chrysoula Zacharopoulou faces rape allegations
The politician was a member of the European Parliament from 2019 until 2022, when she joined the government of French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in May of this year.
As a physician, Zacharopoulou specialized in endometriosis, a debilitating and poorly-understood medical condition that causes pain and reduced fertility amongst women. She became prominent in France for raising awareness of the condition in a campaign with French star Julie Gayet in 2015.
A number of other politicians in Macron’s government have faced rape allegations. Gerald Darmanin, French Interior Minister, faced accusations of sexual assault in 2017, but prosecutors requested that the case be dropped early this year.
Minister of Solidarity Damien Abad also faced rape allegations in May, but prosecutors have not opened an investigation into the claims.
Macron loses majority in French elections
Macron’s centrist alliance lost its absolute majority in parliament in the legislative election in France this past weekend.
France’s prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, who was appointed only a month ago and is already facing calls for her resignation said the result created an unusual situation that posed “a risk for our country.”
After five years of controlling the Assemblée Nationale, Macron now faces a challenge in delivering key policies, including raising the retirement age, and a shake-up of the country’s benefits and welfare system. His government will need to seek alliances and compromises to push measures through.
Macron’s Ensemble alliance needed 289 seats for a majority in the Assemblée Nationale but won only 245.
The leftwing grouping Nupes, led by the hard-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon, took 131 seats, but the biggest surprise was a historic surge in support for Marine Le Pen’s far-right, anti-immigration Rassemblement National (RN), which took 89 seats, beating the traditional right party Les Républicains (LR), which won 61.