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Parking machine calls French mayor a b**tard

A scandal-hit French politician has launched a complaint after a parking machine in the town where is mayor issued around 500 tickets that called him a "thieving b**tard". Police are investigating.

Parking machine calls French mayor a b**tard
A parking machine (left) and the French Mayor Jean-Francois Copé (right). Photo: AFP
French politicians are used to insults… but not from parking ticket machines
 
But that's exactly what happened to Jean-François Copé the scandal-hit mayor of the town of Meaux.
 
The politician, who is the former head of the newly-named French opposition party Les Republicains, quit the party last May after shocking revelations emerged over a funding scandal for Nicolas Sarkozy's failed 2012 election campaign.
 
But Copé is still in a position of power as mayor of the town to the north east of Paris, and it seems the local parking machines still bear a grudge against him – or at least someone who knows how they work.
 
Indeed, an estimated 500 tickets were issued to drivers bearing the usual date and time of arrival at the car park, along with an extra message at the bottom that read: “Copé is a bastard, thieving mayor” (see pic below).
 
 
Copé has now lodged a formal legal complaint concerning the machine in question to authorities. 
 
But surely it's not an opinionated computer spitting out the offensive tickets – so who's responsible?
 
One employee of the ticketing company told French newspaper Le Parisien that it must have been a fellow member of staff – as accessing the system required a log in, username, and a password.
 
Authorities, however, haven't ruled out that a hacker could be behind the attack and have launched an investigation.
 
In the tweet below, Copé found time to joke about the incident, praising the work of the local townsfolk, depite the fact that the town has “offensive” parking ticket machines.

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RACISM

UMP criticises Copé’s ‘pain au chocolat polemic’

Jean-François Copé, candidate to be leader of the UMP, has received criticism from his own party as well as the opposition over an anecdote about a boy who had his pain au chocolat stolen from him because it was Ramadan.

The “pains au chocolat polemic”, as it has been dubbed in French press, started on Friday when Copé made a speech in Draguignan, between Nice and Marseilles, during a conference.

“It is areas where I can understand the exasperation of some of our compatriots – fathers or mothers just coming home from work at night to find out their son had his pain au chocolat snatched from his hands at the school gates by thugs who say he shouldn’t be eating that during Ramadan,” he said during the conference.

Copé defended the claim during an interview on France 3 yesterday: “Some people exploit religion to provoke the Republic.

“This has nothing to do with the right to worship, which, in our country, works very well.”

But Copé’s fellow party members were quick to criticise his comments – former finance minister François Baroin judged the anecdote as “toxic”.

Former foreign minister Alain Juppé said: “Copé made a declaration I cannot approve, but what’s more he made a meal of it and gave lessons in morality – that is something I cannot support.”

Interior minister Manuel Valls said this morning on international radio station RTL: “I have respect for Jean-François Copé, I see he is passionate about France – but here, he’s losing it.”

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