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Undercover video sparks outrage over secret dinner parties for Paris elite

April 6, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

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An undercover report showing members of the Paris elite enjoying secret dinner parties in luxury restaurants and flouting Covid-19 restrictions has sparked fury in France, and prompted the city's prosecutor to launch an investigation.

(CNN)An undercover report showing members of the Paris elite enjoying secret dinner parties in luxury restaurants and flouting Covid-19 restrictions has sparked fury in France, and prompted the city's prosecutor to launch an investigation.

The probe comes after a TV report by channel M6 that aired Friday, showing hidden camera footage of two upmarket restaurants filled with mask-free guests.

The maitre d' is heard explaining that the menu starts at 160 euros ($190) per person.

For 490 euros ($580) diners can sip champagne while feasting on foie gras with truffle and langoustine in a ginger sauce.

"We are looking into possible charges of endangerment and undeclared labor," a spokesman for the Paris prosecutor told CNN Monday.

France last month closed all non-essential businesses, including restaurants, cafes, cinemas and clubs, as the country battles a third wave of coronavirus infections.

The organizer appears to claim: "This week I dined at two or three restaurants, so-called clandestine restaurants, with a certain number of ministers. "

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

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

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal told LCI news channel Sunday that authorities have been investigating reports of illegal parties for months and that 200 suspects have been identified so far.

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