According to J.-B. Mattei, S. Zurabishvili is getting "a monetary remuneration" as per "a contract for technical assistance" signed with her.
The French Foreign Ministry spokesman reminded that S. Zurabishvili has double citizenship, holding a French and a Georgian passports. Previously she had worked as France's ambassador to Georgia, and "when Georgian president invited her to take up the post of Georgia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, she gave up her job as France's ambassador and, naturally, the corresponding salary ".
"As this was, in a way, a unique situation which, however, did not contradict the spirit of cooperation between France and Georgia, it was decided to sign a contract with Madame Zurabishvili within the framework of technical assistance", said J.-P. Mattei.
He explained that "similar contracts are often used to provide foreign governments with topmost experts". "The remuneration which Madame Zurabishvili is getting corresponds to the usual norms applicable to such contracts", added the French diplomat.
He went on to say that the trade union operating in the French Foreign Ministry had sent an inquiry to the State Council asking for its opinion on the compliance of the contract made with S. Zurabishvili, to French legal regulations.
The above admissions were made by the official spokesman of the French Foreign Ministry after the well-informed satirical magazine "Le Canard Enchainé" reported that S. Zurabishvili was continuing to draw a salary from the French State since March 2004.
According to the magazine, "for some time" after the appointment for the post of Georgia's Foreign Minister S. Zurabishvili "continued to receive (from the French Foreign Ministry) a salary due to an ambassador (about 15,000 Euro, benefits included)", and then they "started to write this amount off as part of the development credits".