As Bastille Day celebrations kick off in Paris, Nicolas Sarkozy and his beleaguered Labour Minister Eric Woerth have been dealt another blow. The satirical weekly paper, Le Canard Enchaîné claims that Woerth ignored usual procedures in the sale of state-owned land to a horse-racing company owned by “friends of friends”. This and other stories in today’s French press review: WEDNESDAY, 14th JULY 2010
Canard Enchaîné and left-leaning magazine Marianne detail the latest in a series of scandals surrounding France’s Labour Minister Eric Woerth. Both publications claim that Woerth ignored usual procedures in the sale of state-owned land to “friends of friends” at a fraction of the market value, this in one of his final acts as Budget Minister several months ago. Woerth has been embroiled in a series of controversies of late linking him and his wife to France’s wealthiest woman, Liliane Bettencourt, who is the heiress to the L’Oréal fortune,. Nicolas Sarkozy has publicly supported his Labour Minister and denied claims that he was involved in illegal fundraising for Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign. An investigation has cleared Woerth has been cleared of another series of allegations claiming he overlooked tax evasion on the part of Liliane Bettencourt while he was Budget Minister.