Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

France

Labour Minister and his wife face questions in Bettencourt probe

Video by Elena CASAS

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2010-07-22

French police questioned the wife of embattled Labour Minister Eric Woerth Wednesday over alleged tax evasion by her former employer, L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. Woerth himself is also set to be questioned.

French police questioned embattled labour minister Eric Woerth’s wife Florence on Wednesday in an ongoing investigation into the finances of France’s richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt.
 
The heiress of the L’Oreal cosmetics fortune is in a legal dispute with her daughter, during which allegations of tax evasion and illegal financing of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party have emerged.
 
Tax evasion and nepotism?
 
Woerth has been accused of turning a blind eye to Bettencourt’s alleged tax evasion while he was France’s budget minister in charge of tax affairs between 2007 and 2009. His wife was at this time in the employ of the billionaire Bettencourt’s financial advisors.
 
Florence Woerth was recruited in 2007 by Bettencourt’s wealth manager Patrick Le Maistre, who told investigators last week that Eric Woerth had personally asked him to meet his wife and give her career advice.
 
Eric Woerth, who as labour minister is in charge of France’s highly controversial pension reform, insisted on French radio Europe 1 that he had never used his influence to secure a job for his wife.
 
“I never asked anyone to hire my wife, never, never, never,” Woerth said during the highly charged interview.
 
Woerth to be quizzed by public prosecutors
 
As the scandal rumbles on, Sarkozy's cabinet gave the green light Wednesday for Woerth to be questioned by public prosecutors. 
 
Woerth, who denies any wrongdoing, has said he is eager to speak to investigators to clear his name.
 
The Labour Minister has long been treasurer of Sarkozy's party, in addition to his ministerial positions. These duel roles have fuelled charges of conflict of interest by the Socialist opposition.

Woerth has submitted his resignation as party treasurer, which will become effective at the end of July.

Date created : 2010-07-21

  • FRANCE

    L'Oreal fund manager's claims turn up heat on labour minister

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Police release l'Oreal quartet after two days of questioning

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Police arrest four as L’Oreal scandal escalates

    Read more

COMMENT(S)