Transparency, transparency, transparency... President François Hollande has already forced his ministers to publicly declare their assets. He is now hoping to force lawmakers and local officials to follow suit. This is not going down well with the opposition - of course - but also within his own Socialist camp, where some are wondering if the president is not going too far.
'Tax havens around the world must be eradicated!'. François Hollande says he wants to restore morality to public life. Hollande's credibility has been severely damaged by a tax fraud scandal involving his former Budget Minister. Jérôme Cahuzac recently admitted he concealed 600,000 euros in a secret foreign account. On Wednesday, the French President unveiled a package of measures to tackle financial fraud and corruption. But can Hollande overcome the Cahuzac Gate scandal?
If you have read the news about France in the last few days, you must have become familiar with a name: Jérôme Cahuzac. Until a couple of weeks ago, he was France's budget minister and a rising political star. Now, he has resigned from the government because of undeclared offshore bank accounts, and has been ostracized by his own camp. But he is not the only victim. The scandal is now undermining President Hollande himself.
This week, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy spent a whole day answering questions from an investigating magistrate, who then placed him under investigation for taking advantage of France's richest woman. The judge suspects Sarkozy obtained illegal financing from the elderly L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 presidential campaign.
This week, we witnessed the first formal battle in the French Parliament, with the conservative UMP party putting forward a motion of no-confidence against the Socialist government. It had no chance of passing, but it allowed each camp to lay out competing arguments on how best to get the country back on its feet.