Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire

    Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Legal challenge to French mayor’s ban of Muslim hijab on beach

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

France

French press indignant over ex-budget chief's lies

©

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-04-03

A day after France’s former budget minister and tax tsar Jérôme Cahuzac admitted to having a secret offshore bank account, French dailies on Wednesday were reeling from a moral affront that has upset the political left as much as the right.

France woke up Wednesday to the image of the country’s former budget minister and tax tsar Jérôme Cahuzac looking haggard and defeated on the front pages of the leading dailies following his admission that he had repeatedly lied about a secret Swiss bank account.

“Indigne” (Unworthy), screamed the banner headline of the left-wing Libération, with a sub-head: “After months of lies, Jérôme Cahuzac admitted yesterday to keeping a foreign bank account and is being formally investigated. The making of a political crisis.”

FRANCE 24 Media Watch

In a shocking public confession on Tuesday, Cahuzac admitted that he hid 600,000 euros in a UBS account in Switzerland for more than two decades. The admission by the 60-year-old former MP, cardiologist and plastic surgeon followed months of him denying tax-evasion reports, which emerged late last year on the French investigative site, Mediapart.

In a country where even the most cherished celebrities - such as Gerard Depardieu - are lambasted for trying to evade a 75 percent “supertax” on the rich, Cahuzac’s admission has jolted the nation and plunged French President François Hollande’s government into crisis.

“It’s a shame,” said the Libération op-ed. “With his cover-ups and lies, Jérôme Cahuzac did more than just tarnish his reputation. He has cast opprobrium on his actions, discredited the political discourse and raised doubts about the authority of the head of state”.

What happened to ‘la Republique Exemplaire?’

When he ran against Nicholas Sarkozy last year, Hollande promised a “Republique Exemplaire” (an exemplary republic) and a very different style of government from the “bling” and vulgar consumerism of Sarkozy-era politicians who were viewed as too close to France’s fat cats.

If France’s deeply disappointed left led the chorus of censure against one of their own on Wednesday, the right-wing press was singing in-tune – but the melody was snarkier.

“A minister of the republic lied. He is a Socialist. And he lied about money. Can you imagine anything worse?” asked columnist Paul-Henri du Limbert in right-wing Le Figaro, before noting, “At a time when France is sinking daily into a deeper crisis, nothing is worse than the atmosphere of suspicion that the Cahuzac case will inevitably cause."

France’s economic situation is alarming. With unemployment hovering about 10 percent, credit rating downgrades, and a moribund manufacturing sector, Hollande’s biggest challenge is a budget deficit that has stood stubbornly above the 3 percent EU limit.

‘Only Lance Armstrong comes close’

But more than the economic and political fallout from the latest scandal, the Cahuzac affair has been viewed as a moral affront across the ideological divide. “In the realm of big lies before the microphones and cameras, only Lance Armstrong comes close to Jérôme Cahuzac,” said La Voix du Nord, referring to the US cyclist whose serial denials of doping allegations gripped this Tour de France-mad nation for years.

In a scathing op-ed in La Charente Libre, columnist Dominique Garraud noted, "For months... the former budget minister multiplied his lies with a consistency that was matched only by his arrogance against his accusers.”

It’s a sentiment shared by Jacques Camus in La Montagne, who says Cahuzac has "strayed into a spiral of lies, bolstered by a false sense of impunity”.

Months after it broke the story that Cahuzac had siphoned funds into a Swiss account, the investigative website Mediapart had already moved on, questioning just how much Hollande knew about his then-budget minister’s unholy tax-evasion measures. With the scandal poised to take on a new twist, the Cahuzac story is not about to die soon in France.

 

Date created : 2013-04-03

  • FRANCE

    Hollande loses key ally as budget minister resigns

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French ex-minister admits lying about Swiss account

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French budget minister probed over Swiss account

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)