Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Greek shares plunge as trading resumes in Athens

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Gulf countries need proof and guarantees'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The deadly French-English border'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Experimental Ebola vaccine could stop virus in West Africa

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#CecilTheLion : Hunter Becomes The Hunted

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Erdogan’s gamble: Turkey launches offensives on PKK and Islamic State Group (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Europe’s shame: Calais migrant crisis deepens (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The River Seine, the lifeblood of the French capital

Read more

FOCUS

Remote learning brings hope to Brazil’s rural poor

Read more

France

French ministers must declare assets publicly, PM says

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-04-08

In a bid to offset outrage over reports that France's disgraced budget minister hid money in a Swiss bank account, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Monday that government ministers will be required to declare their assets publicly by next week.

France’s Socialist government promised on Monday to publish details of individual ministers’ assets next week as it scrambled to stem a deepening scandal over a former budget minister’s secret foreign bank account.

Jerome Cahuzac quit his post in March and was placed under formal investigation for alleged tax fraud last week as he acknowledged he had been caught “in a spiral of lies” over his previous denials of holding a Swiss bank account.

The affair risks upsetting President Francois Hollande’s economic reform effort, with even left-wing allies criticising his handling of the scandal. Hollande’s opinion poll ratings are already at record lows for his failure to tackle unemployment.

“To begin with, wealth declarations of all the members of government will be made public by April 15,” a statement issued by Hollande’s Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said.

The statement said the move - which echoes requirements in the United States and elsewhere for public officials to make asset declarations - would be followed by a law setting out moral standards in public life in coming months, it said.

Swiss RTS TV reported on Sunday, citing banking sources, that Cahuzac sought to transfer 15 million euros ($20 million) from one Swiss account to another - far more than the 600,000 euros he said last week he had in an undeclared foreign account.

Reached on Monday, Cahuzac’s lawyer declined to comment.

Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici - the senior minister to whom Cahuzac reported in government - has rejected criticism from the French right that he was too ready to believe Cahuzac’s denials and did not adequately investigate the matter.

Weekend surveys found 60 percent of the public want Hollande to reshuffle his team and three-quarters view most politicians and elected officials as corrupt.

Hollande has a slim parliamentary majority without the backing of far-leftists and Greens, so could still scrape through an upcoming law to loosen hiring and firing rules, and a 2014 pension overhaul, without their blessing.

But noisy protests could limit what he can do, especially as his approval ratings have slumped to as low as 22 percent.

(REUTERS)

 

Date created : 2013-04-08

  • FRANCE

    Disgraced ex-minister not ‘protected’, says Hollande

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Did ex-budget minister’s wife precipitate his downfall?

    Read more

COMMENT(S)