Marc Perelman interviews Benjamin Lancar, President of the UMP’s Youth Movement; Victor Vidilles, General Secretary, Socialists’ Youth Movement; Stefan Simons, Correspondent, Der Spiegel; and Aske Munck, Correspondent, Jyllands-Posten.
Faced with a raft of controversies over ministers abusing their perks - be it cigars, or apartments - President Nicolas Sarkozy fired off a letter to his Prime Minister announcing a series of belt-tightening measures. By 2013, the state will get rid of 7,000 flats and 10,000 cars, ministerial staff will be downsized and the presidential hunting grounds will be no more. So is this merely cosmetic, or is it real austerity?
Can labour minister Eric Woerth withstand the onslaught? Faced with suspicion that he may have helped France's richest woman, L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, escape the scrutiny of the French tax authorities, Woerth is lashing back. With the full support of the president and his conservative UMP party, he is denouncing what he calls vicious politically motivated attacks and vows he will not step down. But should he?
The high-profile row over the fortune of L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt is threatening to engulf French Labour minister Eric Woerth. His wife Florence has now resigned from the firm managing Mrs Bettencourt's holdings, at the centre of an alleged tax fraud. The saga is already heading to the courts next week: judges must decide if Mrs Bettencourt, Europe's richest woman, can leave her €16 billion estate to a male friend on her death, cutting her daughter out of any inheritance.
Tapes secretly recorded by a butler, €1 billion in lavish gifts to a society photographer, alleged tax evasion and a government minister’s wife: all ingredients in a scandal involving France’s richest woman.
L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, France's richest woman, said she would comply with the law and declare her assets, after being caught on tape allegedly plotting tax evasion while making donations to the governing UMP party.
Until very recently the notion that French President Nicolas Sarkozy would be the ruling UMP party's candidate for the presidential election in 2012 was a foregone conclusion. But this no longer seems to be the case...
President Nicolas Sarkozy addressed the nation Wednesday for the first time since his party's defeat in regional elections. He vowed to push on with reforms and said that he is ready to provoke a "crisis" in the EU to defend French farm subsidies.
In an usual move, French President Nicolas Sarkozy makes his first public statement Wednesday since his party's heavy defeat in regional elections over the weekend. He is expected to address the recent dropping of the carbon tax.