SHARE
COPY LINK

POLITICS

French ministers to declare wealth publicly

France's embattled government took further steps on Monday to deal with the fallout of the tax fraud scandal that felled ex-Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac. Ministers will be now have to show the public the colour of their money.

French ministers to declare wealth publicly
Hollande with the disgraced Cahuzac, whose secret Swiss bank account has plunged the government into scandal. Photo: AFP

French ministers will declare their assets publicly by April 15, the prime minister's office said on Monday, as the government seeks to limit the damage from an ex-minister's tax fraud scandal.

The government will also put forward a law by April 24 on financial transparency among ministers and other top officials, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in a statement.

The move comes as President Francois Hollande's government scrambles to contain a scandal surrounding former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac, who last
week was charged with tax fraud after admitting to having an undeclared foreign bank account.

PM Ayrault said measures to boost financial transparency would be presented to a cabinet meeting on Wednesday and that he would meet with the speakers and faction chiefs of the lower house National Assembly and upper house Senate the following day.

"The prime minister is preparing… a package of measures to ensure complete transparency on the assets of politicians and staff working with ministers, the president and the prime minister," Ayrault said.

He said measures would also be taken to "more severely punish breaches of the financial law and ethics and integrity rules, and to strengthen the fight against tax fraud and tax havens".

Last week the president vowed he would "go all the way" in a bid to clean up French politics.

"I will go all the way on these questions because I have nothing to fear from the strict application of the laws that exist and the application of the new laws," Hollande told journalists at a news conference in Rabat.

He said France was a great nation that would "not accept being humiliated."

"To be clear… it is not the government that is being challenged, it is one man who failed."

Hollande came under further pressure on Thursday when his one-time campaign treasurer admitted he was a partner in firms registered in the Cayman Islands tax haven.

The president insisted he was not aware that Jean-Jacques Augier, had joint ownership of two firms registered in the tax haven.

"I know nothing about these activities, and if they do not conform to French tax law, I will ask the administration" to make the "necessary corrections," the embattled president said at a news conference in Rabat.

"It is for the tax administration to do its work" on these "private activities," he added.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

HEALTH

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

After the seismic decision of the US Supreme Court on Friday, French MPs are calling for the right to abortion in France to be protected by the constitution.

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

Lawmakers from French President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party are to propose a parliamentary bill on Saturday that would enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution. 

The move comes after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 “Roe v. Wade” decision on Friday.

“In France we guarantee and advance the rights of women. We protect them,” said Aurore Bergé – the head of Renaissance in the Assemblée nationale and one of the key sponsors of the bill. 

Another co-sponsor, Marie-Pierre Rixain tweeted: “What happens in elsewhere cannot happen in France. We must protect the right to abortion for future generations. 

In 2018 and 2019, Emmanuel Macron’s party – which back then was known as La République en Marche – refused to back bills proposed by left-wing party, La France Insoumise, to enshrine abortion rights into the constitution. 

In a Saturday interview with France Inter, Bergé suggested that the success of Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National during parliamentary elections earlier this month had created a sense of newfound urgency. 

She described the far-right MPs as “fierce opponents of women’s access to abortion” and said it was important “to take no risk” in securing it. 

READ MORE France’s Macron condemns US abortion ruling

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has come out in support of the bill. 

The left-wing opposition block, NUPES, also backs it and had planned to propose an identical piece legislation of its own on Monday. 

Macron is seeking parliamentary allies to pass reforms after his formation lost its majority in legislative elections earlier this month.

The legal timeframe to terminate a pregnancy in France was extended from 12 to 14 weeks in the last legislature.

Changing the constitution requires the National Assembly and Senate to adopt the same text, then a three-fifths majority of parliament sitting in congress. The other option is a referendum.

SHOW COMMENTS