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Hollande vows to wipe out world's tax havens

The Local/AFP · 10 Apr 2013, 13:00

Published: 10 Apr 2013 13:00 GMT+02:00

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Hollande made the announcement as part of a move to ‘go all the way’ in cleaning up politics, in the aftermath of the downfall of former Socialist Budget Minister Jérome Cahuzac.

Speaking after a cabinet meeting in Paris, Hollande said that French banks would be required to declare all of their subsidiaries around the world.

He also announced the creation of a special prosecutors' office to pursue corruption and tax-fraud cases, as well as a new government authority to monitor the assets and potential conflicts of interests of ministers, parliamentarians and other senior elected officials.

Hollande said there was "a need for a relentless battle against the excesses of money, greed and secret finance."

"Tax havens must be eradicated in Europe and the world because this is a condition of saving jobs," Hollande said.

"French banks will be required to every year make public the list of all their subsidiaries everywhere in the world, country by country," and will be required to "declare the nature of their activities," he said.

"I will not hesitate to consider any country that refuses to fully cooperate with France as a tax haven," he said.

President François Hollande's campaign to clean up French politics comes in response to the scandal over former Budget Minister Jérome Cahuzac’s secret Swiss bank account.

Hollande has demanded that ministers publicly declare all their assets by April 15th at the latest, and has encouraged all elected deputies to follow suit.

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“I want reforms that will enable France to have confidence in those who represent them,” Hollande said during Wednesday’s press conference.

Hollande's government has been under mounting pressure since Cahuzac was charged with laundering the proceeds of tax evasion on April 4th, after admitting he had owned a foreign bank account.

Despite distancing themselves from Cahuzac, and despite his expulsion from the Socialist party, Hollande's government has been accused by figures on the right of having known about Cahuzac's illegal activities for months.

The Local/AFP (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

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