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MPs 'fury' over disgraced minister’s travel claim

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MPs 'fury' over disgraced minister’s travel claim
The now even more disgraced Jérôme Cahuzac. Photo: Patrick Kovaric/AFP
13:33 CEST+02:00
France’s former budget minister turned political pariah Jérôme Cahuzac, who has been charged with tax fraud, has provoked anger by filing an expenses claim asking parliament to pay for his travel costs, for when he appeared as part of a parliamentary inquiry into his wrongdoing.

Jérôme Cahuzac does not have many friends left in the world of politics and he has just lost a few more this week after filing an expenses claim for his travel costs when he appeared before a parliamentary committee in summer.

Cahuzac resigned from his post in March, was then expelled from the Socialist Party and lost his parliamentary seat after he admitted laundering money in a secret Swiss bank account. The scandal came to light following an investigative media report.

Cahuzac has since been charged with tax fraud, money laundering and lying to parliament when he appeared before a special committee that had been convened to investigate whether the Socialist government knew of his wrongdoing before he was forced to admit them.

And it is Cahuzac’s two appearances before the committee in June and July that were at the centre of yet more controversy on Wednesday.

France Inter radio have reported that the man who had the job of fighting tax evasion, has since filed a claim asking for parliament to pay for the cost of the petrol he used to travel to Paris for the hearings.

The claim has rubbed salt into some very large wounds in the French parliament.

According to the radio station, MPs were said to be “sickened” and “furious” on learning the news and have reportedly refused to reimburse the minister.

The parliamentary committee are expected to release their findings at the beginning of October, but it was reported in the French press on Wednesday that they will find the government innocent of any wrongdoing.

The scandal shook France's government and damaged the squeaky-clean image that Hollande had sought to project, less than a year after he was voted into office.

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