• France's news in English

Scandal forces another Hollande minister to quit

AFP · 21 Nov 2014, 16:36

Published: 21 Nov 2014 16:36 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Kader Arif, a junior minister for veteran affairs, became the latest member of Hollande's government to step down under a cloud of suspicion in what has been a year of political and personal calamities for the most unpopular French president in modern history.

An investigation was launched in September in the south-western city of Toulouse into whether two event management companies run by Arif's brother and nephew benefited from favouritism in the awarding of public contracts worth millions of euros.

Arif "handed in his resignation in order to provide all the details necessary to establish the truth in the preliminary investigation by financial prosecutors in which he is implicated," the presidency said in a statement.

His resignation comes just over two months after trade minister Thomas Thevenoud was sacked for tax irregularities only two weeks after being appointed in a shock cabinet reshuffle following a party rebellion.

That resignation had uncomfortable echoes of the so-called Cahuzac affair, when Hollande's budget minister Jerome Cahuzac was sacked in March 2013 for evading taxes through non-declared Swiss bank accounts.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen was quick to jump on the latest scandal. Her National Front party has made significant gains by focusing on the chaotic state of mainstream politics.

"Every month brings a resignation or sacking," she said, adding there was a need to "reflect on the human quality, the ethics, of those in power".

Hollande has been hit with blow after blow, unable to shake off an approval rating that stands at a historic low as unemployment figures grow ever more dismal and growth flatlines.

Story continues below…

His year has also featured the cringeworthy exposure of an affair with an actress, Julie Gayet, and the public implosion of his relationship with a journalist, Valerie Trierweiler.

The celebrity-focused magazine Voici published the first photos of Hollande with his actress lover Gayet since news of their secret liaison broke in January, raising concerns over security at the Elysée presidential palace where they were snapped.

Adding to Hollande's woes, Trierweiler is set to break her silence on a explosive kiss-and-tell book she wrote about their relationship with a promotional tour in Britain.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available