[QODLink]
Europe

Hollande pledges new law after tax scandal

French president promises control of politicians' wealth after former budget minister admits to tax fraud.

Last Modified: 04 Apr 2013 03:44
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Cahuzac resigned after a probe into the Swiss account he allegedly used to hide assets from authorities [AFP]

French President Francois Hollande has vowed that a new law on the "publication and control" of ministers' wealth
would be presented within weeks, after his ex-budget minister was charged in a tax evasion probe.

Hollande said on Wednesday that he would ban anyone guilty of fraud from holding public office in France.

Former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac had a day earlier admitted to having had a hidden account overseas for nearly two decades.

Hollande said Cahuzac had benefited from no protection over the account.

"I affirm here that Jerome Cahuzac did not benefit from any form of protection, other than the presumption of innocence. And he left the government at my request immediately after the opening of an investigation," the president said.

"He tricked the highest authorities in the country: the head of state, the government, parliament, and through it
all the French people. It's a grave and unforgivable error," Hollande said in a pre-recorded statement distributed to broadcasters.

The president outlined three measures planned in the wake of the revelations - a re-enforcement of the independence of the judiciary, the introduction of a register of assets for parliamentarians and a ban of elected officials found guilty of tax offences holding public office.

Cahuzac's admission he held a $770,000 bank account was a blow to Hollande's 10-month-old government, whose popularity is facing all-time lows in opinion polls.

Cahuzac resigned on March 19 after a probe into the Swiss bank account he allegedly used to hide assets from the tax authorities.

243

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.