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Tax-Evading Budget Minister Threatens French Government

Former Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac shocked France this week by admitting to tax evasion. The scandal represents a potential disaster for the struggling Socialist government and could increase pressure from the public and the political opposition against President François Hollande.

France initially reacted with shock and anger to former Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac's online "confession" on Tuesday to having illegal accounts in foreign banks. These emotions were quickly replaced with disenchantment, acrimony and frustration. And now the case of the plastic surgeon-turned-politician has triggered a crisis for the 10-month-old government of Socialist President François Hollande. Indeed, Cahuzac's defiant four-month lying campaign, the reaction to the accusations and its surprising denouement -- all of which has happened in a Fifth Republic that has not exactly been wanting for scandals, intrigues and affairs -- will confront France's political culture with a decisive test.

What did government officials know? When did it dawn on Hollande that he had been duped by his budget minister, who stepped down in mid-March? And how could the president, equipped with his almost monarchical power, rely on the solemn word of his fellow Socialist during a one-on-one talk in the Elysée Palace? During his election campaign, Hollande pledged to usher in an "irreproachable republic." But now, in addition to being outmatched by the ongoing economic crisis, he is also being found morally culpable.

Source: Spiegel Online. Read full article. (link)

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  • Sevo||

    "When did it dawn on Hollande that he had been duped by his budget minister,"
    Are you kidding? The guy's a socialist; he believes in pixie dust and unicorn farts.

  • Ranter||

    How do you say "Do as I say, not as I do" in french?

    It's not like we even have to look across the pond. How many of this administration's own appointees have been found to be in dereliction of their own tax responsibilities?

  • Free Society||

    No one is more miserly with their own funds than a leftist. Unsurprisingly no one is more generous with someone else's money, than a leftist.

  • Ranter||

    Well at least the right tends to be free of all the sanctimonious BS about how we should all just give and give and give and give some more.

    It's always the always the charity-flogging assholes like Bono who turn around and spirit all their cash out of the country so they can save a few more billion dollars from helping their own countrymen out.

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