France

Former French Budget Minister Admits to Secret Offshore Account

Has been hiding huge sums for two decades

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The French government is in crisis after François Hollande's former budget minister and tax tsar was charged with tax fraud following a shock confession that he had held a secret foreign bank account for 20 years and had repeatedly lied about it.

Jérôme Cahuzac's sudden admission that he hid €600,000 (£510,000) offshore for more than two decades is the biggest scandal to hit Hollande's presidency.

The public admission by the man who led France's fight against tax evasion that he secretly defrauded the taxman and was "caught in a spiral of lies" is a huge embarrassment for Hollande, who promised that his government would be beyond reproach after the corruption allegations that dogged previous French administrations.