French overseas trade minister quits over tax declarations

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After less than a fortnight in his new job, France's overseas trade minister Thomas Thévenoud has dramatically and abruptly quit over problems with his tax returns. According to Mediapart's sources, the new minister had not filled in his tax returns for several years. In a statement Thévenoud admitted to “delays” in his declaration and payment of tax owed, though stressed that the matter has now been sorted out. Nonetheless the sudden loss of another minister in this manner will come as a blow to the new government formed by prime minister Manuel Valls on August 26th, which saw the enforced departure of heavyweight economy minister Arnaud Montebourg. It also comes against a backdrop of poor economic results and plummeting opinion polls for Valls and, above all, President François Hollande. Mathilde Mathieu and Lénaïg Bredoux report.

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It marked the end of a grim week for the French government in general and François Hollande in particular. After less than two weeks as a member of the new government, it was announced late on Thursday afternoon that overseas trade minister Thomas Thévenoud was resigning from his post. A statement issued on behalf of prime minister Manuel Valls said that the decision for Thévenoud to step down “followed a situation discovered after his nomination” which meant that the minister “was not able to continue in his post”.