Keyword: tax havens
The still-unfolding scandal surrounding the secret foreign account of former budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac, first revealed by Mediapart last December, has rocked the French political establishment to its core. But it may not be the last such explosive revelation. For the private Geneva-based financial institution that Cahuzac used to manage his funds hidden abroad, Reyl & Cie, is alleged by several sources contacted by Mediapart to have provided its discreet services to other French personalities - including senior political figures. Dan Israel pieces together a secret and complex financial puzzle, with the help of insiders from the world of finance and banking in Geneva and Paris.
President also announced new national, specialist prosecutor for fraud and corruption plus new agency to monitor assets and interests of politicians.
More of French PM's interview with Mediapart: the TSCG, making EU more democratic, cabinet splits and Muslim anger
In this second and final part of his exclusive interview with Mediapart, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault answers the suggestion that he is railroading the democratic process with the adoption of the European Treaty on Stability, Cooperation and Governance (TSCG), sets out his position on the widespread use of tax havens by big banks and corporations, and for greater representation of national parliaments in EU decision-making. He also answers questions on recent domestic issues, including his government's decision to ban demonstrations in protest at the publication by a French magazine of cartoon caricatures of Prophet Mohammed, and the calling to book of his interior minister over his out-of-step comments on racial profiling and the right to vote of of non-EU nationals.
Earlier this month it was revealed that French tycoon Bernard Arnault, chief executive of luxury goods firm LVMH, the wealthiest person in France and the fourth wealthiest worldwide, has applied for dual Belgian nationality. The French conservative opposition was quick to cite it as an example of the flight of capital that will follow higher taxes the government is to impose on the country’s top income earners, while President François Hollande decried Arnault's lack of patriotism. Mediapart Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel sets out here how tax evasion has become a colossal and insitutionalised business at the centre of the economy. Fighting it has never been more urgent, yet little effort - if any - is being made to prevent it or to sanction those who are bleeding society of vital resources.