France publishes ministers' assets

Updated: 2013-04-16 06:12


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PARIS - Members of the French Socialist government on Monday made an unprecedented declaration on their individual assets in a move to regain voters' trust following former Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac's tax fraud scandal.

On the government's website, 37 ministrial staff declared their net wealth that contained "all the elements of their assets whatever their nature, size or location."

According to the detailed wealth list, the top diplomat Laurent Fabius enjoyed individual assets worth up to 6 million euros (about $7.86 million dollars), the highest wealth of French public officials.

In office 10 months ago, the Socialists were embattled by tax-evasion affair that forced Cahuzac to quit office after admitting holding a Swiss bank account for 20 years.

Struggling to stem the shocking scandal and regain confidence of disillusioned people, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault promised to present a law on financial transparency of ministers during a cabinet meeting by April 24, before it is submitted to parliament in coming months.

A recent IFOP survey showed 63 percent of French people were in favor of assets' disclosure. However, in the right wing, critics denounced the "useless" measure.

"This is a diversionary tactic that is useless, because we would not have detected the Cahuzac affair if it had been done before," Florient Philippot, vice-president of the far right party, the National Front, told BFMTV news channel.

"The problem is that we have a caviar left ... They must focus on the French problems  ..," he added.

The latest poll released on Monday before the publishing of ministers' assets showed that French people has no confidence in their politicians, as only 27 percent of the respondents said they still remain confidence. (1 euro = $1.31 dollar)