French ministers disclose personal wealth for first time
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
French President François Hollande himself did not make a new assets declaration Monday, as he already released details of his wealth when elected president. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOISFrench ministers disclosed their personal wealth for the first time on Monday, in a move President Francois Hollande hopes will restore confidence in his scandal-hit Socialist government.
The assets -- property, shares, life insurance or vehicles -- of 37 ministers and of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault were published online today.
With the economy stagnant, unemployment on the rise and the government slashing spending, senior officials admit the move is risky and could create resentment by unmasking several fortuned ministers.
But the government has pushed ahead in the hopes the measure will help turn the page on a damaging scandal over tax fraud charges laid against ex-budget minister Jerome Cahuzac after he admitted having a secret foreign bank account.
According to the revelations, foreign minister Laurent Fabius is among the wealthiest -- owning three properties worth a total of 3.9 million euros ($5.1 million) -- while Ayrault has two houses and a garage.
Hollande himself did not make a new assets declaration Monday, as he already released details of his wealth when elected president.
At the time he declared 1.17 million euros in assets, including a house in the southern town of Mougins and two apartments in Cannes, though he is still paying 1,500 euros a month on loans.
The assets of 37 ministers and of Prime Minister Ayrault were published online on the website http://www.declarations-patrimoine.gouvernement.fr/.