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Disgraced budget minister had 15 million in Swiss account, report

Reuters/Charles Platiau

Disgraced French Budget Minister Jérôme Cahuzac had 15 million euros salted away in his secret Swiss bank account, a Swiss reporter claimed Sunday. And Cahuzac provided a fake tax certificate when he transferred the money to Singapore, reports say.

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“Cahuzac tried to place 15 million euros in private banks in Geneva,” Darius Rochebin of Swiss TV channel TSR tweeted on Sunday morning, while French Catholic paper La Croix’s Antoine Peillon also put the figure in the millions.

Dossier: The Cahuzac affair

Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger on Saturday claimed that when Cahuzac decided to transfer the money to Singapore in 2009 he provided a falsified tax certificate to finance house Reyl & Co and Swiss bank Julius Baer.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici was fending off accusations that he covered up for his junior minister as the scandal gained pace.

Right-winger Philippe Marini, who chairs the Senate’s finance commission, accused Moscovici of “taking people for idiots” with his claim that “I tried neither to whitewash nor to damn him”.

Marini claims that Moscovici deliberately set narrow terms for the question he sent to the Swiss authorities about the allegations, limiting it to the years 2006-2013 and to one bank, UBS, which had been cited by the Mediapart website.

Moscovici also failed to contact the authorities in Singapore, although Mediapart had mentioned the possibility of its existence, which the minister explains by the fact that the Swiss had given him no indication of an account on their territory.

In other news on the scandal:

  • A poll showed three in five respondents in favour of a government reshuffle in the light of the scandal, according to the Journal Du Dimanche;
  • National Assembly speaker Claude Bartolone said Sunday that Cahuzac had not yet replied to his efforts to convince him not to return to his seat in parliament;
  • Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s government has “no more credibility”, right-wing former prime minister Alain Juppé said on Sunday.
     

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