French ministers declare their (financial) worth
French ministers have published their personal assets in a move President François Hollande hopes will help restore confidence in his government. The richest member of the government is Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius, weighing in at over six million euros.
Hollande himself released details of his assets when he was elected last year and did not make a new declaration.
But the 38 ministers did on the government's official website:
- Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault declared assets of 1,550,000 euros with two houses and a garage, as well as two cars;
- Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius, an art lover whose father was an antiques dealer, declared 6,070,000 euros, with a 2.75 million-euro apartment, two country houses and shares in an auction company, among other assets;
- Minister for the Elderly Michele Delaunay declared a net worth of 5.4 million euros;
- Labour Minister Michel Sapin declared assets of 2,150,00 euros, including 433 hectares of farming land.
The disclosures come after tax fraud charges laid against ex-budget minister Jerome Cahuzac and is part of a package of transparency and anti-fraud reforms Hollande would like to have passed by the summer.
Some ministers made their assets public before the deadline, with Delaunay admitting that she was worried that people would question her right to an opinion on living on unemployment benefit.
The measure, which will soon be extended to MPs, has aroused criticism on the right and from some members of the ruling Socialist Party.
Former prime minister Alain Juppé, of the opposition UMP party, published his assets "under media pressure" but grumbled that "the only relevant measure is the amount of a publci figure's wealth at the time he takes office and the time he leaves it".
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