DELAYS and confusion surrounds the planned publication today of ministers’ wealth declarations in the wake of the Cahuzac scandal.
First their tax declarations were ruled to be private and confidential – not for the ministers, but for the members of their families mentioned on them - and then plans to get the information online by 17.00 were scrapped and a new 19.00 deadline set up.
The first delay came after Parliamentary Relations Minister Alain Vidalies said on RTL the tax declarations “would not and will not” be revealed as there was a judicial problem and privacy concerns.
He said he agreed with the need for transparency, but added: “There’s a problem with third parties. Let’s suppose that you have a minister who pays alimony; if you publish that then you are publishing the income of the other person. There’s a problem with tax confidentiality and also constitutional questions.”
However, last Friday – also on RTL – Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault had said tax declarations would be part of what ministers revealed.
This evening the wealth declarations of the 37 government ministers are due to go online on the www.gouvernement.fr website at 17.00.
It had been intended that they would contain details of their tax declarations along with details of their property holdings, bank accounts, vehicles and jewels. Tax details will not now be included.
Some ministers have already given some details, but added light-hearted touches: Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti has a 70m2 flat in Paris but also a David Beckham T-shirt; Housing Minister Cécile Duflot has a €168,000 house plus a €1,500 Renault Twingo and a Renault 4L; Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg has a €4,000 designer chair.
Elsewhere, former Green presidential candidate Eva Joly said her life was “already transparent” and said she owned kayaks, but admitted they were made of expensive carbon-fibre.
Extreme Left-winger Jean-Luc Mélenchon revealed his details on his blog, saying: “My name is Jean-Luc Mélenchon. I was born August 18, 1951 in Tangiers, Morocco. I am 1.74m tall. I weigh 79kg. My shirt size is 41/42. My trouser size is 42. I take size 42 shoes. All my hair is natural and is not coloured."
Photo: Benoît Granier/Matignon