A villa in the south of France is the focus of a new controversy to erupt in the country’s presidential election campaign. A newspaper is claiming that the Socialist candidate, Segolene Royal, and her husband, the head of the party, have seriously undervalued their properties, therefore paying much less than they should.
Royal denies any wrong doing: “I have confidence in the tax office. If it estimates that this declaration did not conform with the value of the property then it would have rectified matters.” She also says the couple’s tax evaluation had been carried out by an accountant.
But it is not just Royal in the spotlight over her finances. The candidate on the right, Nicholas Sarkozy, came under scrutiny in the same paper last week. He has denied claims he received a large discount on a flat he bought in 1997, and benefited from free rebuilding work. The first round of the elections is on April 22.