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French minister linked drawn into l'Oréal affair

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French minister linked drawn into l'Oréal affair


There are calls in France for a high profile minister and his wife to be investigated over their involvement with the country’s richest woman who’s suspected of tax evasion.

Labour minister Eric Woerth is already under pressure to resign because of ties to Liliane Bettencourt.

Woerth’s wife – who managed the 16 billion euro fortune of the heiress to the cosmetics giant l’Oréal – has quit her job over the affair.

But the opposition are demanding the minister’s head. He denies any wrongdoing:

On Sunday Woerth said: “I’m in the spotlight because I’m dealing with a pension system in need of reform. My name crops up because my wife works in an organisation, but she has nothing do with the case of madame Bettencourt. The two things are joined and its said we must shoot that guy over there.’‘

Bettencourt, who has a 30 percent stake in l’Oréal, is suspected of trying to funnel 80 million euros into a tax haven in the Seychelles after secret tapes released to the media appeared to show her conspiring with her financial advisor while at the same time making donations to France’s governing UMP party.

The 87 year-old heiress’s fortune is also being disputed in the courts by Bettencourt’s daughter, but now the affair has truly turned political.

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