The admission that one of the pillars of the French cabinet lied repeatedly has sent shockwaves through French politics.
The 60-year-old disgraced former minister was quick to apologise to President Francois Hollande and asked for “forgiveness.”
French Prime Minster Jean Marc Ayrault said his former colleague fell short of the required standards:
“Jérôme Cahuzac lied. He lied to the president of the republic and the prime minister. A politician must be blameless, more than any other citizen. Politicians should set an example and they should first and foremost comply with the law.”
The main opposition UMP Party saw a chance to make some political capital:
Jean-Francois Cope Sot, president of the UMP said: “The question is on everyone’s mind. It is difficult to imagine that François Hollande knew nothing, while Jérôme Cahuzac was his budget minister and that there were clearly many discussions on this subject. “
After months of severe criticism and legal threats Mediapart, the web based news outlet, has been vindicated.
Edwy Plenel is director of Mediapart:
“ It is a democratic earthquake and hard to measure how this oligarchy unites political power, economic, financial and personal gain and believes it to be the property of the Republic, which they feel is above the law. They now realise the law applies to them too. French democracy gets very low marks. It took four months, four months of perseverance from a small independent news outlet Mediapart confronted by a wall of denial and lies, it’s just not normal,” he said.