The fallout from Jerome Cahuzac’s confession that he lied over having a secret Swiss bank account now threatens the entire French government.
The crusading ex-budget minister has been subjected to a barrage of criticism, much from within his own party, for failing to admit to parliament and then on national television that he’s held offshore holding for twenty years.
Now questions are being asked of his former boss, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici after he said Swiss authorities found no evidence of any wrongdoing.
It has led to claims that the whole affair has been covered-up – an allegation firmly denied by the Socialist party.
Its spokesman, Eduardo Rihan-Cypel, told euronews that Cahuzac has received no protection.
“Investigators have only been able to make progress in the case because they’ve been able to work in complete freedom and independently, and I think that is the hallmark of this government which doesn’t try to block justice,” said Rihan-Cypel.
But the denials have failed to convince the France’s main opposition that there is no case to answer. The conservative UMP leader Jean-Francois Cope accused the French president of being naive at best: “What do we notice? A President of the Republic who, either knew nothing and that is extremely serious, and that shows a certain degree of naivety, or he knew about it and lied to the French.”
Having made the fight against tax fraud one of his government’s main policies, the affair is more than embarrassing for France’s beleaguered President Francois Hollande who’s now facing calls to reshuffle the cabinet.