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declared a fortune of about EUR 4 Million at the time of the last election (the law now forces the candidates to make a full declaration of their wealth, and at least that of the two runners up to the second round is published)

He has been a civil servant all his life.

(His wife comes from money, but that's kept separate, supposedly)

In the 70s, he bought a ruin in Corrèze (Chateau de Bity), got his very own government to declare it a "Monument Historique", and, presto, all renovation work was paid for by the State.

Then he got the Croix Rouge or some similar organsation to buy the land around it (supposedly to build a retirement house) and keep it unbuilt so that his view would not be spoilt.

Despite having access to fond secrets (government cash, used to pay for secret services in untraceable ways, but also used as petty cahs to improve the pay of minister and their assistants), he has taken the habit of ultra luxurious holidays in Maldives, Morocco etc paid by people like Hariri (the billionaire former prime minister of Lebanon, killed last year in a bombing) or the King of Morocco or various corporate friends.

And that's of course on top of all the kickbacks from compnaies to finance political parties, and of the use of Paris's massive tax wealth when he was mayor to pay for lots and lots of goodies, including plenty of jobs and free appartments to friends and their kids, lovers, and obligés.

It's all documented, proven. Just read Le Canard Enchainé every week. Sometimes, it forces them to give up an appartment, or some of the shadier deals. But the good life goes on.

(And it's not everybody. De Gaulle is famous for paying himself for pastires when he brought his grandkids to the Elysée on week-ends)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 12:08:51 PM EST
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Jesus. And we had one of our ministers fired for buying a piece of Toblerone chocolate with the government credit card.

And she was the damn crown princess for the social democrat party and the most likely next pm.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 12:15:08 PM EST
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Anyway, it seems France need some doberman prosecutors who hate the government (or the mafia really, but what's the difference in Berlusconiland?), like in Italy.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 12:20:13 PM EST
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We did get them in the 90s, and things HAVE been cleaned up to a pretty good extent.

  • Pretty strignent (and effective) party financing laws have been passed;

  • a number of politicians have been sentenced (including senior ones like Alain Juppé, former PM and Chirac's right hand man, Alain Carignon, Michel Noir (both ministers of Chirac and mayors of large cities), Henri Emmanuelli (socialist Treasurer);

  • and they have gotten pretty close to Chirac (who may yet be prosecuted when he no longer is president);

  • cash handouts to ministers (fonds secrets) have been banned, etc...

So it's not all hopeless.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 12:32:04 PM EST
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and Alain Carignon did actually serve time in the slammer for embezzlement; so did Michel Noir, if I'm not mistaken I wasn't living in France at the time).

Now out of jail, Alain Carignon got recently re-elected as chairman of the local branch of UMP (France's ruling party), here in the fair city of Grenoble, and probably intends to run for mayor... again.
Who wrote that line about the first time as a tragedy and the second time as a farce?

by Bernard on Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 03:26:05 PM EST
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"including plenty of jobs to friends"

And including plenty of fake jobs too, as it would be quite cruel to make your friends actually work.

by Alex in Toulouse on Fri Apr 28th, 2006 at 12:26:01 PM EST
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