you're reading...

France and the Cahuzac affair

The tax evasion revelations about former Socialist budget minister Jerome Cahuzac shows it is time to end the revolting door between government and large private companies, and the impunity of the oligarchy, says Martine Billard of the Parti de Gauche.

The Cahuzac affair demonstrates, if any further proof were needed, how the mix of finance, politics and the media has reached a level that is bad for democracy. Looking at the career path of Jerome Cahuzac, can we really be surprised? A member of the Socialist Party in 1974 when it was still calling for the class struggle, Cahuzac was at the time rather more focussed on making money as a plastic surgeon, providing hair-transplants to the rich and famous. Conflicts of interest were introduced when he joined the departmental team of Claude Evin, Minister of Health (1988–91), and then when he created a consulting company using relationships previously forged with pharmaceutical companies.

This demonstrates the first thing: the need for an end to this revolting door between government ministries and large private companies. The most surprising thing about this story is that he was then chosen as budget minister. In the fight against tax evasion he was charged with carrying out, he lied with aplomb, convinced of being above the law. Like so many others before him, on the Right of course (remember the indictment of Eric Woerth, Sarkozy’s budget minister, the Takieddine affair and later, the scandals linked to social housing in Paris, a market fixing in the Ile-de-France …) but the Left is also contaminated: Dominique Strauss Khan could have been French president without the New York Sofitel affair.

No, Cahuzac is not an isolated case, it is part of a system that serves itself as long as possible and only rejects one of its own when it becomes impossible to do otherwise. The common thread here is the sense of impunity of the oligarchy.

But what is the government’s response? Nothing to strengthen legislation and the means to fight against tax evasion, instead minor reforms at the margins of the Constitution (clamp down on the holding of multiple elected political positions, but not before 2017…) and François Hollande’s proposal to ban elective office for persons convicted of tax fraud, despite the fact that laws already exist on ineligibility for office in such cases, but are very rarely applied.

Yes, there is something rotten when the pursuit of power and wealth takes precedence over the values of the Left, when the Socialist Party is no longer concerned about the ethics of individual candidates for government posts.

 Parti de Gauche April 4, 2013

Translation/Edit by Revolting Europe

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or email [email protected]



  1. Pingback: Radicals march for a Broad People’s Front, says French radical Melenchon | Revolting Europe - May 5, 2013

  2. Pingback: Why French radicals are marching – Interview with Mélenchon | Left Futures - May 8, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Twitter Updates

  • A Week in Revolting Europe paper.li/tomgilltweets/… #austerity #politics #poverty #inequality #protest #banks #pensions #wages #unions 1 week ago
  • A Gathering Storm: Eurozone in 2014 | Jacques Sapir | Revolting Europe wp.me/p1bMfw-1XC 1 week ago
  • RT @labourstart: France: Two Total refineries in France to shut down over strikes ow.ly/rNovF 1 week ago
  • RT @USILive: Banking Union without Reform? - usilive.org/banking-union-… 1 week ago
  • EU credit downgrade 'pours cold water on narrative that things getting better in eurozone' -The Economist. economist.com/blogs/charlema… #austerity 1 week ago
  • RT @corporateeurope: 'Elected politicians excluded from #EU-US negotiations', writes @StaffaniDK #TTIP notat.dk/elected-politi… 1 week ago
  • Women plan mass #protests in #Spain today against law changes taking abortion rights back 30 years newsinfo.inquirer.net/549871/spain-s… 1 week ago
  • RT @euronews: Major austerity drive in Portugal deemed illegal eurone.ws/JOjqV8 1 week ago
  • RT @SocialEurope: Read on SEJ: Why Wage Depression Is Not The Way Out For Spain bit.ly/19xQlGP 1 week ago
  • Families of kids with special needs issue SOS as disability benefits cut & schools cost too much ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_artic… #austerity #greece 2 weeks ago
Follow @tomgilltweets

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Anti-social Europe in numbers


Key facts and figures on wages across the EU

Wealth Inequality in Europe

Get the key facts and figures


A different take on European issues

Italy’s Healthcare Crisis

Health services are ‘close to collapse’ in Rome, Turin and Naples after years of cuts and privatisation.


99% of the 167 000 Madrilenos who signed a petition rejected the sell off local water company

Filthy Rich

France's Bernard Arnault of the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) empire is worth $41 billion. Check out Europe's rich list


Private banks receive half-trillion-euro gift from ECB


Workers and citizens stand up for themselves


Workers are on a go-slow over privatisation

Massive Spanish protest

Half a million take to the streets over labour market deregulation


Hundreds of workers occupied the factory of ArcelorMittal in Florange in the north of France

International Workers Day

International Workers Day 2012

RSS Watching Corporate Europe

  • Pesticides, tobacco and greedy lawyers: the most read stories from CEO in 2013
  • EFSA urged to clean up list of 'public interest' organisations
  • NGOs welcome Ombudsman’s damning report which heavily criticises Commission

RSS Hate Crimes in Europe

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Fight discrimination in Europe – Amnesty Int’l

  • Listen to Roma Rights
  • Russia: Total disregard for human rights on “Constitution Day”


in Italy the home is a very dangerous place to be


Workers down tools over PM Monti's attack on labour rights


Concentration camps and a massive migrant marine cemetery





Read the statement by Lafontaine and Melenchon

PM Rajoy One Year On

Spaniards are not impressed








The Dossier