French Scandals Over Expenses Force 2 to Resign

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French Scandals Over Expenses Force 2 to Resign


Published: July 4, 2010

PARIS — Two French government ministers resigned suddenly on Sunday, apparently pushed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, after new attention was brought to spending scandals involving Cuban cigars and a private jet.


Alain Joyandet, the secretary of state for cooperation, and Christian Blanc, in charge of development of the Paris region, submitted their resignations and Mr. Sarkozy accepted them, his office said in a statement on Sunday evening. Government officials said that Mr. Sarkozy had asked for the resignation of Mr. Blanc in a time of economic retrenchment and a crackdown on government spending.

It was unclear late Sunday whether Mr. Sarkozy had specifically asked for Mr. Joyandet’s resignation. But he said he was resigning as well despite his assertion that he had never used any public funds for personal benefit.

The resignations may also be an effort to deflect opposition and public criticism from Mr. Sarkozy’s labor minister, Eric Woerth, who was budget minister until March and still is the treasurer of the governing party. Mr. Woerth has been under fire since his wife worked directly for one of France’s richest women, Liliane Bettencourt, who allegedly agreed to send money abroad to avoid taxes.

Mr. Joyandet, citing a tight schedule, spent $142,000 in March on a private jet to attend a Haiti reconstruction conference in Martinique. Prime Minister François Fillon then instituted new oversight rules for such travel. Mr. Blanc charged the state around $15,000 for Cuban cigars, which Mr. Fillon ordered him to repay, and faces new allegations of seeking a questionable building permit to expand a vacation house.

Mr. Sarkozy’s aides say that a larger government reshuffle will take place in October, but there may be other resignations before tha

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Raison d'Etat takes on a new meaning... we must get Minister Blanc to upload some pics of his collection to the hot box forum pages.

Does it matter? the French are so far in debt due to so many factors that this is probably a drop in the bucket.

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So, this is the first I hear that corruption/scandal wasn't related to sex with an intern, receiving bribes, getting preferential loans, etc. Mr. Blanc must really love his habanos. Hopefully they weren't plugged or fake. He'll need a good smoke to contemplate where he will apply for his next job.

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