The Champagne Government
Bank accounts, securities, real estate, art and cars – France’s Socialist Ministers are laying their assets bare. And the French are surprised at how well-off their government is. Most notably Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Handelsblatt reports.
Paris. France’s ministers are car shy: in any case, only one female minister claims a fancy sports car her own. But they are clearly not starving as their list of assets shows, a list which was released on Monday afternoon on the Internet. All 38 members of the socialist government of President François Hollande provide insight into their finances. By far the richest is Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, with a fortune of 6.5 million euros consisting of real estate, stocks, and an art collection worth over 630,000 euros.
One of the surprises on the list is Labor Minister Michel Sapin. No one had counted on him to figure on the list of top earners. His numerous properties are worth 2.2 million euros, which lands him in the top three of Hollande’s hit parade of wealth.
Just like Fabius, Senior Minister Michèle Delaunay inherited most of her assets. Last week already, she had published her asset list worth more than five million euros. She not only stands out because of the value of her portfolio but also because she owns 23 checking and savings accounts, in addition to a dozen other accounts.
The discussions already center around whether everything was above board when it comes to the ministers’ asset declarations.
What is interesting is the fact that French ministers seem to predominantly place their bets on real estate. The vast majority of their assets are invested ??in houses and apartments. Most seem to be wary of the financial system: only a few have large portfolios of stocks, bonds and mutual funds, or bank accounts carrying large sums of money.
The Justice Minister, Christiana Taubira, poked fun at her asset list. She even added three bikes it, with the most expensive one being a Gitane brand, featuring an acquisition cost of 400 euros.
The trigger for the drive for transparency was the black money scandal of disgraced Budget Minister, Jerome Cahuzac.