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 Leading by example


The French Finance Minister (a friend of Chirac who was probably going to be the next prime minister and promised three months ago that he would cut waste and over-spending by the French state) has been forced to resign after being caught lying repeatedly about his wealth.

Everything started with a news paper article revealing that he was living in a 600 m2 (6,500 sq ft) two levels apartment near the Champs Elysées, paid more than 14,000 euros per month with tax money. He first replied that he wasn't rich and would own his own apartment if he was. He said that he didn't realize how expensive that apartment was and that he started moving as soon as he found out.

Unfortunately (for him) it was then revealed that he indeed owns a 200 m2 (2,200 sq ft) flat in Paris (which he rents out for 2,300 euros per month) and that he recently got for 150,000 euros worth of renovations and equipments in the 600 m2 apartment, also paid by the government. And in the following days (while he was still denying being a liar), the list of his known possessions grew up to three more houses, two small apartments and a garage. Not too bad for a "humble cobbler's son" as he presented himself.

I've got a lot of fun seeing him going deeper and deeper in lame explanations that were immediately demonstrated to be lies, and seeing his friends of the UMP (Chirac's party) claiming how honest he is and how much rectitude he has. Of course there's nothing special about him; I mean they all take everything they can from their position (hell, if they remain minister long enough--six months, if I recall correctly--they even get their salary of minister paid for their whole life time!!!). It's far from being the first time such a scandal occurs, so none of this was a surprise to me. What always surprises me, though, is that most people continue to trust politicians blindly after having been demonstrated so many times that they just cannot be trusted!

Read THE INDEPENDENT's article for more details.

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