Just the person you want as a minister then

He insisted that he was “not a fraudster” and said his late payments were the result of psychological problems, which he described as an “administrative phobia”, explaining that he tended to let his paperwork slide.

He failed to pay taxes or rent for three years……and then became France’s trade minister.

9 thoughts on “Just the person you want as a minister then”

  1. I am constantly in awe at how shameless French ministers are in these situations, which seem to happen constantly. “Administrative phobia”? Maybe there’s something being lost in the translation here?

    How the buggering hell do you not pay rent for 3 yrs (!) and not get booted out? Seriously, after 12/18/24 months wouldn’t large men be paying you a visit?

  2. In related news ….. “France also got a powerful post – ex-Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici, a socialist, will run EU economic policy.” (BBC)

    Because France is such a shining economic example to us all and Socialism has years of success, I suppose.

    I believe there was a joke about this, don’t the Italians get traffic management?

  3. Well, he did get fired at least. British MPs don’t pay their rent either (we do), and some of them apparently don’t pay their taxes either.

    Also, ministers tend to come with their own big men, bigger than landlord’s big men.

  4. If you had sat through some of the meetings I had this week, you’d be convinced that this chap genuinely is one of France’s most principled and competent people. The French are good engineers and technicians, and are wonderfully creative. But their administrative skills are laughable and their managerial skills non-existent.

  5. Bloke with a Boat – “Because France is such a shining economic example to us all and Socialism has years of success, I suppose.”

    In fairness, he won’t be standing for election any more. So he can be honest. He can do the sensible thing. It is amazing how often socialists become sensible once they no longer have to play to the gallery.

    “I believe there was a joke about this, don’t the Italians get traffic management?”

    It was always a flaw in the original Italian Job. As someone must have noticed before me, if Benny Hill screwed up their traffic management, how would anyone know?

  6. Be careful with the 3 year tax claim. The french tax authorities can only go back 3 years. It is possible that he has never paid tax. You see one way to trigger an investigation if you have never paid taxes is to suddenly start paying taxes !

  7. This sort of petty corruption seems pretty much par for the course in French politics. This is what wikipedia has to say about another (former) French Minister:

    In June 2011, Le Canard Enchaîné, Le Monde and other media[3][4] revealed that Luc Ferry, a professor at Paris Diderot University since 1996 (or 1997, depending on sources) had not ever taught there — when he was minister, he was on leave, and when not on leave his obligation to teach was waived in order for him to undertake other official duties, some of which came with compensation pay, while he was still paid as a professor. In 2010, however, the University became financially autonomous (respecting the new legislation created by Valérie Pécresse) and did not want to have professors on its payroll that did not teach; it then required Luc Ferry to do his allocated teaching share, which he declined to do. In 2011, according to some sources, the university is threatening to get him to refund his salary (€4500 per month).

    4500 Euros a month? Not a bad little back hander. Notice they did not fire him.

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