Politics. Outspoken ministers? Some interests among asset declarations

The High Authority for Transparency of Public Life (HATPP) announced on Thursday, December 1, the results of declarations of interests and assets of 41 members of Elizabeth Borne’s government.

Caroline Cayeux is “absent” but…

41… Since Monday: If Caroline Cayeux appears on the list, she does not have a declaration of goods deemed insincere by HATVP. The question: “incomprehensibility” over possible tax evasion that led to the departure of this minister responsible for local authorities this week. No longer a minister, his legacy remains a mystery.

As of this Friday morning, the line “statement of financial position of termination of functions” appeared “in progress”.

These publications have been the norm since a transparency law passed in 2013 under Francois Hollande, which has been dogged by the scandal of Cahuzac, then his budget minister.

On its website, HATVP praised the “availability” and “speed” of ministers who returned their “copy” on time. And according to the sample, no violations of the law were detected.

Sometimes “rude” ministers?

Effective ministers, but not always good students: for 28 of them, The High Authority “requested the filing of amended returns to correct formal errors or immaterial inaccuracies.” This applies, for example, to Olivia Grégoire, who entered her 2022 €2.35 million apartment in the “miscellaneous movable property” box. Ironically, Culture Minister Rima Abdul-Malak appears to have made the same mistake for an apartment valued at €330,000 without having to correct it.

These statements, sometimes controversial tools, are intended to dispel suspicions of conflicts of interest, corruption and/or personal enrichment of elected officials and other public officials. In total, 6,675 personalities (ministers, MPs, senators, MEPs, regional and departmental councilors… and members of the HATVP college), belong to a total of 9,001 documents.

Dupond-Moretti at the meeting

Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti, who opposes transparency and cultivates a taste for “secrecy” like a good lawyer, has revealed his legacy for the second time. And this time without complaint: when he first entered the government in 2020, he condemned the interference in his “personal life”: I don’t like transparency. […] I think we live in a time where everything is in demand. I don’t like the period of doubt,” he insistently explained that he didn’t know that his children earned like this and that he started working “at the age of 14 and a half”.

Not surprisingly, the legacy of the Minister of Justice is among the most “endowed” with several real estates, two luxury watches, as well as several “motor vehicles”: two Harley-Davidsons, three cars – Fiat, Toyota and … Bentley – also a boat. The Keeper of the Seals also owns a very small share (0.18%) of the new Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat port company.

Among the revealed information are some other points of interest. Unlike Eric Dupond-Moretti, a large part of the government declares that there are no motorized vehicles. This is the work of Clément Beaune, Minister of Transport, as opposed to his counterpart in the Ecological Transition, Christophe Bechu, who owns Audi and BMW cars. Gabriel Attal (Public Accounts) announces his small Piaggio scooter purchased in 2014.

Schiappa, Darmanin and Lecornu exposed…

The list of bank accounts can be dizzying at times: 17 for Dupond-Moretti, 16 for Marc Fesneau (Agriculture), 14 for Agnès Pannier-Runacher (Energy Transition)… but it must be said that the smallest booklet should be visible. And the books and accounts of all members of the tax family (but not their identity) must also be declared.

Ironically, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne claims to have three PEAs (equity savings plans) (and as many life insurance policies) to her name, when in principle more than one – holding two at the same time – is prohibited. PEA-PME.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin shows an overdraft of 691 euros in his current account. And… three A-booklets. But according to his statement, only one is in his own name – presumably the other two are in the names of his wife and their young son. His legacy is one of the shortest in government: apart from a house in the North (bought on a loan in 2019) and a €12,000 deposit, the Home Secretary has nothing to declare. This is also the case for Sébastien Lecornu (Armies) who won over €2,370! Or Marlène Schiappa (Solidarity Economy) with “-52 € in the current account balance “.

On the other hand, other more conservative members of the government point to long careers in the private sector, legacies from inheritance and/or marriage as leverage. This is the case, for example Especially real estate, like Sylvie Retailleau (Higher Education and Research). Agnès Firmin Le Bodo (Health Representative), Laurence Boone (Europe) and Amélie Oudéa-Castéra (Sports), who demonstrates comfortable financial wealth.

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