French government report clears minister of tax accusations

11th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

French government financial inspectors on Sunday cleared scandal-hit Labour Minister Eric Woerth of accusations that he helped L'Oreal billionaire Liliane Bettencourt evade taxes.

A report by the General Financial Inspection office (IGF), which is under the authority of the finance ministry, said that Woerth "did not intervene" in Bettencourt's tax affairs by using his authority when he was budget minister.

Woerth had been linked to alleged attempts to evade taxes by France's richest woman, when he was in charge of fighting tax cheats as budget minister.

His name was mentioned in conversations secretly recorded and leaked by her butler, which sparked a widening scandal linked to the billionaire's fortunes.

Woerth has also been accused of a conflict of interest because his wife worked for a company managing Bettencourt's estate while he was minister.

© 2010 AFP

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