This video from July this year is called France: The L’Oreal Funding Scandal.
This is, again, from the British Conservative Daily Telegraph (before any pro Sarkozy reader of this blog starts yelling about “liberal media” etc. etc.); of today:
Nicolas Sarkozy‘s party headquarters raided by police
Peter Allen, in Paris
Published: 12:40PM BST 09 Sep 2010
Three officers visited the building in Paris’s 8th arrondissement on Wednesday afternoon following claims about the finances of Lilian Bettencourt, France’s richest woman.
The 87-year-old L’Oreal heiress is said to have handed over envelopes full of cash to senior politicians including Sarkozy in return for the authorities overlooking tax avoidance on her multi-million pounds fortune.
During the latest raid connected with the case, detectives were said to be looking for a document proving that Eric Woerth, the employment minister, had recommended to Mr Sarkozy that Patrice de Maistre, Mrs Bettencourt’s wealth manager, be given the Legion of Honour.
It was Mr Woerth himself who decorated Mr De Maistre with the medal in January 2008, three months after the financier gave Mr Woerth’s wife, Florence, a highly paid job in his company.
Mr Woerth was the budget minister at the time, and meant to be looking for alleged tax avoiders like Mrs Bettencourt. Both Woerths deny a conflict of interest.
Philippe Courroye, the Nanterre prosecutor who is investigating the Bettencourt scandal, ordered the raid on the UMP HQ.
Conversations between Mrs Bettencourt and her financial adviser secretly recorded by her butler appear to show that she failed to declare €78 million (£65 million) in tax.
Mrs Bettencourt’s former bookkeeper claims Mr De Maistre handed Mr Woerth €150,000 in 2007, when Mr Woerth was budget minister and chief fund raiser for the UMP.
The inquiry, which is ongoing, is causing huge embarrassment to the Sarkozy government as it tries to reverse a slump in the opinion polls.
L’Oréal heiress declared mentally unfit: here.
Also from the Daily Telegraph:
Nicolas Sarkozy’s Roma crisis leaves his presidency still teetering on the brink
Nicolas Sarkozy hoped his plan to expel the Roma would help his faltering presidency back on track. But it has made him even more enemies. …
There is no doubt that the president desperately needs to win support somehow. One recent poll revealed that nearly two thirds of French people – 62 per cent – do not want Mr Sarkozy to stand for re-election in 2012, while another survey showed 57 per cent of those asked thought he would lose. Even more worrying for Mr Sarkozy, 40 per cent of them were from the president’s own ruling right-of-centre UMP party.
Euro MPs slam French Roma policy: European MPs criticise France’s expulsions of Roma: here.
The European Parliament has demanded that France immediately halt its mass expulsion of Roma people: here.