Cover

The “Woerth/Bettencourt affair” is putting the government on the spot: back when current labour ministerEric Woerth was in charge of the budget, did he “turn a blind eye” to irregularities in Liliane Bettencourt’s tax returns? The press and the opposition denounce the minister’s conflict of interest: until she resigned last week, the minister’s wife worked for the company that managed the fortune of the heiress to L’Oréal, the biggest taxpayer in France and a donor to the ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), whose treasurer is none other than…Eric Woerth. In the hot seat, Woerth can count on the support of president Nicolas Sarkozy, who is bent on pushing the controversial pension reform through, come hell or high water, before the autumn.To Libération the scandal reveals “the, at the very least, ambiguous relationship” between “some of the conservative establishment” and money, a connection that “shows a disconnect with workaday France struggling to make ends meet”.