Day 91 (pt 3) – What do I know?

Fillon fights on.

Speaking slowly and clearly for 20 minutes to 200 journalists (50 from overseas), Fillon took 25 minutes’ questions. He said that for 35 years his ethics had been ‘irreproachable’. He had at all times wholly ‘respected the law’. Fillon gave details of his wife’s net monthly salary and her rôle, saying the employment of his wife and children had always been totally legal. His 4 hour interview, and his wife’s 5 hour interview, with the police had explained all. He promised to put on the web this evening all the details of his wife’s various contracts. His bank accounts were above board. His consultancies were all explained.The values of his properties were given, explaining why his total ‘wealth’ did not exceed the level which required him to pay the Wealth Tax.

Several journalists’ questions as to whether he would repay any monies to the State regarding the employment of family members. Reply: nothing to be repaid – all employment contracts were wholly legal.

Explaining (?) away Madame Penelope’s statement ‘I have never been his assistant’, Fillon said his wife had been his ‘work companion’ and ‘collaborator’.

His sole mea culpa was that he ‘profoundly regretted’ his mistake – and for this he presented his ‘apologies’ to the French people – for not having understood sufficiently quickly that it had become unacceptable for MPs to employ the members of their family.

He referred several times to a ‘lynching’ and a ‘political assassination’. This had been organised, he said, by those who would benefit from the Right losing the Election.

Referring to the possibility of a Républicains Plan B, he described that as a Plan Bérézina ‘(ie  disaster).

From this evening, he said, a new campaign starts: ‘I am the candidate’.

So it’s evident I know next-to-nothing. Fillon was calm, steady, relaxed, convincing, clear(ish) and serious during the press conference. But I keep wondering. Will those nearly 70% of the French who (this weekend) had said they wanted Fillon to withdraw his candidature change their position now? I’m not at all sure.  Will they swallow eg the payment of €3000 net/month to his non-qualified children?

And the Damocletian Sword of the enquiry is still over his head. If charged, Fillon has said he will stand down.

 

One thought on “Day 91 (pt 3) – What do I know?

  1. I didn’t hear Fillon’s speech, but this is an interesting declaration about the Wealth Tax. The threshhold for Wealth tax is currently €1.3 million net value of all assets of the Fillon couple taken together. His main property, the Manoir de Beaucé, is apparently declared at €650 k for which there would be a reduction (‘abattement’) of 30% as principal residence, bringing the taxable value down to €455 k. This leaves €845 k of other assets, including any further properties for which there would be no reduction before hitting the Wealth Tax threshhold. So Mr and Mrs Fillon do not seem to have accumulated much wealth in long and reasonably well paid careers for both of them, including any consultancy earnings, especially as a lot of ‘board and rations’ have been covered by various ‘expense allowances’as a politician.
    It is not unknown for French politicians to be conservative in their valuations of assets for tax purposes. Both Sarko and Ségolène Royale apparently declared their properties at very modest sums during the 2007 Presidential elections, and François Bayrou considers his substantial residence in the South-West as a ‘business asset’ and therefore excluded from Wealth Tax.
    I’m sure that some investigative journalist or blogger will be on the case.

    Liked by 1 person

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