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French minister continues pension reform after being cleared in Bettencourt tax affair

07-13-2010 12:09 BJT

PARIS, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Labor Minister Eric Woerth said Monday he would continue on with pension reforms after being cleared of allegations of involvement in the Bettencourt tax evasion affair.

A report from the tax inspector of the Finance Ministry on Sunday said that Woerth did not use his power as budget minister to help Liliane Bettencourt evade taxes.

Bettencourt, the L'Oreal heiress, was accused of evading taxes via offshore accounts and illegally providing 150,000 euros (189,241 U.S. dollars) to President Nicolas Sarkozy in campaign donations.

"The situation is clear" and "I am greatly relieved because people finally believe me," said Woerth, Sarkozy's former campaign treasurer.

Woerth said he was "not at all physically or morally weakened" by the affair and would press ahead with pension reforms amidst overwhelming critism and distrust in the French media.

Sarkozy was scheduled to make a televised speech Monday evening, trying to make clear some knots troubling his cabinet concerning the Bettencourt scandal.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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