The Wildenstein estate has been before the tax authorities for almost ten years. It would be of interest for any large-scale tax evasion.
Marcel Rogemont :
“Hundreds of millions of undeclared euros are at stake, hidden trusts concerning works of art, Bonnard, Courbet, Fragonnard, Picasso,all falling like rain. There is even Caravaggio’s Le Joueur de Luth!
The possible tax evasion is huge and nothing has been done so far! Why hasn’t anything been done yet? For nearly four years now, successive ministers have refused to carry out an investigation into the suspicions concerning Guy Wildenstein. Is it because Guy Wildenstein is a friend of Mr. Sarkozy? Is it because he belongs to the inner circle? Is it because he is one of the eminent fundraisers of the UMP? My colleague Alain Vidalies asked you a question on this subject in July 2010… You did not answer. Why didn’t you answer?
We have just learned by dispatch just now, upon entering the Chamber, that your services are carrying out an investigation. What is it? Why did you wait so long? Is it because you were informed of my question? Is it because the build-up of cases weighs on your future – Bettencourt, Bidermann, Tapie – and you have to react to one of them?
The enormity of these questions calls for unfailing vigilance, and we will show it. At this point and if the information is confirmed, may the people who have helped to force fate in this case be thanked! »
Valérie Pécresse’s answer :
“There is in our democracies a fundamental principle: tax secrecy, the right to tax secrecy. Fiscal secrecy, Mr. Deputy, is linked to the right and the respect of the private life of each of our fellow citizens. Tax secrecy is like medical secrecy. Just as a family doctor does not have the right to disclose medical information about a patient, a Minister of the Budget does not have the right to disclose tax information about the situation of one of our compatriots. You are asking me today to violate this tax secrecy, as you asked each of my predecessors to do. This is extremely serious.
It is when the great principles of democracy begin to be disregarded that attacks on people make democracy regress. I am thinking of fiscal secrecy, but also of the presumption of innocence that you are constantly flouting.
With regard to the individual situation you are talking about, you should know that the tax administration is doing its job. It is doing its job in relation to justice. It does its job using all the tools at its disposal – the tax police and the filing of complaints.
It is doing its job under the control of the president of the finance commission who, since the constitutional revision, is a prominent member of the opposition. The chairman of the finance commission is informed about the work of the tax administration. He is well aware that the state has not failed in this area. »
Author: Etienne Dumont
Photo: Angeli / Pure People