French ex-budget minister Jerome Cahuzac bows out
- 19 May 2013
- From the section Europe
France's disgraced ex-budget minister Jerome Cahuzac, who stood down when he was found to have an undeclared Swiss bank account, says he will not stand in a by-election for his old seat.
He told the Depeche du Midi newspaper he feared a violent hate campaign.
Mr Cahuzac - who gained a reputation as a vocal crusader against the use of overseas tax havens - quit in March.
The scandal damaged President Francois Hollande's already beleaguered government.
Mr Cahuzac has been charged with tax fraud.
Paying his debts
He initially denied a report by an investigative website that he had an undeclared Swiss bank account until 2010.
But after a meeting with investigating magistrates in April, he admitted to having the account, which contained about 600,000 euros (£509,000; $770,000).
He told the Depeche newspaper he had transferred the funds to France: he would pay his debts to the state and turn any remaining funds over to charity.
A by-election for Mr Cahuzac's old seat, in the south-western administrative department of Lot-et-Garonne, will take place on 16 and 23 June.
Correspondents say the scandal is embarrassing for the French Socialist government which has made fighting tax evasion a priority, as it tries to cut public debt.
Recent opinion polls show Mr Hollande's approval rating among the public has fallen to about 25%.
This is the biggest slump for any French president in the past 50 years.
On 5 May, tens of thousands of protesters rallied in Paris to show their dissatisfaction with Mr Hollande.