France: Sacked minister 'missed three years of rent'

Mr Thevenoud allegedly forgot to pay rent because of an "administrative phobia" Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Thevenoud allegedly forgot to pay rent because of an "administrative phobia"

France's former trade minister - sacked just last week for tax irregularities - has now been accused of not paying his rent for three years because of an "administrative phobia", it's been reported.

Thomas Thevenoud was told he would be evicted from his Paris flat in the affluent Left Bank neighbourhood because he had missed so many payments, the Le Canard Enchaine newspaper says. But it was only when the landlord heard about his tenant's tax issues that he decided to ring the interior ministry and tell his story.

The satirical weekly, which specialises in investigative journalism, says the politician blamed his rent backlog on forgetfulness and an "administrative phobia". But he says he has now paid off his debts and found a new place to live.

Last week, Thevenoud was fired from the French cabinet for "problems of conformity with his taxes" only nine days after he was appointed as trade minister. He has had to leave the Socialist Party over the incident but insists he won't resign from parliament.

This is not the first time the politician has attracted unwanted headlines. Last year he was photographed playing online Scrabble on his tablet during a parliamentary debate on gay marriage.

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