Richard North, 27/03/2005  

Corruption is still rife at top level of French government says The Sunday Telegraph.

This follows on from the reports last week on the massive corruption trial in France. Some 47 people – among them Chirac's closest former political allies – have been on trial over a vast "kickback" scheme allegedly run from city hall while Chirac was mayor.

Now, Eric Halphen, the French judge who first uncovered the corruption is claiming that bribery and cronyism are still rife at the highest levels of government. He insists that France's political elite remain effectively untouchable.

"These cases in no way signal the end of high-level corruption in France," he says. "I have had several companies tell me recently that, despite all the court cases and scandals, the old organised systems of corruption, kickbacks and bribes are still intact, and anyone hoping to secure a deal with the public works sector has to play ball."

French politicians corrupt? Is the Pope a Catholic?

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