French President Francois Hollande has promised sweeping new anti-corruption measures, a day after his former budget minister admitted having had a secret foreign bank account containing hundreds of thousands of Euros.
Likewise in Spain the corruption allegations have reached the royal family and leading politicians including President Mariano Rajoy, several ministers and regional premiers.
In a taped television address Wednesday evening, Hollande said he would introduce legislation requiring government ministers and members of parliament to declare and publish details of their personal wealth, and would take steps to strengthen the independence of the judiciary.
He also said that public officials convicted of fraud or corruption would be permanently banned from holding public office.
On Tuesday, Jerome Cahuzac, who resigned as budget minister two weeks ago, was formally charged with laundering the proceeds of tax fraud after admitting he had held an undisclosed Swiss bank account containing some 600,000 Euros.
Cahuzac, who had previously denied the charges, said he had the account for around 20 years.
But France is not the only European country currently embroiled in a high-level corruption scandal.
Spain's Princess Cristina was named Wednesday as a suspect in a corruption case against her husband, who is accused of involvement in the embezzlement of million of euros in public funds through a charity he headed.
Likewise several Spanish politicians and officials including President Mariano Rajoy have been implicated in an illegal monthly payments network organized by a former ruling Popular Party treasurer Luis Barcenas whom it was revealed had 32 million Euros in Swiss banks.
Apparently the slush fund was fed with contributions from the construction industry barons that led Spain to the great real estate speculation bubble.
Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro has also been targeted since his masterminding of an amnesty for tax dodgers last year left him exposed him especially as the initiative brought in only half the funds expected and among the beneficiaries was none else than Bárcenas who cleared 10 million Euros.
And then there is Health Minister Ana Mato accused of having received payments and gifts from the Gürtel kickbacks network, including holidays, Louis Vuitton bags and children’s parties.
Another elected official in trouble is Alberto Nuñez Feijóo, premier of Galicia and hotly tipped to succeed president Rajoy in the ruling PP. He was photographed enjoying holidays in a yacht with a good friend of his, Marcial Dorado Baúlde, currently serving a 14-year jail sentence for drug trafficking.