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French junior finance minister resigns after conviction

A junior finance minister quit the French government Wednesday after being convicted of failing to declare all his wealth and income.

The unusual conviction of a minister in office is a stain on the government of President Emmanuel Macron who had promised a wholesale cleanup of political life when he was elected in 2017.

Alain Griset, who worked in the Finance Ministry and oversaw relations with small and medium-sized businesses, was convicted of submitting an incomplete wealth declaration to the government transparency authority. He was handed a six-month suspended prison sentence and a three-year suspended ban on holding public office.

Griset’s office said in a statement that he has appealed Wednesday’s court decision, but submitted his resignation pending the appeal. It wasn't immediately clear whether he would be replaced.

French media reported that Griset had failed to declare financial holdings including stock-based bank accounts and stocks in leading French companies, and that during his trial he said he failure to declare was the result of “clumsiness” and bad financial advice.

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