24 thoughts on “French grab at Libyan oil

  1. Nicolas Sarkozy gossip could give victory to Socialists

    From: The Times
    September 09, 2011 12:00AM

    NICOLAS Sarkozy faced an embarrassing split in his Centre-Right party yesterday after a senior figure was suspended for reigniting rumours that the President had slept with one of his ministers.

    Pierre Charon, Mr Sarkozy’s former communications adviser, appeared to suggest that Sports Minister Chantal Jouanno, 42, owed her place in the government to an extramarital relationship with Mr Sarkozy.

    Although Mr Charon, one of the President’s oldest associates, later claimed he had been misunderstood, his comments sparked fury within Mr Sarkozy’s Union for a Popular Movement.

    Ms Jouanno, a former French karate champion who is married with three children, said Mr Charon would be made to “pay for a long time” for alluding to the rumours. The speculation first surfaced last year amid claims on internet chat forums that Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the President’s wife, was having an affair with singer Benjamin Biolay.

    No evidence emerged to substantiate the speculation but Ms Bruni-Sarkozy said vehement public denials by Mr Charon at the time had given the rumours publicity and made matters worse. Mr Charon, 50, was promptly sacked.

    In what appears to have been a fit of pique, he responded by announcing he was organising a dissident Centre-Right list for this month’s elections to the French Senate. He is standing in Paris against the UMP list in the city, which is headed by Ms Jouanno.

    Mr Charon was asked on French television whether his campaign would split the Centre-Right vote, and offer victory to the opposition Socialist Party, which hopes to win control of the Senate for the first time.

    He replied that Ms Jouanno was certain to be elected anyway, adding: “Whether on the tatamis or in bed, she’s head of the list.”

    The comment was taken as a reference to last year’s rumours.


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