It’s been a hot news week in France. Sarkozy has admonished Cabinet Ministers to stay in France for vacations. The President’s wife Carla Bruni is recording her fourth CD. Sarkozy called Mubarak’s decision to leave office courageous and necessary, not to mention a historic moment. And French police flooded Algiers Saturday.
Everyone knows the French relish vacations. Now there’s a debate over what’s considered diplomacy or boondoggles. When President Sarkozy reorganized the government last November, he hoped to put an end to the mini-scandals that had plagued his government.
The President appointed Michèle Alliot-Marie Minister of Foreign Affairs. She was in hot water after it was discovered she’d taken a family vacation in Tunisia as the uprising broke out there. Worse yet, she’d accepted a ride in the private jet of a local tycoon who happened to be going to her destination.
To aggravate matters, Prime Minister François Fillon and his family spent a week in Egypt during the New Year’s vacation. Although they were charged for the cost of flight from France to Egypt on a government plane, the Prime Minister and his family were guests of the Egyptian government, which paid their expenses for hotel rooms, a Nile cruise, and a sightseeing flight. The French government picked up the tab for Fillon’s security staff. Sarkozy has since instructed Cabinet members to confine their upcoming vacations to France.
President Nicolas Sarkozy urged Egypt to take steps towards free elections following Hosni Mubarak’s departure on Friday. Sarkozy called Mubarak’s decision to leave office courageous and necessary, not to mention a historic moment.
In Algeria, thousands of French police flooded the capital city of Algiers Saturday as opposition groups, defying an official ban on rallies, have vowed to press ahead with a pro-democracy march.
Good news on the rugby front: France defeated Scotland on February 5th at the Stade de France. The score was 34 to 21.
Stay tuned for more news.
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