France: Past Haunts Sarkozy – OpEd


By Alexander Artamonov

The results of the presidential elections will soon become known in France, and there is a feeling that Sarkozy is preparing to sell his position at a high price. The thing is that in case of a loss, consequences may be more than unpleasant for the retiring President. It concerns his good name, and his further activity as a major political figure. After the defeat, Nicolas Sarkozy may be prosecuted on several charges simultaneously. Most of all, the incumbent President is worried about two cases from his past. The first is the Betancourt case, and the second – the case of Karachi (after a place name in Pakistan). Sarkozy is trying to overcome his past, but, frankly speaking, he is not very successful in it.

The case of Madame Betancourt, a wealthy heiress of the “L’Oreal” perfume empire, has already accumulated numerous details. This woman allegedly partly financed Sarkozy’s election campaign in 2007. The volume of this generous donation supposedly made up 150 thousand Euros. The money was transferred through the agency of Eric Vert, then the Treasurer of the ruling party and the party candidate at the elections, as well as Nicolas Sarkozy is today.

The Karachi case is even more unpleasant for the retiring President and is fraught with legal consequences after the withdrawal of presidential immunity. While the total sum of the contract for supplying French submarines to Pakistan amounted to 825 million euros, kickbacks allegedly amounted to about 75 million euros. According to the version of the investigation, this money was spent on supporting the election campaign of Eduard Balladure. Then, in 1994, Sarkozy held the post of the Minister of Finance and at the same time headed the election headquarters of his friend Balladure. In other words, he could not but know about this dirty business.

Last September journalists of the French newspaper “Le Monde” Fabrice L’Homme and Gerard Daver published a book entitled “Sarko Killed Me” about the fate of people who had suffered from Sarkozy’s revenge. The case of Lillian Betancourt is carefully examined in this book, and numerous proofs of the President’s guilt are produced. Fabrice L’Homme also knows about the circumstances of other celebrated and scandalous affairs, associated with the name of Nicolas Sarkozy. Can judges of the Fifth Republic cease the persecution and forget about Sarkozy’s participation in these shady enterprises? That is what co-author of the book Fabrice L’Homme said in answer to this question:

“I think that the case is not closed. There will be more confessions, and they will be very unpleasant for Sarkozy. Much depends on justice, on the press, on you and me. We do our work, trying to verify the information. Anyway, it is clear that the Betancourt case alone, being the most important of all, directly points out the guilt of the present President. This case will develop, and it will be very unpleasant for Nicolas Sarkozy”.

Figuratively speaking, it looks like what Sarkozy needs is the Grève Square. The anointing of the Socialist President will be more solemn, if it is followed by a clatter of a falling head of the Hungarian Bonaparte, as the retiring occupant of the Élysée Palace is often called. And whatever spells he pronounces on TV, he won’t manage to exorcise the past.

One Response

  1. Ranjit Rai April 30, 2012

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