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Blog Posted in avatar   Johnny Summerton's Blog

Nicolas Sarkozy's Valentine's gift

By Johnny Summerton
Posted Feb 14, 2012 in Politics
To viewers of TF1's prime time news on Monday evening it must surely have seemed like a (political) declaration of love, as the leader of the Parti chrétien-démocrate (Christian democratic party, PCD), Christine Boutin, withdrew from the presidential race and threw her weight behind Nicolas Sarkozy.
Mind you, it was hardly a surprise after the weekend's glowing tribute - oops sorry - interview - in the weekend edition of the national daily Le Figaro in which Sarkozy laid out the bones of his electoral campaign - oops, sorry again - his "values for France."
In that interview, Sarkozy - the non-declared candidate to his own succession so obviously not preparing the ground to enter into the fray - expressed his views on, among other things, same-sex marriage, adoption by same-sex couples and a change in the law on euthanasia; "no" in each case.
And as far as Boutin was concerned it was proof that she and Sarkozy were finally singing from the same hymn sheet.
"Nicolas Sarkozy has shown in recent speeches and the interview in Le Figaro that he's in favour of re-inforcing the institution of marriage by rejecting the idea of same-sex marriage and he is against euthanasia," she said.
"He has made the distinction between education and instruction and lifted the taboo on immigration," she continued.
"I would say that Sarkozy has rediscovered the values that I have maintained for more than 30 years of political life," gushed a flushed Boutin.
Ah forgotten were those days when Boutin learned in rather humiliating fashion while watching television that she was no longer a government minister.
There was no longer the threat to "drop an atomic bomb" (rumoured to be a cosying-up to the leader of the centrist party François Bayrou) if she couldn't garner enough support in the form of 500 mayoral signatures necessary to run for president.
No, everything was now lovey-dovey, hunky-dory between Boutin and Sarkozy.
The two had made an "alliance to help Sarkozy win and to help France win" (no, not the Six Nations).
The political sweetener - isn't there always one - was also an apparent promise from Sarkozy to support Boutin's party in the country's parliamentary elections in June by "allowing" the PCD to field a hundred candidates in constituencies unopposed by his Union pour un mouvement populaire (Union for a Popular Movement, UMP).
What a lovely Valentine's gift.
Next up "Monsieur Zero Per Cent" Hervé Morin?
The whole of France now awaits with baited breath for Sarkozy's rumoured declaration on TF1 news some time this week.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.