Image by Niklas Jakobsen via Flickr
Nepotism has a long history and a great future ahead of it, so Sarkozy junior canot be blamed for going with the flow and allowing himself to be put forward as the next head of the body which administers La Defence, the modern business centre of Paris. Sarkozy senior cannot be blamed for pushing forward his progeny...after all, he thinks that in the aftermath of the banking crisis he can make Paris, not London, the business centre of Europe, so what better than to have someone reliable in place to carry on the good work he did himself in the period when he ran EPAD, as the body is known.
There are a few problems with public opinion as Sarkozy junior, Jean, is only in his early twenties, is still studying law while his only political experience has been two years as a councillor in well heeled Neuilly, where his father was mayor before him. There is further depth to the agenda, in that Sarkozy is trying to bring about electoral change by developing a 'Greater Paris' region in which his party, the UMP, would have the advantage, thus breaking the hegemony of the left wing, the PS, in Paris and the Ile de France, and the proposed appointment of his son is seen as part of the scheme.
As young Sarkozy turns aside criticism by asking to be judged on his acts, I have decided to do just that and I find him wanting. In 2005, someone riding his scooter ran into the back of a car in Paris. The driver had nothing but problems in pursuing what was, after all, a banal traffic case, simply because the owner of the scooter was Jean Sarkozy, son of the then interior minister and, oddly enough was a law student as far back as that. I know French higher education goes on a bit, but is there a chance he is a bit dense? Or preoccupied? Or something?
The driver, Monsieur Bellouti, was the victim of threatening telephone calls and dirty tricks, notably by the Sarkozy family lawyer, Maitre Herzog, who impersonated Monsieur Bellouti's lawyer to get information from Monsieur Bellouti's insurance company. This is the same Maitre Herzog who is representing President Sarkozy in the Clearstream affair, so I hope de Villepin has warned his advisors to keep a close eye on the telephone calls.
When the case came to court, Jean Sarkozy said he was at a lecture at the time and that he had not lent his scooter to anyone, upon which resounding declaration of innocence, the court awarded Sarkozy junior damages of 2,000 Euros, and announced that Monsieur Belloutti had brought a malicious prosecution.
If Sarkozy junior will go to these lengths to avoid a trivial insurance claim, then for my money he is not the man to have in charge of a vital public enterprise where there is potentially a lot more at stake. Potential investors beware! Make a claim against EPAD on the grounds that their water features caused your window frames to rust and don't be surprised if you have the goons at the door.......and Maitre Herzog on the telephone.
There was a sort of happier ending for Monsieur Bellouti which you can see here.
or if the link doesn't work, it is a post from shortly after the blog began.