Related News

Home » World

Sarkozy defends ambitious son facing criticism

PRESIDENT Nicolas Sarkozy has come to the defense of his son, denying in an interview made public Thursday that he is behind the 23-year-old's much-criticized bid for a high-profile job.
"Who is being targeted in this controversy? It's not my son, it's me," Sarkozy said in an interview to appear in Friday's daily Le Figaro.
Jean Sarkozy has no college degree and is still studying law but launched a political career last year, following in his father's footsteps.
However, a growing number of critics say Jean Sarkozy is too inexperienced to follow his father's footsteps to the next goal - heading an organization that runs La Defense, a complex of glassy skyscrapers on the western edge of Paris that is one of Europe's leading business districts.
EPAD, as the organization is known, is a quasi-governmental agency that oversees real estate and administration in the sprawling complex where 150,000 people work.
Jean, one of the president's three sons, is considered a leading candidate for the job. He is eligible to run for the post because he is an elected official, serving on a regional council representing part of the wealthy Paris suburb of Neuilly where he grew up and which his father oversaw as mayor for 19 years.
The organization's board will choose its next chairman Dec. 4. The new chief will replace 65-year-old Patrick Devedjian, a political ally of Sarkozy who has reached retirement age.
Sarkozy brushed aside critics "trying to attack on all fronts with ill will and a meanness that doesn't fool the French."
He noted that the post is not a salaried position.
"This is an election," the elder Sarkozy said. "It is therefore not nepotism."
In a new development, a communist mayor announced Thursday that he would challenge Jean Sarkozy's bid.
"Jean Sarkozy's candidacy should be withdrawn," said Patrick Jarry, mayor of the western Paris suburb of Nanterre, where a portion of La Defense sits.
Jean's photogenic face has appeared on covers of numerous magazines since he announced he would seek the post. Critics have assumed that the young Sarkozy would get what he wants, even if his youth means he may be less prepared for the job than others.
"Is there an age to be competent?" Sarkozy replied in the interview.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend