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July 30, 2009

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Sarkozy fine, eyes quiet holiday

FRENCH President Nicolas Sarkozy said yesterday he had recovered from a dizzy turn while out jogging at the weekend but acknowledged he needed to rest.

"I wanted to say to the French people that my health is good," Sarkozy told reporters at the Elysee Palace in Paris after the last Cabinet meeting before he leaves for the summer break with his wife Carla Bruni at her Riviera villa.

Sarkozy earlier issued a reassuring message on the social network site Facebook but the remarks were his first in public since he was hospitalized on Sunday after feeling faint during a run in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles.

"We're going to go with Carla and the children on holiday in the south of France and we're going to have a quiet time," he said, adding that he may have to pay more attention not to over-exert himself in future but would not give up jogging.

"I'm a human being. I had a bout of fatigue. Was it due to dehydration, heat, tiredness? I don't know. I've always paid attention to what I eat and I'm going to keep that up. I just need to rest."

Sarkozy, who does not drink and who only occasionally smokes cigars, has always made much of his good health. His office has said the episode was harmless and put it down to over-exertion.

The summer break nonetheless comes at an opportune moment after an incident that put a blemish on Sarkozy's action man image and raised questions over whether he can keep up the unrelenting pace he has set since gaining power in May 2007.

"When you're president of the republic, you have responsibilities and you have to accept them," Sarkozy said.


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