And the litany of Sarkozy concerns seems to grow daily:
- On July 4, two of Sarkozy's junior ministers resigned after scandals involving the purchase of $15,000 in cigars on the public tab, and the use of government jets to fly around on dubious federal business trips to the Caribbean.
- The palace is studiously avoiding the word “austerity,” even while it plans to cut some $45 billion from the government budget over three years.
- Sarkozy is not getting along well with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, his key European partner, over coordinating economic policy.
- France’s proud World Cup team deconstructed in South Africa in three miserable games that shook Paris and brought wailing in the streets.
- Other smaller corruption allegations include misuse of grand federal apartments, and various salary schemes, such as $12,000 monthly extra allowance for ministers to write reports on “globalization.”
Socialist Party leader Ségolène Royal, who ran against Sarkozy in 2007, used the word “corrupt” to describe the dealings of the French government for the first time. Senior French political analyst Jean Daniel describes an “irrepressible malaise,” about the palace team. Meanwhile, ruling party politicians say the Jacobin sentiments of the media and opposition politicians are creating a political “highway for the far-right” in France.
Not even the first day of shooting for a new Woody Allen film, "Midnight in Paris," that will include appearances by France's first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is providing much of a distraction.