On the international news: My coverage of Ali-Baba continues
this morning with an article that says, ‘Corruption is still rife at top level of French government’.
Eric Halphen, whose investigations into kickbacks from public works programmes led to a number of President Jacques Chirac’s closest allies going on trial last week, said that the prosecutions “in no way” signalled an end to the corruption that has blighted French politics for decades.
Paris is vying for the 2012 Olympics, and one of the defendants is a member of Paris’s Olympic bid committee.
Jaques’s been keeping himself busy, with a trip to Japan (his 45th — you can’t go too far for fresh sushi, and after all, why not indulge in his two passions, food and travel?) to the International Exposition. While in flight he maybe was listening in on Sarko, but Sarko has remained cool.
According to the French satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîné, President Jacques Chirac is listening in on his archrival Nicolas Sarkozy’s phone calls.
The newspaper reported Wednesday that Sarkozy, who quit as finance minister under Chirac last year to lead Chirac’s own party, the Union for a Popular Movement, is aware of the surveillance and has told friends that he believes the people responsible are Chirac and Chirac’s protégé, Dominique de Villepin, who took over Sarkozy’s earlier post as interior minister
If Jacques starts talking about Machiavelli, this will really start to look like New Jersey.