Sarkozy defends son over nepotism row
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Last Updated: Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 00:03
Paris: President Nicolas Sarkozy lamented on Tuesday that his son had been "thrown to the wolves" after the 23-year-old's imminent appointment to manage France's top business district whipped up a storm.

News that law student Jean Sarkozy is tipped to become chairman of the EPAD agency overseeing development in the Paris business area La Defence has drawn howls of protest and much derision.

France's main opposition Socialist Party formally asked the president "to abandon this disastrous project that has already made France a laughing stock among democracies."

But in his first public comments about the row, Sarkozy made clear he considered the outcry to be part of a media campaign unfairly targeting his son.

"It is never right for someone to be thrown to the wolves, without reason and in an excessive manner," Sarkozy told journalists.

The latest row comes days after a scandal threatened to engulf Sarkozy's culture minister, Frederic Mitterrand, who was forced to defend himself on television over a 2005 novel describing his experiences as a sex tourist.

Jean Sarkozy's appointment, which is all but certain to be approved by the EPAD board in December, would see him replace the minister for economic recovery, Patrick Devedjian, who is retiring.

Dubbed "Prince Jean" by the press, Sarkozy junior has risen from a little-known Sorbonne University student to a major player in his father's former fiefdom in fewer than two years.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 00:03

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