Monday, January 07, 2008

The Girlfriend Can't Help It

Sarko's popularity, it seems:
Did he really give her a pink, diamond, heart-shaped engagement ring in Egypt? Has he really set 9 February as the date?

It is almost as if they were talking about a pop star or a French footballer, but the man in question is no ordinary celebrity - he is the president of France.

He might view his relationship with singer and former model Carla Bruni as a Disney-style whirlwind romance, but many French people increasingly see it as impulsive, flashy, vulgar and most importantly, distracting.

"We didn't elect a rock star" snaps the regional paper Nice Matin, in response to more glossy photographs of the jean-clad president and his girlfriend in Jordan.

The Alsace agrees: "We don't need this glitz - we need him to give us economic results", it admonishes.

An opinion poll in the newspaper Le Parisien suggests the president has suffered a seven-point drop in his approval ratings - only 48% of French people now say they have confidence in their leader, giving him his lowest score since his election last May.

....Even right-leaning papers like Le Figaro, which is generally supportive of the president, has written waspish comments, complaining that "while a barrel of petrol flirts with the hundred dollar mark so Nicolas Sarkozy flirts with Carla Bruni".

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