Cecilia Sarkozy to step out as first lady

5th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 5, 2007 (AFP) - French first lady Cecilia Sarkozy has hired a top-level diplomatic advisor to guide her steps on the world stage, where she intends to play an active role at her husband's side, a report said Tuesday.

PARIS, June 5, 2007 (AFP) - French first lady Cecilia Sarkozy has hired a top-level diplomatic advisor to guide her steps on the world stage, where she intends to play an active role at her husband's side, a report said Tuesday.

Cecilia's diplomatic advisor, the career diplomat Nicolas de la Granville, 45, was hand-picked for her by President Nicolas Sarkozy's national security advisor Jean-David Levitte, according to Le Figaro newspaper.

Quoting sources at the presidency, the paper said Cecilia planned to play a "complementary" role to her husband, focusing on so-called "feminine" questions such as "children, women and humanitarian affairs, the French language and culture."

The 49-year-old Cecilia, who already has a press attache and chief of staff, would be the first French first lady to have her own diplomatic advisor.

De La Granville, who has served in Brussels and Madrid, is a specialist on European affairs and North Africa. He will be part of the diplomatic cell at the Elysee presidential palace, where Le Figaro said one of three Africa advisor posts was scrapped to make way for him.

Cecilia is to accompany her husband to the Group of Eight summit in Germany on Wednesday, where she will follow a "wive's programme" -- hosted by the husband of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

A former model and PR executive, Cecilia acted as Sarkozy's communications advisor when he was interior minister in Jacques Chirac's government, working from an office in his ministry.

But in 2005 the couple went through a brief separation and she withdrew from the political scene.

Cecilia was absent during much of Sarkozy's campaign, only appearing at his side for the victory celebrations and swearing-in ceremonies, raising questions over what -- if any -- role she would play at the new president's side.
 

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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