Chirac in last major public ceremony

8th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 8, 2007 (AFP) - President Jacques Chirac, in his last major public ceremony before handing over to Nicolas Sarkozy, laid a wreath Tuesday at the tomb of the unknown soldier to commemorate the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany.

PARIS, May 8, 2007 (AFP) - President Jacques Chirac, in his last major public ceremony before handing over to Nicolas Sarkozy, laid a wreath Tuesday at the tomb of the unknown soldier to commemorate the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany.

Sarkozy did not attend the ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris because the president-elect was holidaying on a yacht in Malta before he begins his five-year term on May 16.

The 62nd anniversary commemoration of Victory in Europe was also attended by French veterans of World War II as well as Prime Minster Dominique de Villepin and Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie.

Sarkozy, a fellow member of Chirac's UMP party but with whom the outgoing president has had a stormy relationship, said he would not attend the ceremony because he did not want "to give the impression of a republic with two heads."

The annual May 8 anniversary is a public holiday in France.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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