French youth urged to seek adoption from Sarkozy
Activists launched a tongue-and-cheek campaign on Wednesday urging jobless French youths to ask President Sarkozy to adopt them as the outcry over his son's imminent promotion raged on.
The youth wing of the opposition Socialist Party was the latest group to ridicule 23-year-old Jean Sarkozy's bid to become the new chairman of the agency managing France's top business district.
The second-year law student at Paris' Sorbonne University and municipal councillor has been at the centre of a storm over his plan to take the helm of the EPAD agency overseeing development at La Defense, west of Paris.
"This is to help young people who are struggling because it appears that it is easier to find a job when your name is Sarkozy," said Thomas Le Goff, from the young Socialists' group.
Four activists turned up at the Elysee presidential palace on Wednesday carrying a banner displaying their adoption requests but police turned them away at the gate.
The Socialists are urging jobless youth to download adoption requests from their site and mail them to the Elysee in the hope that "their new father can offer them a first full-time job with a decent salary," said a statement.
The youth unemployment rate in France is among the highest in Europe, at close to 24 percent.
"It's high time that Nicolas Sarkozy understands that his role as president is to serve the people and not to serve his interests and those of his close ones," it added.
"It is time for him to offer every young person in France the same opportunities and chances for success as those he is offering to his children."
Dubbed "Prince Jean" by the press, Sarkozy maintains he is a credible candidate for the post despite his lack of experience and young age.
The president on Tuesday complained that his son had been "thrown to the wolves" in the opposition outcry and media frenzy, including on the Internet which is buzzing with sarcastic comments.
Nicolas Sarkozy's Facebook page was hit by protesters including Magali Viano who wrote "how can you give your son such a job and talk about a France that gets up early in the morning to go to work."
The reference to early risers was from the 2007 presidential campaign in which Sarkozy argued that France must return to the core values of honest hard work.