Sarkozy flies home after luxurious US vacation

19th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 19, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy flew back to Paris on Sunday after a two-week holiday in a luxury villa in the US lakeside resort of Wolfeboro, his office said.

PARIS, Aug 19, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy flew back to Paris on Sunday after a two-week holiday in a luxury villa in the US lakeside resort of Wolfeboro, his office said.

Sarkozy's trip included a meeting with George W. Bush at the US president's family holiday home in Kennebunkport, Maine for informal talks billed as evidence of warming bilateral ties.

His stay in the elite resort in New Hampshire ignited fresh criticism at home over his links with the business world, with the opposition Socialist Party demanding to know who was covering the cost of his villa.
 
On Saturday he revealed the name of his hosts as Agnes Cromback, the president of jewellers Tiffany-France, and Mathilde Agostinelli, head of PR at fashion house Prada-France, and a close friend of Sarkozy's wife Cecilia.

The French president, who will mark 100 days in office on Thursday, is riding high on popularity levels at home.

Sarkozy's government has been forced onto the back foot however after France's Constitutional Council blocked the most popular measure in a flagship tax reform package adopted last month.

The Council ruled that a tax credit for mortgage interest payments was only justified for properties acquired since Sarkozy's election -- as an incentive to buy -- but not to all mortgage-holders as promised.

"Nicolas Sarkozy insisted on being right despite everyone's advice -- including those in his government who tried to warn him against this measure," charged Socialist Party leader Francois Hollande.

Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said the government was working on a new mechanism to include established home-owners, to be unveiled in the autumn.

AFP

Subject: French news

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