Sarkozy takes luxury break after poll win

8th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

LA VALETTA, May 8, 2007 (AFP) - France's next president, the hyper-energetic Nicolas Sarkozy, was enjoying a break in the middle of the Mediterranean on Tuesday to savour his resounding weekend electoral triumph.

LA VALETTA, May 8, 2007 (AFP) - France's next president, the hyper-energetic Nicolas Sarkozy, was enjoying a break in the middle of the Mediterranean on Tuesday to savour his resounding weekend electoral triumph.

The 52-year-old rightwinger, who has promised to shake up France's economy with an infusion of US-style liberalism once he takes office May 16, was in the middle of a three-day getaway with his family on board a yacht somewhere near Malta.

Officials on the tiny island, which lies just south of Sicily, said Sarkozy, his wife Cecilia and their 10-year-old son Louis arrived Monday on board a private jet and immediately boarded the waiting vessel.

Records in France showed that both the plane -- a Falcon 900 EX luxury jet with the tail marking F-HBOL -- and the yacht -- a 60-metre (200-foot) vessel flying a French flag -- were owned by Vincent Bollore, a wealthy French billionaire businessman.

Bollore is one of a number of influential industrialists Sarkozy has cultivated in his long rise to power. He sits at the head of an investment firm that owns several media companies.

On Sunday, after giving his post-election victory speech, Sarkozy and his family spent the night in a Champs-Elysees hotel owned by the group founded by Lucien Barriere, a French tycoon who was also counted as a family friend before his death in 1991.

Sarkozy has ties with other movers and shakers of France's business world.

Martin Bouygues, the principal shareholder of the country's top commercial television network TF1, was present at Sarkozy's wedding to Cecilia, as was Bernard Arnault, the head of the LVMH luxury goods empire.

He also has friendships with Arnaud Lagardere, owner of France's top-selling magazines, and Serge Dassault, an industrialist who owns the conservative Le Figaro newspaper.

Sarkozy said before his poll win that he intended to take three days off to relax after his gruelling campaign schedule, and to ready himself for the tasks awaiting him once he becomes head of state.

Among his priorities are a raft of economic measures, among them cutting taxes for the wealthy, bringing down France's high unemployment rate, loosening restrictive labour laws, and curbing the country's powerful unions.

One of his aides in Paris, Claude Gueant, told AFP that Sarkozy was due back in the French capital early Thursday to attend a ceremony marking the abolition of slavery.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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