Sarkozy’s link to flat break-in comments causes uproar
French former presidential candidate Segolene Royal has been criticised for suggesting that President Sarkozy was linked to a recent break-in at her Paris flat.9 July 2008
PARIS - French former presidential candidate Segolene Royal drew a volley of attacks on Wednesday after she suggested that President Nicolas Sarkozy was linked to a recent break-in at her Paris flat.
Speaking on France 2 television late Tuesday, the French Socialist said the 27 June burgling of her apartment in Boulogne, west of Paris, a day after she levelled an attack on rival Sarkozy was "a strange coincidence".
"I note that last week, a day after I said we needed to end the Sarkozy clan's grip on France, my home was turned upside down.... I draw a connection between the two," said Royal, who lost the 2007 presidential election to Sarkozy.
Prime Minister Francois Fillon Wednesday said Royal was "losing control of herself", in an interview on RTL radio, accusing her of making "insinuations" and "without any form of proof".
Sarkozy's ruling right-wing UMP party also issued a statement saying it was "outraged by Ms Royal's shameful comments."
"There are limits, of defamation and slander, that no one should cross, even less so a former candidate for the presidency of the republic."
Royal's Socialist ally Francois Rebsamen rallied to her support, complaining in a statement that she had not received a "word of support from Nicolas Sarkozy" despite the break-in, the second in just over a year.
"A leader of the opposition... faces threats to her everyday security, and the only response is to accuse her of 'losing her mind'," he charged.
But Arnaud Montebourg, a Socialist rival, played down the significance of the break-in at Royal's home, saying it was "a risk that goes with the mandate" and that politicians were "all exposed to such attacks."
Former Socialist prime minister Laurent Fabius also distanced himself from Royal's remarks.
"Either what she said is absolutely accurate, in which case it is clearly scandalous, or it is not accurate in which case she should not say it," he told Europe 1 radio.
Royal is vying to take the helm of the Socialist Party in November and has said she hopes to run for the French presidency again in 2012.
[AFP / Expatica]