Tuesday, 20 October 2009
If Labour thought the in-fighting in their party was bad then they can take some comfort from France's ruling conservative party which is currently fighting it out in the country's court system. The case is being seen by some as a new class war with the aristocratic ex-PM Dominique Galouzeau de Villepin challenging the bourgeois President Sarkozy who, in no uncertain terms, worked his ass of to get to the top.
The case concerns a smear campaign (Clearstream) by Villepin back in 2004 which accused Sarkozy of accepting illegal kickbacks from arms deals. This was later proved to be false but Sarkozy went on to bring charges against Villepin who, he submits, knew the information was false but went on to use it anyway.
The stakes are high and French commentators wait for the decision with bated breath. A win for Sarkozy would effectively end De Villepin's career while a finding of not-guilty would be a damaging blow to the Sarkozy presidency. From an independent point of view, I think France has to hope for the President to come out on top of this dispute. Sarkozy is a man of action and during these troubled times this is exactly what all countries need but in particular one with a continental, protectionist economy.