Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The simple life

The morning after his election, Nicolas Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa jumped on a private Falcon jet with his wife Cécilia née Ciganer-Albeniz, their 10-year-old son Louis and a few bodyguards, and headed for the Mediterranean island of Malta, where they immediately boarded the 60-meter yacht Paloma. The aircraft and the boat belong to a French millionaire named Vincent Bolloré, who's the brother-in-law of Sarkozy's close counselor Gérard Longuet. Paparazzi had to hire an aircraft to obtain photos of the family outing.

Certain politicians in France were irritated by the ostentatious style of the start of Sarkozy's reign. Nobody actually used the expression "nouveau riche", but it seemed to be hovering on their lips. Curiously, although many wealthy French people lead lives of luxury, there's a tradition of doing so in a restrained non-glitzy manner. I have a scary feeling that, sooner or later, Nicolas Sarkozy is going to run into big problems with certain profound French conventions. Either that, or he'll explode...

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