- Book: Political passion according to Nicolás Sarkozy
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, and former president Nicolas Sarkozy multiply in recent months their appearances together, publicly displaying their good tune. They also hold private meetings at the Elysee Palace, often accompanied by their respective wives , Brigitte Macron and Carla Bruni. The president even asks Sarkozy for advice on some issues.
Macron invited Sarkozy on Thursday, August 15, with whom he has made very good crumbs since he arrived at the Elysium in May 2017, to participate in the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the landing of Provence, his last appearance together. The socialist François Hollande declined the invitation, citing agenda motives.
But not only Macron and Sarkozy get along, but also their wives, according to the French press. The two couples have dined several times together at the Elysee Palace, the workplace and residence of the French head of state. In September 2018, the first lady invited former model and singer Carla Bruni and her daughter Giulia, 7, to visit the apartments of the Elysium, where the little girl lived her first months of life. It was a private visit.
The strange friendship between Macron and Sarkozy, who have never been together in a government and who are from a different party, is giving much to talk this summer in France. The French press and political scientists wonder if it is a true friendship or a political calculation of both. Who gets the most benefit in all this?
The political scientist Pierre-André Taguieff , author of the book "Macron: miracle or mirage?" (L'Observatoire editorial), believes that Sarkozy "has a real admiration for Macron, as reflected in his famous statement: 'Macron, it's me, at best.' It follows that admiring Macron, for the narcissistic character that is Sarkozy , is also admiring himself. "
Some analysts believe that behind this friendship there could be a political calculation by both. Approaching Sarkozy, Macron would seek to capture votes from the right, now that the Republicans are in crisis and have to choose a new leader in October. In the May European elections, the French conservative party took 8.4% of the votes and was the fourth most voted party in France.
For his part, Sarkozy, who was president between May 2007 and May 2012, is loved. Despite his problems with justice, he likes to stay in the political lampstand. 59% of Los Republicanos voters believe that Sarkozy is the best leader on the right, according to the June Elabe barometer of the BFMTV television network. Many dream of a return of Sarkozy to the first political line , something that does not seem to happen. "Pasiones", the first volume of his autobiography, is a bestseller in France: he has sold 213,000 copies in a month.
Taguieff, director of research at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris, believes that both Macron and Sarkozy have an interest in mediating this "friendship" because "they show that they are not sectarian and behave like free and open men, far away of partisan disciplines. "
On the other hand, Philippe Bas , senator of the Los Republicanos party (Sarkozy's party), believes that "reciprocal respect and courtesy between Nicolas Sarkozy and Emmanuel Macron is simply normal in a great democracy. They do not imply confluence or convenience, but only responsibility and sense of the state, "Bas wrote on Twitter.
Someone to chat with
Gérald Darmanin, Minister of Public Accounts, believes that Macron has found in Sarkozy "the way to chat" with someone who has previously held that same position. Macron and Sarkozy talk from time to time on the phone to address national and international issues. For example, the president consulted Sarkozy in December during the "yellow vests" crisis.
But does Macron follow Sarkozy's advice? "Macron can listen or pretend to listen. As for following Sarkozy's advice, I doubt it. Macron thinks he is very intelligent. He is enough himself and is fully satisfied with being what he is. He only needs little technocrats and courtiers," he says. Tanguieff
The friendship between Macron and Sarkozy contrasts with the cold relations between the president and Hollande , despite the fact that the French head of state was a minister in the government of the socialist. "For Hollande, Macron is the traitor par excellence, and the worst of the traitors, who has managed to take his place. As for Macron, he can sovereignly despise Hollande," according to Taguieff.
In the surroundings of Hollande they justify the distancing with Macron saying that it is difficult to maintain good relations with his immediate predecessor in the post and go to him for advice. And remember that Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac did not have good relations, despite being from the same party.
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- Francois Hollande
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