Chirac is back, Sarkozy slumps

Book cover for Chiracs memoirs

Book cover for Chirac's memoirs

France media has been abuzz with the stories of former French President Jacques Chirac lately. His 500-page memoir of life in politics up to 1995 came out at the same time he was ordered to face charges of corruption. He has been accused, along with nine others, of creating fictitious jobs while mayor of Paris.

But a recent report on France 24, says that the French still admire the former French president, and think he should stand trial. Some hope that his memoirs will offer stirring details about the corruption scandal, but so far the only parts that have been leaked to the press and TV show his admiration or disdain for particular political leaders.

“These leaks put us on the spot, especially since no bookstore has received the book yet,” explains Catherine Bourget, a press attaché from the book’s publishing house, Nil Éditions.

See a video interview with Jacques Chirac for more about the content of his memoirs. He reveals very little beyond politics.
But Chirac isn’t the only French politician making headlines. President Nicolas Sarkozy has seen his popularity ratings drop after the push to name his son, Jean, as head of the agency in charge of Paris’ La Defence business district.

The charges of nepotism were loud and strong — and they came at a time when his administration was roiling with underage sex scandals about the culture minister and a court battle with a former prime minister.

“Something has changed in the country,” Jean-Marc Ayrault, a senior Socialist deputy said. “The air has changed. The thread between this president and the French people has broken.”

How much of Sarkozy’s popularity was tied to the debacle with his son Jean? Will the nepotism scandal change French opinions about their president? What affect with Chirac’s corruption trial have on French politics?