Watching Riots from the Yacht

While rioting continues in France over the election results, Nicolas Sarkozy is resting in style.

Sarkozy himself was on a yacht in the Mediterranean on Tuesday, taking time to relax before he takes over from Jacques Chirac on May 16.

Critics on the left assailed him for his high-budget retreat — the yacht belongs to prominent magnate Vincent Bollore and was outfitted with huge plasma TVs and a jacuzzi.

Who is Vincent Bollore? He’s an “industrialist, corporate raider and businessman,” who owns a large stake in a few media companies. I don’t know the French law in this area, but the fact that Sarkozy is hanging out on Bollore’s glitzy yacht reeks of corruption. Even if it’s legal, it’s not the best post-campaign retreat in terms of symbolism either.

This story makes the ties sound less clear-cut.

Sarkozy was with his family on a luxury yacht off the Mediterranean island of Malta on Tuesday on a brief holiday as he plots his cabinet line-up and strategy ahead of June parliamentary polls. He flew there on a private jet on Monday.

A Sarkozy aide could not confirm reports the jet and yacht had been lent by media mogul Vincent Bollore. Critics attacked the incoming president in the run-up to Sunday’s poll win over his close ties to France’s media barons.

I found some more links on Sarkozy-Bollore, but they were in French so I couldn’t unravel this any further. It sounds like the French may have a Silvio Berlusconi-esque situation on their hands here.

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One Response to Watching Riots from the Yacht

  1. Pascal says:

    Yep. He did not pay for the yacht. Neither did he pay for the plane trip to Malta because the jet was also Bollore’s property.

    The value of the present is worth 130.000 euros have I been told by France Info, a french news radio station.

    If you have french sites for wich you would like a fast translation, mail me…

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