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An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2010-01-29

“Villepin is back in the political game”

Cleared of all charges in the Clearstream case, the papers now speculate on Dominique de Villepin’s poltical future. Could he run against his political enemy and accuser in the Clearstream case, Nicolas Sarkozy for the 2012 Presidential election?

“Villepin cleared, Sarkozy furious,” reads the front page of Libération. The trial of the decade saw Villepin cleared of all charges in a case saw him accused of complicity in a smear campaign against Nicolas Sarkozy when the latter was seeking his party’s nomination for the Presidential elections in 2007. The facts of the case are complex but the theatre surrounding it has gripped France. The antipathy between the two protagonists, Sarkozy and Villepin, was visible for all to see.

Libération’s editorial says that the Clearsteam case has provided Villepin with a platform from which he can launch a political comeback.


However, he will have to be careful not to spoil his chances. With his temperament of an “army colonel”, Villepin likes to see himself as the next Charles de Gaulle, the paper says, not altogether convinced.

Right-leaning Le Figaro’s editorial says that Villepin certainly has the 2012 election in his sights. The paper warns that his political capital has come from opposing Nicolas Sarkozy yet they are members of the same political family. Never in the 5th Republic has a maverick member of the right-wing beaten his own party in a Presidential bid.

Catholic paper, La Croix’s editorial says the big winner in the Clearsteam case was the independence of the French justice system. If Villepin had been found guilty, there would have been inevitable speculation as to whether the courts had been influenced by the President. The result is proof of the resilience of the French judiciary.

Other articles in today’s French papers:

Libération: An article examining the chances of the Clearstream result being appealed

La Nouvelle République: The editorial says that Villepin (who writes poetry and novels) will not win a Presidential election with his romantic character and his blow-dried hair alone!!



 

By James CREEDON

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