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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 : 2010-04-08

Carla Bruni ‘puts out the fire’ surrounding rumours of infidelity

France Soir and Le Figaro lead with the French First Lady’s interview yesterday on the Europe 1 radio station during which she tried to put an end to the controversy surrounding rumours of infidelity. This and other stories in today’s French papers. THURSDAY, 8th APRIL, 2010

“Carla Burni puts out the fire,” says France Soir. The paper leads with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s interview on a French radio station yesterday. The French First Lady dismissed claims made by the Elysée’s communications advisor to the effect that rumours of affairs in the French first couple might point to an “international plot” against the President. She also insisted that former Justice Minister Rachida Dati remains a friend of the Sarkozys. This comes just one day after the satirical paper le Canard Enchainé reported that Sarkozy no longer wanted to see Rachida Dati, a statement attributed to Claude Guéant, the Elysée’s Chief of Staff.
 
Libération is a little more circumspect regarding yesterday’s interview, saying that the First Lady “attempted” to put out of the flames of the controversy.  Le Figaro also leads with the story.
 
L’Est Républicain says in its editorial that Bruni-Sarkozy’s interview indicates a fundamental change in how the private lives of politicians are dealt with in France. We have entered a new phase, the paper says, making reference to a “6th Republic”. “The public and the private are mixed up.”
 
The paper adds, “Normally one person speaks officially [on behalf of the President]. Now any number of people speak in his name.”
 
It refers to Carla Bruni as Sarkozy’s “secret weapon”, deployed to put an end to the rumours of infidelity.
 
“This intrusion of private issues in the Government’s PR is a source of confusion,” the paper concludes.
 
Other stories in today’s French papers:
 
Le Parisien and l’Equipe cover Lyon’s victory over Bordeaux in the quarter finals of the Champion’s League
 
Le Monde reports on the growing phenomenon of countries demanding the return of art work held by foreign states.

By James CREEDON

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