• France's news in English
 

Sarkozy v Hollande - Will there be a 2017 sequel?

Published: 14 Feb 2013 11:14 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Feb 2013 15:15 GMT+01:00

The rumours have been around for a while now but more and more voices are joining the growing chorus of people predicting the return to politics of former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

The latest to predict the return of Sarkozy is one of his strongest allies in French politics, former prime minister Alain Juppé, who has openly touted the former president’s return as an opponent to François Hollande in the 2017 presidential election.

“I sense that he has a desire to put himself forward,” Juppé told France’s parliamentary TV channel LCP on Wednesday.

“He follows political news with a lot of care. I speak to him on the phone and I see that he’s staying watchful,” said Juppé.

It is not just Sarkozy's allies in the UMP party that are evoking a return of their former leader, apparently president François Hollande himself is expecting another showdown against his erstwhile right-wing rival.

“He’s convinced that Sarko wants his revenge, and will be his opponent [in the next presidential election],” a source close to the current head of state told French daily Le Parisien on Thursday.

An unnamed government minister was also able to see the logic in a ‘Sarkozy 2017’ campaign. Speaking to Le Parisien, the minister pointed out: “There’s a crisis of leadership on the right, and Sarko mobilized his electorate. He succeeded in bringing out the base.”

“And you want my opinion? He’s bored to death,” the minister added.

Meanwhile, the group "Friends of Nicolas Sarkozy", made up of his former allies, continues to meet up on a regular basis. The group, whose next rendezvous is next Wednesday in Paris, officially meet for the purpose of holding regular talks on Sarkozy's presidency, but unofficially it is believed they are plotting the former leader's path back into politics.

Along with his wife Carla Bruni, the former president has been racking up the air miles – and the speculation – since his defeat to then Socialist leader François Hollande in last May’s election.

First, there was a month-long holiday to Morocco, followed by a controversial stay in Canada while police raided Sarkozy’s Paris offices.

In December, Sarkozy, former leader of the centre-right UMP attempted to resolve the party’s leadership dispute between François Fillon and Jean-François Copé, confirming for many that he was still the main man among France conservatives.

Then on January 21st, The Local reported on claims that the former president was planning to start a near -€1 billion investment fund, and decamp to London to manage it.

Even Sarkozy’s wife, the Franco-Italian singer and actress Carla Bruni, has begun to mention the possibility of her husband’s return to political life, though her support for such a move seems in doubt.

“I have absolutely no desire for him to dive back in there. We are very happy in our new life,” she told French news website Atlantico on Tuesday.

However, she measured her comments by predicting a 2017 second-round presidential duel between François Hollande and far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

“Yes, it’s true, Nicolas could avoid that dreadful face-off for France,” she added.

For her part, Bruni, who married Sarkozy in 2008, has been pursuing her music career again, after a four-year hiatus while she was France’s first lady.

 Her new album, “Little French Songs”, is set to be released on April 1st, and will be followed by a tour in the autumn, according to AFP.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
UK councillor blasted for 250km French commute
The commute is around 250 kilometres. Photo: Google Maps

UK councillor blasted for 250km French commute

A councillor from the UK has come under fire in the UK for her long distance commute - from France. Opponents have called for her resignation. READ  

French management style slated by foreigners
French management style has been blasted by foreigners, although they do appreciate the lunch breaks. Management photo: Shutterstock.

French management style slated by foreigners

A massive survey of foreigners working in France has revealed that the French management style is far from being an international role model - but the extended lunch breaks, at least, were a redeeming feature. We take a closer look at the findings. READ  

French set for U-turn on EU-US trade agreement
The EU-US free trade agreement is the cause of much angst in France. Photo: AFP

French set for U-turn on EU-US trade agreement

The proposed free trade zone between the EU and the US is at the centre of a political struggle in France, with the government looking set to make a U-turn over its stance towards one of the most controversial elements of the agreement. READ  

Louvre condemns Iraq jihadist statue-smashing
Islamic State militants gleefully smash ancient statues to pieces with sledgehammers in the main museum and an archeological site in Iraq's second city of Mosul. Photo: AFP

Louvre condemns Iraq jihadist statue-smashing

Paris's famed Louvre museum on Friday reacted in shock to the destruction of priceless artefacts by jihadists in Iraq, saying they hit at the heart of "humanity's memory." READ  

French cartoon festival canned over terror fears
The Caen Memorial where the international press cartoon festival was due to take place. Photo: AFP

French cartoon festival canned over terror fears

UPDATED: In what represents a blow to freedom of speech, France's international press cartoon festival has been cancelled, because organisers fear it could be targeted by terrorists. Cartoonists have accused organisers of giving in to terror. READ  

The official guide on how to be cool in Paris
One of France's ultimate cool icons - Brigitte Bardot - sharing a hint on how to be cool. Photo: Laura Loveday/Flickr

The official guide on how to be cool in Paris

Speaking backwards, hanging out in hidden bars, and picking up a seriously unhealthy addiction. These are among the habits that young Parisians told The Local were the ultimate secrets to being cool in the City of Light. READ  

EU slaps tough budget targets on France
Photo: Sebastian Fuss/Flickr

EU slaps tough budget targets on France

UPDATED: The EU set France tough new targets on Friday to ensure it gets its budget deficit back within Brussels rules, after giving Paris an extra two years until 2017 to comply. READ  

Stolen Paris Picasso sent to New York as '€30 gift'
The Pompidou Centre in central Paris where the Picasso was stolen from. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Stolen Paris Picasso sent to New York as '€30 gift'

A Picasso painting that was reported stolen in Paris 14 years ago has turned up in the United States after being sent across the Atlantic via the postal service disguised as a €30 Christmas present. READ  

Pyrénées
Woman dies after being 'caught in snow blower'
A woman has died in the Pyrenees after apparently being sucked into a snow blower. Photo: Msdot/flickr

Woman dies after being 'caught in snow blower'

Police at a ski resort in the Pyrénées are investigating after a young woman died after apparently being sucked into a snow blower. READ  

'France feels like Nazi Germany,' says Madonna
Madonna says that France and Europe feel like Nazi Germany. Photo: AFP

'France feels like Nazi Germany,' says Madonna

Rebounding from her stage tumble at the Brit awards, pop star Madonna told French radio Thursday that "intolerance" was now so high in France and Europe that "it feels like Nazi Germany." READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Here's how to be cool in Paris, according to Parisians
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best one to work in?
National
How can France enforce a no-drone zone over Paris?
National
Why do so many women in France smoke throughout their pregnancy?
National
VIDEO: Banned but beautiful - Paris seen through the eyes of a drone
Culture
What's on in France: Ten things to do in March
National
Would you want this Frenchman to squeal at YOUR wedding?
National
'We're back' - Charlie Hebdo magazine returns with a bite
Society
Handsome men on the Paris Metro are unknowingly going viral
Society
What are the little things that make France so different?
National
Should we be worried about drones being flown over Paris?
Travel
Another deadly avalanche in the French Alps
National
Text offences: Why French workers need to watch out in future
Gallery
Mont-Saint-Michel cut off as 'supertide' season opens in France
Gallery
Ten great moments for France throughout Oscar history
Culture
Anglo-French marriage problems begin long before anyone says 'Oui'
Travel
'The stars are aligned': Why now is the time to buy a house in France
National
IN PICTURES: 'Supertide' brings crowds to the French coast
Gallery
French property Face-off: Two luxury chalets in the French Alps
Travel
French coastal towns are braced for the 'tide of the century'
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
Politics
Socialist rebel MPs are angry but not ready to topple French government
Society
France to welcome another US fast food giant
Culture
Les Entrepreneurs: How to watch Paris theatre shows in English
Culture
So where are all these swinging sex clubs in Paris?
Sport
VIDEO: 'We're racist' - Chelsea fans push black man off Paris Metro
Culture
Sex clubs touted as latest fashion in Paris
Culture
In pictures: The ever-colourful Dunkirk carnival
National
Do you worry about your French accent? Perhaps you have no need to
National
VIDEO: 'Fear and loathing' - Being a Jew in Paris
National
Why the DSK trial could spell bad news for French prostitutes
Society
The sorry recent history of anti-Semitic attacks in France
National
'Je suis Danois' - Paris shows solidarity with Copenhagen
Culture
Obituary: Louis Jourdan - The actor who embodied French elegance
National
France outraged after hundreds of Jewish tombs vandalised
Culture
Romance in France: Sex, Champagne and Je t'aime
Culture
Fox News was right, there are no-go zones in Paris (for anyone single)
Culture
Fifty Shades of Grey OK for French 12-year-olds
Culture
French property face-off: Rustic cottage vs manor
Politics
New Muslim party aims for French election wins
Gallery
What do the French get superstitious about?
International
Paris starts lawsuit over Fox News's no-go zones
National
Gun ads see French cops compared to Dirty Harry
Travel
The world's most popular selfie spot has been revealed...
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se