Sarkozy holidays while allies rally for comeback

A rally in support of former President Nicolas Sarkozy was held in Nice this weekend – while he holidayed in wife Carla Bruni’s villa in Cap Nègre, south of France.

Sarkozy holidays while allies rally for comeback
World Economic Forum

The Friends of Nicolas Sarkozy Association gathered on Saturday morning to remember his achievements as President and declare their hope for his return in the 2017 election.

Sarkozy’s former colleagues, including former minister of the interior Brice Hortfeux and Nice mayor Christian Estorsi attended the meeting, as well as UMP members.

Former Prime Minister François Fillon was unable to attend following a scooter accident while on holiday this summer.

Press reports say there were between  100 to 2,000 people there, with the Friends of Nicolas Sarkozy claiming to expect up to 4,000.

“We are under the sarkoyste sun rather than the hollandaise rain in La Rochelle!” said Estori at the start of the meeting, in reference to a Socialist Party conference being held at the same time.

“We miss Nicolas Sarkozy and France misses him too,” he added.

As for the star of the show himself – he was taking a break in wife Carla Bruni’s villa in Cap Negre, in the south of France.

“Of course, we are sorry Nicolas Sarkozy could not be with us today,” said Hortefeux.

“But let’s be clear about one thing: he cares about the evolution of society in a world that’s changing. He follows international news very closely. He is a French man among the French population, but he also a politically committed French man. “

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French electrician sues Netflix for labelling him a radical Islamist

A French man of North African origin has accused Netflix of racial discrimination for labelling him a radical Islamist in an action movie for which he was filmed without his knowledge, his lawyer said on Monday.

French electrician sues Netflix for labelling him a radical Islamist
The Netflix movie Sentinelle was set and filmed in Nice. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

Sentinelle, set in the southern city of Nice, tells the story of an elite French soldier returning from service in Syria who embarks on a mission to find the man who raped her sister.

One scene shows the protagonist, Klara, looking through the sights of her rifle at two young friends saying goodbye to each other.

The scene was shot on the Promenade des Anglais, the seaside walk where a Tunisian radical mowed down 86 people with a truck on July 14th, 2016.

The French subtitles Netflix provided to describe the scene for the hard of hearing refer to two young “barbus” – a derogatory term for ultraconservative Muslim men that means “the bearded ones”.

One of the men, a 21-year-old electrician from Nice, filed a criminal complaint against Netflix over the description, accusing the company of “provoking discrimination and racial hatred,” his lawyer Jean-Pascal Padovani said.

“The director took the liberty of drawing a line between the North African features of the people he filmed… and religious fundamentalists,” Padovani said.

That the shot was filmed at the scene of one of the worst terror attacks in French history was even more suggestive, he added.

“It’s unacceptable as it suggests that anyone of North African origin is a potential terrorist,” Padovani said.

A spokesperson for Netflix, which was targeted by the complaint as the film’s broadcaster, declined to comment on the matter when contacted by AFP.

It has, however, removed the term “barbus” from the audio description.

Padovani said that his client had received over 80 messages from acquaintances who recognised him in the film, which was shot in 2019 and began streaming on Netflix in March.

Some expressed shock at seeing him depicted as a terrorist, he said.

The complainant is also considering suing Netflix for using his image for commercial purposes without his permission, Padovani said.

Sentinelle was directed by French film-maker Julien Leclercq.