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Bruni stalker breaks into Sarkozy holiday home

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Bruni stalker breaks into Sarkozy holiday home
Carla Bruni Sarkozy and her husband Nicolas on holiday. Photo: Jean-Paul Pelissier/AFP
11:54 CEST+02:00
A stalker sparked a security alert at the holiday home of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy after he managed to break into the house of the former French first lady. The incident was revealed just a day after Nicolas Sarkozy was criticised for the cost of his summer security detail.

The stalker, a German national, who was already known to the police in Germany, managed to get past security and into the Bruni-Sarkozy summer residence at Cap Negre on the Mediterranean coast, French newspaper Le Figaro reports.

Le Figaro cites a source from France's Ministry of Interior, who described the stalker, who has a history of petty crime, as being mentally “unstable”.

The source said the intruder wanted to “meet” the ex-head of state’s wife "at any cost" and described him as "insistant".

"He would have been able to get to Mme Sarkozy or her child, but luckily he was stopped in time,” a separate source from Sarkozy's law firm told Le Figaro.

The former president was not actually told about the incident, which happened last week, until a few days later.

The head of the Var police, Laurent Cayrel, was forced to explain to Sarkozy how the break in could have happened. The former president reportedly responded by sarcastically asking whether the police station was closed for the holidays.

Embarrassed by the break-in, the Ministry of Interior was forced to step in and contacted Sarkozy directly to discuss the incident.

Only on Monday Sarkozy was criticised in the French media for the cost of his summer security detail. The former president came under fire in an article published in Monday's Le Parisien.

The daily reports that in addition to the 10 specialist security guards that accompany the former president at all times, five teams of three police officers (CRS) have the job of keeping a round-the-clock watch on the Cap Nègre property while the couple are on holiday.

Paris Match magazine claimed the estimated cost of Sarkozy’s security runs to €720,000 annually.

Sarkozy immediately hit back at the criticism in a press release, claiming that he “receives the same treatment as all other former presidents of the Republic.”

He insisted the level of security provided to a former president is not decided by the person under protection but rather according to guidelines laid out by the Ministry of the Interior.

Judging by the incident at the Cap Nègre holiday home, the high level of security may indeed be necessary, if not always completely effective.

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