January 18, 2009 |
A helicopter carrying 10 French soldiers crashed off the coast of Gabon in central Africa, France said. It was not immediately clear whether there were any survivors. President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said that "all available means" would be deployed to search for those aboard. The helicopter was carrying out joint military exercises with Gabon when it went down.
February 3, 2008 |
President Nicolas Sarkozy married former model Carla Bruni at Elysee Palace, tying the knot less than three months after they reportedly first met. The couple said in a statement that they were married "in the presence of their families in the strictest privacy." Sarkozy, 53, told reporters in January that his relationship with the Italian-born heiress, 40, was serious but refused to reveal a wedding date. Sarkozy's approval ratings dropped during their courtship. Analysts said more traditional voters were put off by his jet-setting style.
July 2, 2008 |
France's army chief of staff resigned after a bizarre shooting this week in which 17 people were wounded when a soldier taking part in a mock hostage rescue sprayed the civilian audience in Carcassonne with gunfire. Military authorities said the soldier apparently believed his weapon was loaded with blanks. Gen. Bruno Cuche, the army chief for two years, offered his resignation to President Nicolas Sarkozy, according to the president's office. Sarkozy said the incident was the result of "unacceptable negligence."
July 22, 2008 |
Lawmakers approved by only a one-vote margin a sweeping revision of France's constitution that gives parliament greater power but also adds privilege to the president. The slim passage reflected the controversy over the reform, backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy but vehemently rejected by the leftist opposition. The change got one more than the 538 votes needed for a three-fifths margin. Parliament can now veto major presidential appointments, and the president can jointly address the two houses of parliament.
February 17, 2008 |
President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday defended a plan to require 10-year-olds to honor child victims of the Holocaust, saying adults should not hide terrible truths from children. The idea, floated by the president days ago, rankled psychologists worried about traumatizing youth and has teachers reviving debates about how France remembers World War II. But Sarkozy on Friday stood firmly by the plan in meetings with teachers over proposed reforms of France's school system. "We must tell a child the truth," he said.
May 24, 2010
France, which gave the English language the word "nuance," is offering a nuanced justification for a bill that would outlaw "concealment of the face in public." According to President Nicolas Sarkozy, the proposed measure should not be seen as an act of hostility toward Muslim women, only a small fraction of whom wear the full-face veil. Rather, the bill is designed to protect "personal dignity, particularly women's dignity," and the openness required of citizens in a republic. This rationalization, however, needlessly complicates a simple reality.