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Chirac describes Sarkozy as 'impetuous, disloyal, un-French'

June 9, 2011 - PARIS

Former French President Jacques Chirac, in second volume of his memoirs, has described President Nicolas Sarkozy as 'impetuous, disloyal, ungrateful, provocative' and - worst of all - 'unFrench' in his political attitudes.

Sarkozy will face a difficult re-election campaign after ten months, the timing and contents of the second volume of his memoirs are therefore seen as an act of revenge for a series of alleged treacheries by Sarkozy, beginning in 1995 with his decision to dump Chirac and support another centre-right candidate for president.

Extracts from Chirac's rambling and selective second volume of memoirs - Le temps Presidentiel, memoires II, were published by two French news magazines, The Independent reports.

The book describes Sarkozy as "nervous, impetuous, boiling over with ambition, doubting nothing and certainly never doubting himself".

Chirac says that he twice considered but rejected Sarkozy as a possible Prime Minister because he was too "right-wing economically", wanted to appeal too directly to the "far right", was too pro-American and "because we probably did not share the same vision of France".

For the most part, the book presents a blandly self-justifying and selective view of the Chirac years in the Elysée Palace.

It glosses over the concerted dirty tricks employed by Chirac and his own clan to derail Sarkozy in the run-up to his triumphant 2007 campaign.

The book also fails to address the allegations, which Chirac will face in September that he "embezzled" Paris town hall funds to fund his political career.

The ex-president has however dismissed these accusations as "rumours" stirred up by opponents, implicitly including Sarkozy, to "serve personal ambitions and denigrate people at the highest levels of the state".

Chirac has also described the former Socialist leader François Hollande, the man who is emerging as Sarkozy's most dangerous electoral rival next year, as a "true statesman".

The ex-president implicitly compares Sarkozy's attitude with that of Hollande, when he was leader of the Socialist Party in 2004.

By ensuring bipartisan support of Chirac's ban on Islamic headscarves in state schools, Hollande "acted like a true statesman," Chirac writes.


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