Sarkozy's embarrassment over his underling's cigar binge compounds his—and the nation's—consternation over the disastrous performance of the French soccer squad at the World Cup in South Africa. The diminutive French president is so disturbed, in fact, that he has called for an emergency meeting with his Prime Minister and Minister of Health and Sports today to investigate the causes of the French rout and propose ways to improve the national team's performance. At least President Obama, who has a lot of other things to worry about, will not have to lose precious time trying to manage a national soccer crisis: the U.S. team qualified for the second round yesterday by uspsetting Algeria 1-0.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
LET THEM EAT...CIGARS?
The timing could hardly be worse for French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Only days after his government announced plans to make the French tighten their belts and work two years longer before qualifying for retirement pensions, the French satirical weekly Canard Enchaîné revealed that Christian Blanc, Under-Secretary for the Paris metropolitan area, had been caught spending 12,000 euros (about $15,000 a year) of taxpayer money on cigars! That news has not amused feisty French unions, who called for a crippling national strike today (June 24) to protest the pension reform.