The prospect of Nicolas Sarkozy's 23 year-old undergraduate son being catapulted to the head of a major public agency has sparked widespread accusations of favouritism both at home and abroad.
Jean Sarkozy is a regional councillor in the rich Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, where his father himself acted as mayor between 1983 and 2002. Still, he doesn't have any substantial business experience and is yet to complete his degree in law, leaving him considerably under qualified to run EPAD, a public agency in charge of overseeing development in the La Défense business district just outside central Paris. Except for a few hear-hears from conservative politicians in the country, the majority of French people find the idea outrageous. Our Observers in Gabon and China give their views on Sarkozy's latest imperial move.
“Imitating the behaviour of African heads of state”
George Mpaga is a political activist from Libreville, Gabon.
It looks like Nicolas Sarkozy is imitating the behaviour of African heads of state. It's unacceptable! I've heard some very negative reactions over the past few days, it's caused something of an outcry here.
How did this young man manage to reach such a position of responsibility? This affair totally discredits Nicolas Sarkozy's policy. He claims that he wants to abolish ‘la Françafrique' [post-colonial French influence in Africa] but he then behaves like he's part of a clan, evoking the behaviour of certain African states. Everybody is shocked by this return to monarchy in France!"
“An unfathomable decision”
Renzhe Wudi is a Chinese blogger from Xiamen, in the east coast province of Fujian.
Nicknamed 'the little Napoleon' here in China, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has again shocked everybody with an unfathomable decision.
When I read the story in the press, it reminded me of Sarkozy's bling bling history. He divorces and promptly remarries, he spends 600,000 euros on building a house for his new wife Carla Bruni, and then he uses Photoshopped pictures of himself to show off as though he's France's fittest man!
Let's all pray that our little Napoleon gets his ‘workout' done with Carla Bruni - or other women - so he can bless us with more little geniuses like Jean Sarkozy."
A news report on Chinese TV channel CCTV. "Considering his young age, it's difficult to imagine how he would manage to become head of EPAD if his father weren't Nicolas Sarkozy."