An alleged spying campaign against a close advisor of presidential candidate Ségolène Royal has gripped France. A newspaper report claims that Nicolas Sarkozy, Royal’s rival and current Interior Minister, asked French intelligence officers to investigate Bruno Rebelle, who recently joined Royal’s team.
François Hollande, the Socialist party leader and Royal’s partner, demanded an urgent inquiry. “If this information is confirmed,” he said, “it would be extremely worrying because it would mean that the Interior Ministry is working for candidate Sarkozy.”
Nicolas Sarkozy was mobbed by reporters when he arrived for an appointment. “It’s completely ridiculous, he said. They must hold their nerve and stay calm.” The claim of misuse of government resources is the latest accusation to be made against the centre-right candidate. Recent opinion polls show Sarkozy has pulled ahead of Royal in the presidential race.