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An irritated Sarkozy refuses to "name the date"

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An irritated Sarkozy refuses to "name the date"


French President Nicolas Sarkozy has laid out his plans for 2008, but he has refused to say whether those plans include marriage. Addressing hundreds of reporters at the Elysee Palace, Sarkozy said he wanted to see the end of the 35-hour week, more money in people’s pockets and a boost for education and health.

“The French can’t wait any longer,” Sarkozy stressed. “It’s good that Francois Fillon and his government, with the majority that we have, can respond to these needs.” Something else which at least the journalists present could not wait for, was the answer to one pressing question which has been making headlines for a week.

“Will you marry Carla Bruni and when?” one reporter asked. “I find it extraordinary that you have waited until the second question,” Sarkozy laughed, then added: “It is serious but it isn’t the French newspaper “Journal de Dimanche” which will fix the date.”

That publication has reported that the president is planning to marry his girlfriend on February 8 or 9. “There’s a good chance you’ll hear about it when its already happened,” Sarkozy added.

The French president did not hide his irritation at the intrusion into his private affairs. He said he had decided not to hide from the cameras during his recent holidays with Italian singer Carla Bruni and her small son, in Egypt and then Jordan. But he pointed out that previous French presidents had been allowed to keep their private lives private.

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