Opponents of a bid by the French president’s son to run the wealthy business district in Paris have been celebrating his decision to abandon the move.
Jean Sarkozy, a 23-year-old, second-year law student last night announced on French state TV that he would not be pursuing his attempt to take the helm of EPAD, the public agency that manages the French capital’s main financial hub. Critics had accused him of attempting to profit from nepotism. One man who had been demonstrating against Jean Sarkozy’s bid to land the high-powered financial post said: “I am very happy that the protest worked because today, in a crisis, the young are the most affected by unemployment. To give the impression that someone has more rights than others and can find work without earning it, I think it gives a bad impression to young people.” The French press appears sympathetic to Sarkozy junior. The national newspaper Liberation, acknowledged the “sacrifice” he has made to save his father’s blushes. The public also broadly welcomed the decision. “He’s gone, but I think he’ll be back soon,” said one Paris resident. “I think it’s a good thing, he’s right, he was only 23 years old. I think he must wait a little while until it all calms down,” said another. The financial district on the outskirts of Paris is a large zone of skyscrapers and corporate headquarters, which accounts for 10 per cent of French gross domestic product.