France’s media-loving President Sarkozy has become embroiled in a web of intrigue over his part in the fall of the Berlin Wall. He joined yesterday’s 20th anniversary celebrations, but his claims on Facebook that he was there on the night itself are being questioned.
The text on his page says he had rushed from Paris to witness history in the making, and a picture shows him with now-French Prime Minister Francois Fillon. Records from 1989 cast doubt on that – it may not have been November 9th at all but a week later – but the Prime Minister insists it is all true. “We were there all afternoon and all evening with the demonstrators at the Wall,” said Fillon. “At eleven o’clock we crossed into the East via the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie. Alain Juppe was there, and Nicolas Sarkozy.” Juppe was Sarkozy’s party boss in 1989. He appeared on French television the day after the Wall came down, but didn’t say he’d been there. He has now admitted his memories are somewhat hazy. There is no doubt Sarkozy was in Berlin 20 years ago, but critics say he is again trying to dominate the news and put himself at the centre of world events.