Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has made his first political speech since his election defeat last year.
The right-wing politician addressed his UMP party in a behind closed doors speech.
Sarkozy was welcomed back with gusto despite costing the UMP 11 million euros in withdrawn state subsidies.
A constitutional court rejected his 2012 campaign spending and imposed financial penalties, which have pushed the party to the financial precipice.
Sakozy said it was not his return to frontline politics, but he lamented the state of the republic saying France was the only country scared of progress.
Around 67 percent of UMP members say Sarkozy is their prefered candidate for the election in 2017.
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