There was no wheelchair or patient’s robe for the French President when he left hospital shortly after 11 o’clock.
Smiling and tanned, Nicholas Sarkozy seemed keen to show there was no cause for concern. He spent Sunday night at the military hospital in Paris, undergoing what his staff described as “routine” cardiological tests. He had suffered a dizzy spell while jogging during a weekend retreat. But according to a statement from his office, the incident was not caused by any cardiac problems. It cited heat and circumstances of fatigue as the reasons for the collapse. But it seems the President won’t be going straight back to work. According to the statement, Sarkozy will take a few days off, unburdened by the affairs of state. And whether he will attend a cabinet meeting on Wednesday – the last before the holidays – has not yet been announced. The French President is an avid jogger and a keen cyclist. A political ally blamed his collapse on a diet he has been following to lose weight. One news report said he had suffered a nerve condition, in which exhaustion and dehydration could lead to a loss of blood pressure. Officials said the hospital doctors had found nothing untoward and predicted a full recovery. But given the official mania for glossing over previous Presidents’ health problems, whether this is true remains to be seen.