The 23-year-old son of French President Nicolas Sarkozy has dropped his bid to take over the public agency that oversees La Defense, the wealthy business district of Paris.
He made the announcement on French state TV, citing media manipulation for his decision not to pursue the chairmanship of the organisation He said he did not accept the suspicion of favouritism, or that he would have received preferential treatment due to his father’s name. Then he added: “If the question you ask me is: ‘Have you talked to the president?’ No. ‘Have I spoken with my father?’ Yes. He is like every father and I am like every son. And of course in difficult times we talk together. I told him about my decision and it was my decision alone.” Nicolas Sarkozy’s political opponents had accused Jean Sarkozy of relying on nepotism, which they compared to the political manoeuvrings of a banana republic. The move also caused widespread disquiet among government supporters, fearing a backlash by angry voters. Sarkozy junior is an undergraduate law student and critics said he was far too inexperienced to manage the business district which handles 10 percent of French gross domestic product. The EPAD agency manages a large zone of corporate headquarters on the western fringes of Paris, built to rival London as Europe’s premier financial hub.