French President Nicolas Sarkozy orders ministers to take vacations only in France

By on Feb 10, 2011 in Europe, International, Politics, Travel Comments

French President Nicolas Sarkozy orders his ministers to take vacations only in France, and not to visit foreign countries for relaxation, as published on British news sites on Wednesday.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and
Carla Bruni in Egypt, 2007

Photo credit: EPA/Telegraph.co.uk

According to reports, President Sarkozy instructed his government ministers during a cabinet meeting that day to stay in France during vacations, instead of the usual foreign personal trips.

“From now on, members of the government must prefer France for their holidays,” the French president was quoted as saying, during the meeting at the Elysee Palace.

“Invitations accepted abroad will be authorized by the prime minister and the presidential diplomatic unit, to see whether they are compatible with France‘s foreign policy.” The president added, as Budget Minister François Baroin confirmed to news that the rule also apply to the president himself.

Apparently, the president’s order came after Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie was known to have accepted an invitation to visit Tunisia during its recent uprising.

It was later learned that the foreign minister boarded a plane owned by Aziz Miled, a billionaire businessman allegedly being linked to then Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who was ousted via people power.

As Alliot-Marie was called upon by critics particularly from the opposition politicians, she admitted her ‘error’ on the two free flights to Tunisia.

“From now on, I will be very careful. I don’t know where I will spend my holidays. I think I will not leave the Dordogne if things carry on like this.” Michele Alliot-Marie told on a French radio interview.

Incidentally, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon also admitted that he and his family had a free vacation in Egypt during the New Year holidays, apparently courtesy of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Back in 2007, President Sarkozy and his then girlfriend and now wife, Carla Bruni had a Christmas vacation in Egypt which was highly criticized.

The couple’s trip was said to have been accommodated by Vincent Bolloré, a billionaire friend of Sarkozy.



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