Next one caught, i’ll squeeze your head till it pops!
Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered his ministers to stay in France on holiday to avoid diplomatic gaffes after two scandals over hospitality from authoritarian North African leaders.
Mr Sarkozy bowed to criticism from rivals after embarrassing revelations that his prime minister and foreign minister accepted free holiday flights in Egypt and Tunisia, shortly before popular uprisings in both countries.
“From now on, members of the government must prefer France for their holidays,” Mr Sarkozy told a cabinet meeting, according to a transcript released by his office.
“Invitations accepted abroad will be authorised by the prime minister and the presidential diplomatic unit … to see whether they are compatible with France’s foreign policy.”
Francois Fillon, the prime minister, on Tuesday admitted that he had a New Year family holiday on the Nile paid for by Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s under fire president.
“What was common a few years ago can shock nowadays. So it must be strictly monitored,” Mr Sarkozy said. “Only by being above reproach will people holding high office strengthen their citizens’ trust in the state institutions”.
Mr Sarkozy and his pop singer wife Carla Bruni spent their end-of year holiday in Morocco at the Jnane Lekbir royal residence belonging to King Mohammed VI.
Not much difference from golf trips to Scotland paid for with lobbyist money or some congress-creep retiring and waiting a week or two before showing up back on the street with a foreign flag in his lapel and a fat wallet.