Louis de Raguenel and Alexandre Chauveau / Photo credit: MATTHIEU MIRVILLE / DPPI VIA AFP
9:04 p.m., August 16, 2023
This is one of the events of this literary season. Nicolas Sarkozy will publish on August 22 battle time, published by Fayard, second volume of his memoirs. 560 pages, including two photo books, during which the former president recounts his five-year term between 2009 and 2011. “I wanted to take the reader by the hand, to make him experience these years at the Élysée as if he had been by my side throughout these events”, specifies the back cover.
“I wanted to take the reader by the hand, to make him live these years at the Élysée as if he had been by my side throughout these events. This seemed all the more natural to me since this story did not belong to me any more than to each of those who will make me the immense… pic.twitter.com/mG4dKx0dna
— Nicolas Sarkozy (@NicolasSarkozy) August 16, 2023
The Grenoble speech: “My ‘crime’, that day, had been to link the subjects of delinquency and immigration”
Nicolas Sarkozy returns in particular to the Grenoble speech, delivered on July 30, 2010, which was the subject of controversy. After a night of riots involving the community of “travellers”, the former tenant of the Élysée announced the dismantling of half of the illegal Roma camps, and spoke out in favor of the forfeiture of nationality for foreigners having taken the life of an official. “My ‘crime’ that day had been to link the subjects of delinquency and immigration. obvious”, writes Nicolas Sarkozy.
“A veritable wall of outraged protests rose with the same momentum. […] This time, it was clear, for my opponents I had taken up the rhetoric of the extreme right. So, according to the newspaper The world, I even violated the charter on the rights of the child, of which France was a signatory and which provided that every child had the right to acquire a nationality. The conclusion was stated, without nuance and without finesse, by the president of the League of Human Rights, the obscure Michel Tubiana. With the Grenoble speech, I was the one who stirred up hatred against foreigners, suspected of ‘coming to eat our bread’. He went on to accuse me of repeating ‘the old racist and anti-Semitic refrains of the 1930s’. All of this was of course asserted in the name of the camp of reason, moderation and the Republic!”, he continues.
The former head of state continues: “I sincerely wondered how it was possible to find oneself so disconnected from what the French people thought and lived. These declarations and these behaviors exasperated them much more than the commentators or the pollsters could They prepared and boosted the rise of populist and brutal behavior. They pushed many voters to abstain, who no longer recognized themselves in what they saw and what they heard from the political class. is disastrous for democracy, for sincere humanism and for immigrants, who are increasingly victims of rejection and misunderstanding”.
Gérald Darmanin, “One of the most promising of his generation”
Nicolas Sarkozy also speaks on Gérald Darmanin, his successor places Beauvau, in whom he also sees a potential contender for the Elysée. “Will he be able to take another step, or even the final step, that which leads to the presidency of the Republic? I wish him so, because he has obvious qualities: clarity in expression, meaning and understanding of popular aspirations and the energy without which no talent is useful.I would add that I like his atypical career. […] Gerald Darmanin is not me. I am not him. But we are friends, and his success would make me happy… He is, in any case, one of the most promising forties of his generation”, he believes.
The Lola affair: “Macron was right to receive his parents”
Another subject addressed by Nicolas Sarkozy, the Lola affair, named after this young 12-year-old girl, murdered by Dahbia B. on October 14, 2022. In Le temps des combats, the former head of state draws a parallel with the Marie-Christine Hodeau affair , this maternal assistant murdered in 2009 in Essonne. “The distress of this family still lives in me today. I was accused at the time of having been too emotional, of overreacting to current events, of using a news item, of instrumentalizing the victims. And However, what should I have done? Remain cold, indifferent, distant, as if the fact of being President of the Republic should have dehumanized me? I would do the same thing today. That is why I approved President Macron’s decision to receive the parents of little Lola who was so brutally murdered in turn. It was his duty. He was right”.
Barack Obama: “I found it hard to forgive him for such a lack of conviction on such a serious subject”
About Barack Obama, his counterpart in the White House, who had not been kind to him in his memoirs published in 2020 – comparing him in particular to “a character from a painting by Toulouse-Lautrec” – Nicolas Sarkozy depicts a relationship halftone. The former president returns to the appointment of the Dane Anders Fogh Rasmussen as the new Secretary General of NATO in 2009. A decision that Turkey had tried to block, after the publications of the cartoons of Muhammad in Denmark.
“It helped open my eyes to the importance Americans attached to Turkey, and how far they were willing to go to help their friend [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan. (…) Barack Obama was willing to give in or at least… to let some time pass. Angela Merkel and I opposed it with a united front until the end of the night, so sure were we of the civilizational significance of this symbol. Neither she nor I was willing to give in to the threat. To renounce this appointment was to accept the diktat of the fatwas. Reason prevailed. From that day on, my relationship with Obama was never the same. I found it hard to forgive him for such a lack of conviction on such a serious subject.
Nicolas Sarkozy will dedicate his new book on August 22 in La Baule, a city run by Franck Louvrier, who was his adviser at the Elysée for five years.