Wednesday, December 01, 2004

He's back ... almost

Last we heard of Alain Juppé, former chairman of the RPR party and financial director of the Paris Mairie, present and probably future friend and ally of President Chirac, was that he had been given an 18 month suspended gaol sentence for finding it difficult to tell apart municipal funds paid for by the taxpayer and party funds, supposedly paid for by donors. (Oh and in case you were wondering, Jacques Chirac was Mayor of Paris at the time these peculiar errors were made.)

In accordance with French law he was also barred from holding a public office for 10 years. However, the appeals court in Versailles has reduced the suspended sentence form 18 to 14 months and ruled that M Juppé can return to public life in 1 year’s time rather than 10.

That rather conveniently puts him in the running as a possible presidential candidate in 2007, as a more acceptable possibility to President Chirac than Nicolas Sarkozy. Apart from anything else, should Alain Juppé run for president and should he win, there is little likelihood of any investigation of the by then ex-President Chirac’s own role in the murky financial affairs of the City of Paris and various political parties. Is there any political reason why Ukraine should be kept out of the EU?

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