Ségolène slams Trierweiler as Hollande book sales soar
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Government ministers lined up to defend François Hollande on Thursday after published excerpts from the kiss-and-tell book written by his former partner Valerie Trierweiler described him mocking the poor.
Few people have yet read Merci pour ce moment (Thank you for the moment) but the preview extracts portrayed the president in a very unfavourable light.
“He presented himself as the man who did not like rich people. In reality, the president does not like the poor. He, the man of the Left, calls them ‘the people with no teeth’ in private, very proud of his little joke,” writes Trierweiler in the passage which has so far sparked the biggest reaction.
By Wednesday evening hashtag “sansdents” (no teeth) was leading the trending topics on French twitter.
On Thursday morning, Prime Minster Manuel Valls as well as Ségolène Royal, Hollande’s partner for 30 years before he left her for Trierweiler, hit the airwaves in a damage limitation exercise.
“What nonsense”, protested Ségolène Royal, declaring that Hollande’s record in regional politics demonstrated his concern for the most weak in society.
Valls denounced what he called “outrageous attacks”, “mixing public and private life” which, he said “lowered the tone of debate.”
Today’s French newpapers are mostly decided that the book will do nothing to improve Hollande’s image.
Financial daily Les Echos calls Trierweiler’s action “a knockout blow” to the president, while right wing Le Figaro talks of an “atmosphere of decadence”, and leftist Libération talks of a “no holds barred account”.
The book was printed in Germany in the utmost secrecy and Hollande himself is said by his entourage to have been shocked to discover its contents.
However, he will be furious that yet again his private life is a national subject of conversation.
And some have suggested that we can expect to see references to “sans dents” on the banners of those on low incomes the next time there is a protest over unemployment or budget cuts.