French President Nicolas Sarkozy strode into office a year ago after talking big about economic growth, but by early 2008 he complained that “the till’s already empty” — as he sported flashy accessories and stepped out with an even flashier new partner, Carla Bruni. Now, “Sarko” is doing crisis management and offering apologies for his past mistakes.


Nicolas Sarkozy’s television appearance was a major chance for him to reassert his authority and to assure the French people that the government’s reforms were on the right track.

It was billed less as a presidential address to the nation, than as a disgraced pupil being dragged before the rest of the school to explain his misdemeanours – and challenged as to how he intended to perform better in the future.

By the end, he had not exactly turned the tables and become head teacher, but there were moments when he made the most of his naturally combative style.

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