Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
Here comes the latest episode of the telenovela, broadcasted directly from the Elysée palace. Imagine the scene: antique clocks broken, valuable vases shattered into thousand pieces, armchairs knocked over, this is how it might have looked in the presidential office last Thursday.
In onther words: it might have looked like a war scene after François Hollande had told his partner Valerie Trierweiler what everybody could read the next day in the magazine Closer, that he had cheated on her with a younger actress.
It is, of course, a rumour. Nothing has been confirmed form official side. But it’s a resistant rumour buzzing on the web and among journalists. According to an anonym source from the Mobilier national reported by the website Le Colonel, an agent has been called to come to the Elysée palace on Friday morning last week to establish the harm. Always according to the same source, the damage runs into millions. Well, it’s not with vases from Ikea that they decorate the presidential office, but with the treasures of the Mobilier National, a governmental agency responsible for regulating state inventories, conserving and caring for royal furnishing, founded back in 1663 by Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Minister of Finance under Louis XIV.
The well-informed magazine Paris Match, that still employs Valérie Trierweiler as journalist, reported on its website, that the couple had a “conversation musclée”. Translate it with a heavy fight. I for my part understand the reaction of Mrs. Trierweiler and would have smashed everything on my way out of the palace. Worse, I would have taken ancient swords, old weapons or whatever might decorate the walls of the Elysée.
True or not true, we don’t know. From the viewpoint of a screenplay writer, the story is just perfect. Honestly, in France you never get bored. Even with a president like Hollonde who promised to be Mister Normal.
Lately, I’ve funny discussions with my French friends. They really don’t understand why the world is shocked. They just don’t get it. They are different. I agree with them when it comes to moral offense. Everybody should manage his emotional and sexual life as it suites him. But as head of state, you’ll better don’t get caught in flagrant delit. The thing is, in our times, each citizens equipped with a Smartphone is a potential paparazzi. That’s why Hollande looks extremely naïve to me, as if he had lost his head.
This is definitely not good news when it comes to politics. Everybody took him for a weenie. Now the French realize that not only in politics he was unable to take clear decisions, but in his private life too. And than imagine all the energy it needs to organize and hide and lie the whole day long. If France would do very fine, I wouldn’t care. But France needs somebody eager to reform and to take painful decisions. This is obviously not his case.
Meanwhile, we can read that Mister President has apparently made up his mind. The British Telegraph reported that, according to its Elysée sources, he was already “in negotiations, including legal ones” to end his relationship with Valerie Trierweiler. Europe 1 radio quoted a close aid of Hollande saying anonymously: “If she comes back, I stop.” He meant Mrs. Trierweiler, of course. Another one was quoted saying that she is “politically casting a cloud because she is so unpopular”. Being First girlfriend is definitely not an easy job. Valerie Trierweiler, at the very beginning, said, that she didn’t want it. She was eager to keep her job as political journalist at Paris Match. She kept it. To limit the harm, she got a weekly column about books. Now, as she just started to find her way around, as she looked more elegant, more comfortable, she’s probably kicked out for good. This is the moment the French should clarify the role of the First Lady. If they want one, she should get a legal status. If they are fine without, they should assume.
Meanwhile, when you think you’re down, think about Valérie: “She needs time, years, to absorb the most violent shock of her life – the cheating of the man who was her partner for eight years,” you can read in Paris Match. “The worst was to discover in the press that the affair with Julie Gayet started before the election. Stricken, humiliated, she finds herself torn between her immense distress and her impetuousness, between questions about her future and her anger. Today Valérie Trierweiler is perhaps at the end of a journey.”