It’s exactly three years since Nicolas Sarkozy was elected President of the French Republic. It only seems like one thousand and ninety five days since I went walking out on Place de la République to watch some anti Sarkozy activists in a standoff with the CRS riot police, who sent tiny CS gas canisters tocking out of wide stubby barrelled guns. Just as I was turning in for the night, I saw one such Vicks jar sized canister fly up into the air, bounce off the fifth floor of a building at Boulevard Magenta, go spinning through the top of a 50 foot tall linden tree, drop to the footpath, bounce into the alleyway where I live, and come to a rest approximately 6 inches away from where I was standing. All this to explain that on the night that Nicolas Sarkozy was elected I shed a few tears.
French presidential terms last five years so today has a definite Wednesday feeling to it. We have passed over the hump, so to speak, and now the lightened weekend mood is only just around the corner, getting ready to jump out and say Boo. While busy working on unearthing the particular achievements of this presidency of “rupture”, as it was then called, I am wondering whether to extend him the traditional English birthday wish of “Many Happy Returns”, aware that this could be construed in an electoral way.