The faces on this pic may not be familiar to everybody, yet on the right is Sarko in his 20s I guess and on the left is one of his close friends, also of Hungarian origin, Patrick Balkany (in English).
Said Balkany was a founding member of the RPR, the party Chirac set up in 1976 in order to eventually become Président de la République in 1995 and is now a senior member of the UMP, the rightist party Sarko was heading before he was elected President 5 years ago.
Just, Balkany has been convicted several times by the French courts as is detailed here (in French).
You'd think that would be enough for anybody to be ousted from any political responsibility. Not so in France and particularly on the right side of the spectrum. Last week, Balkany has been re-elected for the fourth time (if not more) député à l'Assemblée Nationale.
Yes, it is possible in France to be convicted by the courts and still hold important political offices.
Does the UMP (Sarko's party) mind having a convicted crook in its ranks? Nope sir. Does the electorate of said crook know about his judiciary pedigree? Yes sir and they could'nt care less. But why is that? Balkany's fief is located in the La Défense zone in western Paris which is the largest business district in Europe. Need I say more? Money is the number one value, morality and decency are next to non existent among these people. Balkany could have been convicted for robbery, he still would be elected. Isn't robbery about money?
- So you want to be a politician?
- Yes sir!
- Are you a crook?
- Yes sir and I can prove it.
- Ok, join the party pal!
And those people are the very same who demand the utmost severity against petty offenders and their like (not that I have any sympathy for them anyway but yet...)
For what I know, Richard Nixon is considered the epitome of dishonesty and moral corruption in the US. Yet, on these sole grounds (notwithstanding Viet) he may not be a saint but he certainly is an innocent choirboy when compared to some French politicians, particularly those closely associated with Sarkozy.