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Wednesday, 15 January 2014
Hollande's Love Affair : Paris's Latest Tourist Attraction
Mula nya baca tajuk kot-kot ada new tourist attraction in Paris.. rupanya cerita pasal Hollande's love affair. Semua dah biasa dengar tentang the Lourve, Eiffel Tower and Sacre Coeur.. yang terbaru tempat kediaman Presiden Perancis di Rue de Cirque..
First, consider that some human activities, although universal, tend to be linked more closely with specific cultures.
François Hollande, beleaguered by the economy and love Photo: Wikimedia
Take the art of love and the French, for example. So what do you think is the tourist attraction of the moment in Paris? Not the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower or Sacre Coeur.
It’s an apartment on the Rue de Cirque, not far from the Élysée Palace, home of the country’s president. That address houses the “love nest” where President François Hollande reportedly conducted “secret” meetings with the film star Julie Gayet.
The alleged scene of a presidential love affair, the story originally broken by the gossip magazine Closer has been making headlines around the globe and distracting Hollande’s already beleaguered government.
Despite the economic troubles plaguing France, which have tanked his ratings, Hollande has always found time for amour. The start of his mandate was filled with speculation around the love triangle he was living with Ségolène Royal – his former companion of several decades, mother of his four children and former presidential candidate – and the younger Valérie Trierweiler, a journalist working for Paris Match magazine and for whom he left Royal, and who until now has acted as the de facto but unofficial first lady of France.
At the moment – and to the chagrin of many French who consider the love nest episode “ridicule,” according to the daily Libération, and are asking for “a separation of bed and state” – love is in the news even more than the economic program that the president unveiled Tuesday before the world’s media.
And the presidential soap opera gets more involved, according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, following a claim posted on “the Twitter account of the lereel.fr website, and said to have come from a source close to Hollande, that Gayet, the 41-year-old actress…is reported to be four months pregnant.”
During the press conference Tuesday, facing the media for the first time since the scandal broke, Hollande “refused to answer whether…Trierweiler is still France’s First Lady, but said he would clarify her status before his trip to Washington next month. He acknowledged he was going through a difficult period in his private life,” the Mail reported.
As a consequence, since last Friday the building at 20 Rue de Cirque has become “the latest fashionable place to have…pictures taken in Paris” by locals and tourists alike, according to the Mail. So much so that the owner of the apartment has threatened to call the police due to the public disturbance caused by the too-numerous visitors at all hours every day. None of the neighbors is happy with the building’s unexpected popularity, nor with it being called “the circus at the Rue de Circus.”
As if all this weren’t enough for Hollande, the apartment happens to be indirectly related to the Corsican mafia, which the president’s security team didn’t seem to realize – as they also failed to notice the paparazzi spying and taking pictures of the apartment from a nearby rented flat.
According to Closer, the president was driven there on a scooter by his most trusted bodyguard, who turned up the following morning with croissants.
The apartment reportedly belongs to a retired tradesman and Biarritz resident, Pierre Discazeaux, said to be furious over the situation. Rumors of mafia links were triggered by the appearance of the name Michel Ferracci on the flat’s mailbox. Last November, Ferracci was given an 18-month suspended sentence in connection with a major inquiry into money laundering by the Corsican mafia.
The apartment was loaned to Gayet by her actress friend Emmanuelle Hauck, the ex-wife of Ferracci who was actually renting it. She had lived with another Corsican with links to the mafia, François Masini, who was killed in Corsica last May.