January 30, 2004

IT KEEPS GETTING WORSE:

A court has found former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe guilty of involvement in a party funding scam in Paris in the 1980s and early 1990s. Juppe, one of President Jacques Chirac’s closest allies, immediately appealed against the conviction.

“You can imagine the political earthquake this is going to cause,” said Anita Hauser, political commentator for the private LCI television channel.

“It’s a hammer blow for Jacques Chirac, who thus loses his closest adviser and his designated successor, for whom he had real affection,” she said.

Juppe was prime minister between 1995 and 1997, when he lost an election amid industrial unrest caused by his attempts to push through social and economic reforms.

France certainly needs those.