Sarkozy sparks major political row after comparing phone taps to actions of Stasi secret police


Barely two days after Mediapart revealed the content of the phone taps placed on Nicolas Sarkozy, the former president has responded with an extraordinary outburst in the right-wing Le Figaro newspaper. In an angry comment article Sarkozy likened the actions of judges and the police in placing the phone taps to those of the notorious Stasi secret police who operated in communist East Germany. The ex-head of state also mocks the interior minister and justice minister for saying they knew nothing of the bugging, and says the French Republic's “fundamental principles” have been “trampled underfoot”. The government has been swift to respond to allegations that are unprecedented for a former head of the French state, with one minister accusing Sarkozy of a “verbal coup d'état”.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy's comparison between the phone taps placed on him and the actions of East Germany's notorious secret police the Stasi has provoked universal and bitter condemnation among his political opponents. From the president François Hollande to the socialist candidate to be mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, and including the prime minister, the interior minister, the justice minister and the president of the National Assembly, virtually every senior figure in the government and on the Left has accused the former head of state of undermining France's republican institutions and especially the judicial system. Labour minister Michel Sapin even suggested the attack was a “verbal coup d'état”.