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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”.
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