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Nicolas Sarkozy revives ceremonial hunting party to win friends and influence - Times Online

Had he returned to Chambord, the great château on the Loire, yesterday Louis XIV would have recognised the scene: a gaggle of dignitaries shooting boar, attended with pomp by the palace guard and ending in a torchlight ritual and banquet.

But this ceremonial hunting party was not the revival of the ancien régime. It was President Sarkozy's latest wheeze to reward today's courtiers and cultivate French and foreign VIPs of value to the Republic.

However, the presidency has been thrown on the defensive this week after the media rumbled the regal battues, or game shoots, which Mr Sarkozy quietly revived in December.

The chasse présidentielle was dropped by President Chirac in 1995 as unfitting for modern democracy. During the 1970s and 1980s, Presidents Giscard and Mitterrand used the chasse to bestow favours and cultivate foreign leaders, including the late Shah of Iran and the late Emperor Bokassa of the Central African Republic.

by Fran on Sat Feb 13th, 2010 at 01:28:12 PM EST
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Times:
But this ceremonial hunting party was not the revival of the ancien régime.

Er, actually...

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Feb 14th, 2010 at 09:35:21 AM EST
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