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Sarkozy Says He May Make a Comeback in French Public Life

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said his return to public life would be in the economic arena, not in politics. Photographer: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg

Nicolas Sarkozy, the first French president in more than 30 years to fail to win re-election, said he may seek to make a comeback in public life.

In his first comments on the subject, Sarkozy said it was his “duty” to help the country facing an economic and social crisis, Valeurs Actuelles magazine reported.

“Unfortunately, there will be a moment when it won’t even be a question of ‘do you want to’ but ‘do you have a choice?’ to come back into public life,” Valeurs Actuelles quoted him as saying in an interview. “It won’t be a glorious moment for France.”

Sarkozy, 58, said his return to public life would be in the economic arena, not in politics. He lost to the Socialist Party’s Francois Hollande in the May presidential elections, and has since participated in conferences on economic and global topics in the U.S., Qatar, Switzerland and Brazil.

Like all former French presidents, he is a member of the country’s Constitutional Court. Customarily, the members of the body don’t comment on political matters.

Sarkozy has criticized Hollande’s relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying the French president is running a policy that’s “the exact opposite of Germany’s.”

He has also opposed Hollande’s strategy to wage a war in Mali, saying the French leader was wrong to support the African nation “which doesn’t even have a government.”

Quitting Politics

Sarkozy, sanctioned for his flamboyant personal style and the country’s slowing economic growth, last year became the second French president to lose a re-election bid since World War II after former President Valery Giscard d’Estaing was vanquished in 1981.

Shortly after his defeat Sarkozy promised to retire from French politics.

The former leader, whose new state-paid law office is located less than half a mile from the Elysee presidential palace, said he wants to cultivate his reputation as an international figure and lead an ordinary life taking his 17-month-old daughter Giulia to school. He is married to the model-turned-singer Carla Bruni, his third wife.

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