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Royal - Hollande breakup
The first secretary of the Socialist party and the party's presidential candidate split up
Article added on June 19, 2007
It is no more a secret in France, the first secretary of the Socialist party and the Socialist presidential candidate have split up. The breakup of the couple Royal - Hollande is of course not only political - with the former trying to get the job of the latter. The real life couple of 30 years - they had met at the elite university ENA in 1978 and have four children together - are no longer partners in private either.

Months of speculation have ended on Sunday evening, June 17, 2007 after the second round of the parliamentary election. Because her de facto husband - they were never officially married - has an affair with the journalist Valérie Trierweiler, Ségolène Royal asked François Hollande to move out of their flat.

The story was about to break anyway because the information about the separation of the couple Royal - Hollande was included in a book to be published on June 20:
Ségolène Royal. Les coulisses d'une défaite - Behind the Scenes of a Defeat. Ségolène On June 8, 2007 Royal herself had confessed it to the AFP journalists and authors of the book Christine Courcel and Thierry Masure.

In October 2006, the couple Royal - Hollande had intervened in the matter of an article published by the French newspaper Le Parisien, which had quoted a friend saying that Royal threatened Hollande to never be able to see his children again if he supported former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin as the party's candidate for the presidential election, as was his intention. In other words, Hollande's support for Royal was the price to pay for his infidelity. The couple continued to deny that they had split.

After the revelation of June 17, 2007 the Socialist party leader François Hollande stressed that the split was a private matter that was "not caused by politics and will not have political consequences". The contrary is true. It had mattered during the presidential campaign of Ségolène Royal and it matters for the future of the Socialist party.

Royal (53) and Hollande (52) have four children aged between 22 and 14: Thomas, Clemence, Julien and Flora. Their family life is their private matter. However, the de facto break-up had appeared earlier - we do not know when - and has perturbed the Socialist electoral campaign more than once.

During the selection process within the Socialist party, not only Ségolène Royal's rivals, Laurent Fabius and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, questioned whether the party leader Hollande was able to handle the selection of the Socialist presidential candidate in a fair and unbiased way.

After Royal was chosen by the party's members to represent the Socialists, the couple Royal - Hollande showed more than once a lack of communication. Arnaud Montebourg, Royal's spokesman and campaign advisers, said on January 17, 2007 (only half-way) jokingly, Royal's only weak point was her partner, her de facto husband Hollande.

The tensions between Royal and Hollande and the lack of communication between them led to serious political frictions regarding future Socialist policies as well as the political strategy. Hollande, together with Fabius and Strauss-Kahn, was opposed to Royal's overtures towards the Centrist candidate Bayrou as well as to Royal's plans for France's future fiscal policies; Eric Besson, her main economic adviser,
even resigned, later defected to Sarkozy's team and finally ended up as new Prime Minister Fillon's state secretary for prospectives and evaluation of public policies.

In the book
La Femme fatale, published on May 11, 2007, the journalists Raphaëlle Bacqué and Ariane Chemin of France's quality newspaper Le Monde wrote that presidential candidacy of Ségolène Royal was the consequence of a marital conflict within the couple Royal - Hollande. Without saying it explicitly, the authors suggested that an “extramarital” (the couple was never married) affair by Hollande was Royal's principal motivation to run for
president. As late as March 28, 2007, in the book Maintenant, Ségolène Royal denied all the rumors about a split and affirmed that they were still living together.

Royal et Hollande are now openly political rivals. Ségolène Royal affirmed her will to become the next Socialist party chief and she asked for an extraordinary party congress to be held in 2007. Her ex-partner François Hollande on the other side repeated his intention to remain party chief until the next party congress scheduled for as late as October 2008. Months of Socialist infighting may lay ahead of us.

Added on June 21, 2007
According to Le Monde, regarding Hollande's demand to raise the minimum wage (SMIC) to 1500 Euros, Royal said to a journalist that this is “an unrealizable idiocy.” According to the same newspaper, Hollande judged in private that Royal “is not ready” for the post of president and that it bothered him that he was taken apart from her presidential campaign.

On June 29, 2006 in a train to Rennes, Royal said to journalists that she dreamed of à marriage with Hollande in Polynesia. Asked about this, Hollande replied that he had no knowledge about it (“pas au courant”).

After the first round of the presidential election 2007, Royal confessed to the media that she had left a vocal message on François Bayrou's answering machine. Hollande's sarcastic comment: “In a telephone democracy, everyone can call whomever they want”.

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Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
English Politics History Art Film Music Lifestyle Travel
Français Politique Histoire Arts Film Musique Artdevivre Voyages
 Index  Advertise  Links  Feedback
 ©  Louis Gerber All rights reserved.