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Archive for December, 2011

No Hiding Place

Posted by Eliot Weinstein on December 15, 2011

…for Jacques Chirac. The chauvinistic, anti-American, womanizing, corrupt former president of France was convicted of embezzlement and other political malfeasance earlier today. Chirac’s crimes date back to his tenure as mayor of Paris, between 1977 and 1995, during which he was found to have embezzled public money and abused his office by creating fake jobs. Chirac diverted the salaries for these made-up jobs into a fund that backed him in the French presidential elections, which he won, serving two terms as French president from 1995 to 2007. For his offenses, the 79-year-old Chirac was given a two-year suspended sentence. Chirac is the first French head of state to face criminal trial since Philippe Pétain, the decorated military leader who served as president of pro-Nazi Vichy France, was tried and convicted of treason in 1945. While Chirac’s actions do not even remotely resemble those of Pétain, Chirac’s misdeeds are par for the course in modern France’s extremely corrupt political system, and not, as some have claimed, a case of a single greedy old man tarnishing his party’s (and his country’s) sterling reputation.

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