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Presidential candidate threatened to beat up cabinet member

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  • Greg Cannon
    ...in France. http://www.expatica.com/actual/article.asp?subchannel_id=25&story_id=38527 Sarkozy threatened to beat me up PARIS, April 6, 2007 (AFP) - A
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2007
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      ...in France.

      http://www.expatica.com/actual/article.asp?subchannel_id=25&story_id=38527

      'Sarkozy threatened to beat me up'

      PARIS, April 6, 2007 (AFP) - A former French minister
      who has turned against his party's presidential
      candidate Nicolas Sarkozy recounts in a new book that
      Sarkozy once threatened to "smash" his face in.

      Azouz Begag, who resigned as equal opportunities
      minister on Thursday, fell out with Sarkozy because of
      his tough stance on law and order and immigration.

      In a book to be published next week, Begag recounts an
      episode, just after the 2005 riots, in which he
      publicly distanced himself from Sarkozy's use of the
      word "rabble" to describe young delinquents, telling a
      crowd in Marseille "My name is not Azouz Sarkozy".

      "What had to happen happened. He came down on me like
      a ton of bricks," Begag writes in the book, excerpts
      of which appear in this week's issue of the French
      magazine Marianne.
      Click here!

      Begag says a furious Sarkozy called him on the phone,
      yelling: "You're an arsehole, a disloyal bastard! I'm
      going to smash your face."

      "The interior minister told me, in a final threat,
      never to shake his hand again, or there would be
      trouble," he writes.

      Begag's book is entitled "A sheep in the bathtub", in
      reference to televised comments in which Sarkozy
      suggested France needed to teach Muslim newcomers not
      to slaughter sheep in their homes.

      A sociologist by training, Begag joined the government
      at the invitation of Sarkozy's rival, Prime Minister
      Dominique de Villepin. Of Algerian descent, he says
      that Sarkozy's allies systematically dismissed him as
      "Villepin's token Arab".

      Before standing down, Begag attacked Sarkozy's call
      for a "ministry of immigration and national identity"
      as an "indecent" bid to fish for votes among "the lost
      sheep of the far-right".

      The Socialist Party of Sarkozy's chief rival, Segolene
      Royal, seized on his resignation as "final proof of
      the divorce between Nicolas Sarkozy and French people
      of immigrant origin".

      Begag left the government to support the centrist
      presidential candidate Francois Bayrou.
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