Stay home, Carla tells Sarkozy

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is trying to slow the pace of her husband's foreign travels so she can spend more time with the French president.

Nicolas Sarkozy has been on dozens of overseas trips since taking office in 2007, keeping up the high pace even after his whirlwind romance and marriage to the singer and former supermodel last year.

"What I regret is the lack of time," Bruni-Sarkozy told Le Figaro Magazine, in comments released yesterday ahead of publication. "I am trying to slow the rhythm of our foreign trips ... When I intervene it is just over how we use our time," she said, adding that she never got involved in political decisions.

His wife rarely accompanies Sarkozy on his travels. She was in attendance for his state visit to Britain in 2008 but was absent from last month's G20 summit in London.

Mme Bruni-Sarkozy also revealed how she was hurt by attacks on the president. "The only tough thing is criticism levelled against my husband. I suffer on his behalf when they are unfair or unfounded, which is 90 per cent of the time," she said.