Postcard from... Paris


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Stuffing a CV with exaggerated claims is naughty but natural enough if you are a student trying to take your first step on the job ladder. It is less forgivable if you are the former, and maybe future, President of the French Republic. Nicolas Sarkozy, 60 next month, has just been caught out inflating his meagre presidential record in a speech to Korean business leaders in Seoul.

Mr Sarkozy said that, while President, he had personally “created” the G20 forum of industrial and emerging nations. In fact, the G20 came into existence in 1999 when Mr Sarkozy was still the mayor of his home-town, Neuilly-sur-Seine in the Paris suburbs.

It is true to say that, in 2008, Mr Sarkozy played some part in expanding the importance of the G20. Much credit for that development is also due to the former British prime minister, Gordon Brown. Sarko made the remark during a supposedly private conference in October. A transcript of his otherwise banal and error-strewn remarks was leaked last week to the investigative French website, Mediapart.

Mr Sarkozy has previous form as a CV-inflater. In 2009, when he was President, he claimed on his Facebook page that he had been in Berlin for the fall of the wall 20 years before. It rapidly emerged he was actually in Paris at the time.