The former head of state has been learnt to be ‘aggrieved’ at being kicked out of power after just one term, and has ordered staff to keep ‘everything the same’, which included buying everything similar to his Champs-Elysées office including the desk, chairs, telephones and other furniture.
“Only the view from the window has changed,” a journalist who has been inside the new office was quoted as saying.
He added that Sarkozy uses the suite of rooms to ‘receive his showbusiness friends’, as he did at the Elysee.
The extraordinary revelation comes as the 58-year-old faces widespread corruption charges centring on the way he was elected to the presidency in 2007, and is accused of illegally accepting thousands of pounds in cash from France’s richest woman Liliane Bettencourt, the L’Oreal cosmetics heiress, who is said to have provided the money in brown envelopes to fund Sarkozy’s political career in return for future tax breaks.
The French police reportedly raided Sarkozy’s new offices in Rue de Mironmesnil in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, less than half-a-mile from the Elysee, while there were also coordinated raids at his lawyers’ offices and at the Paris mansion while he and his wife Carla Bruni were off for a holiday in Canada.
Senior sources in his conservative UMP party have claimed that Sarkozy denies all the charges, and firmly believes that he is still popular enough to become president again one day.