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Writer sacked for anti-Valerie articles

One of France’s best known journalists has been sacked by his newspaper for writing too many ‘‘offensive’’ articles about Valerie Trierweiler, the new first lady, it has been reported. Philippe Sollers, who has written for Le Journal du Dimanche for the past 13 years, is said to have gone ‘‘one step too far’’ in an article that attacked Trierweiler’s controversial Twitter message that provoked political outrage in France earlier this month.


Cut down to size: Philippe Sollers criticised Valerie Trierweiler’s tweet in which she displayed her support for the opponent of Francois Hollande’s former wife. File pic

Trierweiler, the partner of the French President Francois Hollande, tweeted her personal support for a political rival of his former lover Segolene Royal for a seat in parliament. On Sunday, Sollers wrote, ‘‘Let’s not muck about, this is serious, it’s pure suffering, it’s a dagger blow administered by the first ‘blade’ of France. The elections, the euro crisis, the massacres in Syria, the taxes to come, the slow march of National Front, they are all nothing compared to that tweet.’’

Le Point magazine claimed on Monday that Sollers had been sacked. To complicate things, LeJournal du Dimanche is owned by the publisher Lagardere, which also owns Paris Match magazine, the publication where Trierweiler still works. Patrice Trapier, the deputy director of writing at Le Journal du Dimanche, insisted that Sollers had not been a victim of censorship. ‘‘The decision to part with him goes back several days,’’ he said. ‘‘As has been the case for years, we renew our columnists. I had not read the last column of Philippe Sollers and it was published without any corrections. He was neither censored or fired.’’

But Sollers said that he found the newspaper’s official version ‘‘at the very least troubling’’. ‘‘I wrote the piece and submitted it last Tuesday to the heads. Straight away I received a phone call telling me my collaboration with the JDD was at an end,’’ he claimed. ‘‘After 13 years working with the JDD, I find this way of handling things at the very least cavalier and peculiar. It’s going to get harder in this country to write about issues and ideas which seem to upset a lot of people.’’

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