The French President Nicolas Sarkozy and former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin are long standing political rivals. Here, we detail their differences.
Dominique de Villepin Ex-Prime Minister of France
Nicolas Sarkozy President of France
His silver haired, aristrocratic good looks; leading the opposition to the war in Iraq and a rare applause at the UN for a speech against military action in Iraq; writing poetry and a book on Napoleon.
A very public romance with Carla Bruni; being the "bling bling" president due to his love of Rolex watches and holidays on luxury yachts; describing young delinquents in Paris as racaille or "rabble"; negotiating the end to a nursery school siege.
Thoughts on rival
Is said to refer to him as "that dwarf" in private.
Promised to hang ex-PM "on a butcher's hook" (de Villepin told court).
Graduated from the elite ENA school to become a career diplomat before being chosen as Jacques Chirac's chief of staff. The president's patronage ensured his swift rise to become Prime Minister without ever being elected as an MP, or even a local councillor.
Became a lawyer before entering politics and rapidly rose through the ranks to become a protégé of Jacques Chirac. Fell out with his boss after backing a rival for the 1995 presidency. Elected president in 2007.
Diplomat, Foreign minister, Interior minister
Mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, Budget minister, Finance minister, Interior minister
Marie-Laure Le Guay
Born in Morocco to a French diplomat and a member of the Senate.
Born in Paris to a Hungarian minor aristocrat and a French mother of Greek Jewish origin.
Dominique Marie Francois Rene Galouzeau de Villepin
Nicolas Paul Stephane Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa
"The seagull is intoxicated by the sky. She turns, carried by the winds, with undulating wing, uttering from time to time her agonising peal of laughter..." (from The Shark and the Seagull, a poetry anthology)
"I don't want to be president. I must be president."
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