French president Sarkozy hints at marriage plans with Carla Bruni

( AFP ) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday said his romance with Carla Bruni was "serious" and hinted that he was ready to marry the Italian ex-model and pop singer.

"There is a strong chance that you will learn about it once it's already been done," Sarkozy told a press conference when asked about reports that he was planning to marry Bruni next month.

"It is serious," he said of the romance that became public in December when photographs of the couple visiting the Disneyland theme park outside Paris were published in newspapers and magazines.

"Carla and I have decided not to lie," Sarkozy said, adding he wanted to "break with a hateful tradition of hypocrisy" -- a clear allusion to former president Francois Mitterrand's illegitimate daughter, whose existence was kept secret for years.

Sarkozy, 52, and Bruni, 39 -- a rich heiress whose past conquests include rock stars Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton -- have been trailed by a swarm of paparazzi since mid-December.

Three months after he divorced from his second wife Cecilia, Sarkozy was under pressure to comment publicly on his highly-mediatised romance, amid signs it could be hurting his approval ratings.

Several polls since the New Year have shown Sarkozy slip three to four points, while one showed a seven-point plunge in his confidence rating to 48 percent -- the lowest point since his election last May.

The media blitz surrounding the Sarkozy-Bruni couple trailed them to Egypt and Jordan, where Sarkozy was photographed last weekend carrying Bruni's young son Aurelien on his shoulders.

Bruni may also accompany Sarkozy on an official trip to India late this month, according to local media.

Left-wing politicians have lined up to accuse the president of neglecting the day-to-day concerns of the public for his romance with the model-turned-singer.

But Education Minister Xavier Darcos defended Sarkozy's love affair and shot back at critics who say the president has overexposed his private life.

"I believe that a happy president, and I was about to say a president in love, is a president that has without a doubt more of a bounce in his step and will be more energetic and efficient in fulfilling his duties," said Darcos in an interview to LCI television.

"The French people will have to get used to modernity," he said. "There is nothing more natural than to show ourselves as we are, to be transparent, open as you would expect a modern couple to be," he said.

In October, Sarkozy became the first French president to divorce while in office when he ended his stormy 11-year marriage to Cecilia, with whom he has a 10-year-old son.

He also has two sons, Pierre, 22, and Jean, 21, from a previous marriage to Marie-Dominique Culioli, whose uncle was mayor of the well-heeled Paris suburb of Neuilly -- a job Sarkozy went on to hold for close to 20 years.

Born into a wealthy Turin industrial family, Bruni made a second fortune in modelling and music, becoming one of the world's best paid models at the height of her catwalk career.

She had a surprise hit with the release of her first pop album "Quelqu'un M'a Dit" (Someone Told Me) in 2004.

Observers have pointed out that with her long legs, high cheekbones and chestnut-brown hair, Bruni bears a striking resemblance to Mr Sarkozy's former wife Cecilia.

"Men are often drawn to the same type of butterfly," Sarkozy's biographer, Catherine Nay, has been quoted as saying.

But Bruni, who has a six-year-old son with the philosopher Raphael Enthoven, places herself firmly on the political left, making her an unlikely match for the right-wing reformer Sarkozy.

Bruni has also been quoted saying she does not believe in monogamy.

"I am faithful... to myself! Monogamy bores me terribly... I am monogamous from time to time but I prefer polygamy and polyandry," for a woman to have several partners, Bruni told Le Figaro Madame magazine in February last year.

Dubbed "the Bling-Bling president" by the leftwing press, the president's opponents say he is obsessed with money and celebrity, and accuse him of trivialising politics by parading his romance in the media.

Coronavirus cases count exceeds 200 in Kazakhstan
Coronavirus cases count exceeds 200 in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan increasing furniture, wood imports from Turkey
Kazakhstan increasing furniture, wood imports from Turkey
S&P talks Kazakhstan's mitigation of current oil price shock effects
S&P talks Kazakhstan's mitigation of current oil price shock effects
Loading Bars
Latest
Iran launches mass production of coronavirus diagnostic tests
Coronavirus cases increase in Georgia
Foreign direct investment in Georgia's mining sector increases
U.S. Department of State, USAID providing $1.7M in health assistance to help Azerbaijan
Value of exported products via Astara customs announced in Iran
Azerbaijan's Internal Ministry: Entry, exit from Sheki district restricted (PHOTO)
Coronavirus cases count exceeds 200 in Kazakhstan
Most popular transport for visiting Turkey revealed
Azerbaijan's Internal Ministry: Entry, exit from Gazakh district restricted (VIDEO)
China's success in curbing coronavirus spread affected oil market - Iran's official
Turkey reveals volume of cargo transshipment from Moldova through its ports
Iran opens its first mobile coronavirus lab (PHOTO)
Total amount of donations to Azerbaijan’s Fund to Support Fight Against Coronavirus announced
BP: 3D seismic survey program on Block D230 completed successfully
Iran reveals funds allocated to battle coronavirus spread
Turkey names new minister of transport and infrastructure
Iran's export down since early March
Online supermarket created with help of Azerbaijani Agency for Development of SMEs
Iran talks investments made in Persian Gulf Mining and Metal Industries SEZ
Forecast growth in new solar, wind plants to be wiped out for 2020
Exports of products up in Iran's Isfahan province
Turkey reveals volume of cargo transshipment from Georgia through its ports
Oil price slump could lead to flow of capital towards renewable energy
Production shut-ins amid lower oil prices may be substantial this time
Azerbaijani company begins production of pure alcohol
Gross external debt of Georgia increases
International Investment Position of Georgia down
Iranian currency rates for March 28
Azerbaijan's parliament discloses MPs' coronavirus test results
Iran announces number of wells drilled in oil, gas sector
Azerbaijan’s Salyan District Executive Power announces tender for repair services
Azerbaijan’s Salyan District Executive Power announces tender
Anglo Asian Mining continuing with gold production in Azerbaijan
Iran's president urges for proper implementation of social distancing plan
WB provides additional support to improving efficiency and innovation in Azerbaijan’s judicial system
Outlook for oil market remains bleak in near-term
Kazakhstan increasing furniture, wood imports from Turkey
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 21 times
Coronavirus significantly affects real estate market of Georgia
Iran develops medkits for coronavirus testing
Iran hopes to curb and even eliminate coronavirus spread in upcoming weeks
Iran's housing sales drop due to coronavirus outbreak
Georgian Poti port receives permission for expansion
Georgian TPP receives electricity generating license
Galt & Taggart Investment Bank forecasts possible coronavirus impact on Georgian economy
Review of car re-exports statistics in Georgia
Review of Georgian banking sector external debt
NATO praises Georgia’s efforts against coronavirus
TAP to shape Italy’s gas market in several ways: WoodMac
Australia tightens social distancing rules to combat coronavirus
U.S. COVID-19 cases top 100,000 as deaths surpass 1,500
Number of COVID-19 cases increases in Georgia
Brunei reports first coronavirus death
Mexico registers 717 coronavirus cases, and 12 total deaths
Turkey to cancel all int'l flights over COVID-19 fears
Chile government negotiates bill-paying delay for poor as coronavirus bites
Oman announces 22 new cases of coronavirus, 131 in total
Four passengers die on cruise ship with coronavirus outbreak off Panama
Belgium extends lockdown period until April 18
COVID-19 death toll rises to 12 in Israel
Italy has yet to hit coronavirus peak, lockdown set to be extended
Azerbaijan tightens special quarantine regime
How EU gas markets prepared for coronavirus?
British PM Johnson has coronavirus, self-isolates in Downing Street
Azercell called on Azerbaijanis to show solidarity in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic
43 more test positive for coronavirus in Azerbaijan
Greenfields Petroleum announces agreement to defer payment of its senior secured debt
Azerbaijan’s president signs decree to exempt import of some medical supplies from VAT
Azerbaijan's Azeltech talks difficulties in buying composite materials for production
AZAL talks rules for flights on Baku-Nakhchivan-Baku routes for Azerbaijani citizens
Azerbaijan's logistic company talks reasons for decline in freight traffic volumes
Operation of express buses to airport limited in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan restricts entry/exit from regions
Volume of cargo transshipment through Turkish port of Cesme announced
Azerbaijan's parliament to discuss joining another international document
Azerbaijani MPs to sit no less than 2 meters apart at parliament's session
Current account deficit reaches its historical minimum in Georgia
Volume of cargo transshipment from Slovenia through Turkish ports disclosed
Volume of cargo transshipment from Tunisia through Turkish ports disclosed
Georgia increases imports of chemical products from Turkey
Georgian TBC Bank signs loan agreement with OPEC Fund
BOTAS International Limited reveals volume of oil transshipment from Ceyhan terminal
Volume of loans issued by commercial banks of Georgia decreases
S&P talks Kazakhstan's mitigation of current oil price shock effects
Volume of cargo transshipment from Iran through Turkish ports disclosed
Turkey reveals volume of cargo transshipment from Lebanon through its ports
Volume of cargo transshipment from Libya through Turkish ports disclosed
Volume of cargo transshipment from Romania through Turkish ports disclosed
Azerbaijan reveals volume of cargo transportation by all modes of transport
Turkey reveals volume of cargo transshipment from Algeria through its ports
All ventures to suspend operation in two Kazakh cites to battle coronavirus
Movement of transit trucks ensured in Azerbaijan, says ministry (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijan's Emergency Ministry increases number of tents at border reception and sorting points (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Coronavirus cases detected in two more Kazakh regions for first time
Belavia extends flight suspension to Georgia
Azerbaijan launched additional six plants producing medical alcohol, says minister
Weekly review of Georgian capital markets
PM: Azerbaijani state to undertake all required measures to combat coronavirus
Azerbaijan increases building gypsum production
Another provocation of Armenian Armed Forces suppressed: Azerbaijan’s State Border Service
All news